Showing posts from April, 2018

Face-ism in 21st Century Visual Culture needs to be Eliminated

I remember being absolutely staggered at the time. It was the mid-1980s, 15+ years since I’d acquired my imperfect and unique looks. Nightmare on Elm Street had broken box office records and spawned a new genre of horror movies. I was minding my own business walking down a street in London when a wag on a scaffolding rig shouted: “Hi, Freddy, you nasty piece of work” to much applause from his sandwich-eating mates. 

They were much surprised, I think, by my speedy and gently assertive yelled reply (not angry as they probably expected) as I walked on: “Actually, my name’s James”. I held my head up, adopted a resilient mindset (aka ‘a thick skin’) and moved on untouched.

I do have some passing likeness to Freddy Krueger, I suppose: serious facial scarring (after a car fire when I was 18) and a sub-digital left hand. But that’s as far as it goes.

An isolated incident? Not for me because it happens from time to time even 30 years later. And more generally, No too. For centuries, popular cultu…

Rogue Cosmetic Surgeons and the Criminal Law

The disturbing case of breast surgeon, Ian Paterson, who mutilated countless patients over a period of several years, was a shocking example of a rogue surgeon. English criminal law plays only a minor role in regulating harmful medical misconduct, traditionally limited to gross negligence manslaughter. The conviction of Ian Paterson, in 2017, however, involved multiple convictions for serious non-fatal offences: unlawful wounding and intentionally causing grievous body harm, for which Paterson is now serving a twenty-year prison sentence. This case raises important questions about the role of the criminal law as a response to harmful and unreasonable/unjustifiable surgery. Paterson’s crimes include carrying out unnecessary, mutilating surgery on people who were falsely led to believe that the surgery was necessary and therapeutic. The prosecution’s case suggested that Paterson’s crimes were motivated by the lucrative financial rewards from his private surgical practice. Reflecting on …

The Psychology of Fashion: New Book

Over the past six years, Prof Carolyn Mair PhD, has brought attention to a previously neglected area of Psychology: Psychology for Fashion. 

Prof Mair’s new book, The Psychology of Fashion, was published last week as part of Routledge’s Psychology of Everything series. The book is designed to engage a general audience by exploring the reciprocal relationships and influences between fashion and human behaviour.

Fashion is an important global economy which employs millions. Fashion touches everyone; we all wear clothes. As a result, the fashion industry affects us psychologically at individual, societal and global levels. In the book, Mair discusses the many purposes of clothing beyond functionality and shelter including conveying symbolic meaning, meeting the demands of individual taste, modesty and cultural expectations and displaying social status and gender preference. Furthermore, at a broader level, the behaviour of the fashion industry impacts the environment and influences the men…