Showing posts from May, 2017

The pure erotics of Brazilian Waxing

One of the questions I often get asked when I talk about my research is how much longer I think the trend for full pubic hair removal will last. I’m hesitant to give an exact expiry date if I’m honest. But I think this question opens up into broader discussions about what impact social, political and economic change has upon our bodily surfaces, and how embodied ideals of womanhood and femininity can both shift and remain constant over time. More revealing than any answer I might be able to give about the potential longevity of the Brazilian wax, is the asking of the question itself.  It demonstrates an understanding of pubic hairlessness as ‘current’, constructed, transitory, and it encourages conversation about where the norm has originated from, and why women in particular feel pressured to conform to it.  My Google Alerts notified me recently of an online survey examining men and women’s pubic hair grooming preferences, undertaken by , and suggesting that p

Consent, “cosmetic” procedures and crime: The case of Ian Paterson

By Melanie Latham and Jean McHale On 28 th April 2017   breast surgeon Ian Paterson was  charged and convicted of 17 counts of wounding with intent under Offences Against the Person Act 1861  in relation to 9 women and one man ( Breast surgeon Ian Paterson found guilty of 17 counts of wounding with intent after 'unnecessary operations '). He was in addition convicted in relation to three further wounding charges. Evidence given during his trial was to the effect that he had either exaggerated or invented cancer risks which led to patients deciding to consent to breast surgery.  From 2003 Paterson’s colleagues had raised concerns regarding his practice. He undertook a practice of cleavage saving mastectomies which had involved leaving some breast tissue with consequent risks of reoccurrence of secondary cancer.  During the trial evidence was given by patients that they had been misled into believing that they were seriously ill and as a consequence were able to agree

Attractive celebrities and peers online: What is their effect on our body image?

When you scroll through Instagram or Facebook nowadays you are bound to come across an abundance of images of thin and attractive women. Although we are accustomed to seeing beautiful women in magazines and on television, social media creates a new opportunity for users to be exposed to idealised images of their peers and their favourite celebrities. In traditional media, celebrities are presented as beautiful and ideal figures for women to aspire to. But how does exposure to attractive celebrities on social media sites such as Instagram affect women’s body image?   Instagram in particular is a unique social networking site because its prime focus is on images. Instagram users can edit and filter their images to achieve an ‘ideal’ look, much like magazines photoshopping their images. However, Instagram is more personal than magazines. It presents celebrities and peers together on the same platform, and potentially makes celebrities seem more like friends. Given the rise of