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Pretty Modern Alexander Edmonds

Pretty Modern By Alexander Edmonds

Pretty Modern by Alexander Edmonds

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This ethnographic account of Brazils emergence as a global leader in plastic surgery takes readers from Ipanema socialite circles to telenovela studios to the packed waiting rooms of public hospitals offering free cosmetic surgery.

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Pretty Modern Summary

Pretty Modern: Beauty, Sex, and Plastic Surgery in Brazil by Alexander Edmonds

Pretty Modern is a riveting account of Brazil's emergence as a global leader in plastic surgery. Intrigued by a Carnaval parade that mysteriously paid homage to a Rio de Janeiro plastic surgeon, anthropologist Alexander Edmonds conducted research that took him from Ipanema socialite circles to glitzy telenovela studios to the packed waiting rooms of public hospitals offering free cosmetic surgery. The result is provocative exploration of the erotic, commercial, and intimate aspects of beauty in a nation with extremes of wealth and poverty and a reputation for natural sensuality. Drawing on conversations with maids and their elite mistresses, divorced housewives, black celebrities, and favela residents aspiring to be fashion models, Edmonds analyzes what sexual desirability means and does for women in different social positions. He argues that beauty is a distinct realm of modern experience that does not simply reflect other inequalities. It mimics the ambiguous emancipatory potential of capital, challenging traditional hierarchies while luring consumers into a sexual culture that reduces the body to the brute biological criteria of attractiveness. Illustrated with color photographs, Pretty Modern offers a fresh theoretical perspective on the significance of female beauty in consumer capitalism.

Pretty Modern Reviews

A fresh, smart, insightful, entertaining, and compelling book about a topic-cosmetic surgery-that many of us thought had self-combusted in the 1990s amid irresolvable debates about whether women who wanted bigger breasts were subjects with agency or duped victims of the 'beauty myth.' Pretty Modern rises from the ashes of those debates to provide us with exciting new ways of thinking about what plastic surgery is, what it means, and what it does. It is first-rate anthropology and a wonderfully perceptive study of Brazil.-Don Kulick, author of Travesti: Sex, Gender, and Culture among Brazilian Transgendered Prostitutes
A masterpiece. Pretty Modern is one of the most nuanced and beautifully crafted ethnographies out there.-Joao Biehl, author of Will to Live: AIDS Therapies and the Politics of Survival
Alexander Edmonds provides readers with a compelling and visceral ethnography about the ubiquitous cultural practice of plastica, or cosmetic surgery, in Rio to better understand its ubiquity across Brazil's different social classes. . . . Pretty Modern is an important contribution to the literature on gender and the body, and will be of interest to Brazil specialists and nonspecialists alike. Although the focus is beauty, those considering race or history will also find the material useful. -- Lesley N. Braun * Visual Anthropology Review *
Fascinating. . . . The book overflows with provocative discussions. . . . [T]his study should evoke reflection and animated discussion of medicine, gender, self, culture, and modernity in multiple academic settings and beyond. Recommended. All levels/libraries. -- G. W. McDonogh * Choice *
Pretty Modern is a provocative ethnographic excursion through the labyrinth of context necessary for understanding the rise in popularity of cosmetic plastic surgery in contemporary Brazil.... I found his ethnography to be important and compelling. -- Donna Goldstein * American Ethnologist *
Alex Edmonds' book Pretty Modern is a remarkable account of cosmetic surgery-or plastic-in Brazil.... One of the huge strengths of Edmonds' book is the detail and complexity he brings to each of the issues he analyses.... [I]t is ultimately refreshing. -- Ruth Holliday * Sociology of Health & Illness *
Edmonds' offers readers a provocative, richly textured, and nuanced analysis of the rise in popularity of plastica across social classes in Brazil. . . . Pretty Modern is a masterful ethnography about the medicalization of beauty. -- Hilda Llorens * Anthropological Quarterly *
One of the clear advantages of Pretty Modern is the great depth of analysis that we are offered. Anecdotes and detailed descriptions provide the backdrop for theoretical discussions, fleshing out the arguments and providing the reader with a more rounded view of the issues.... Pretty Modern is a very enjoyable, provocative and stimulating read. -- Aoife McKenna * Medical Sociology Online *
Highly readable and ranging from ethnographic, to historical, to theoretical, Pretty Modern will appeal to a broad readership. -- Susan Besse * Luso-Brazilian Review *

About Alexander Edmonds

Alexander Edmonds is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of Amsterdam.

Table of Contents

Illustrations viii
Introduction. In the Universe of Beauty 1
Part One. The Self-Esteem in Each Ego Awakens
Siliconadas 37
The Philosopher of Plastica 47
Without Tits There Is No Paradise 57
A Brief History of Self-Esteem 75
Hospital School 89
The Right to Beauty 102
Aesthetic Health 114
Part Two. Beautiful People
Preta 123
Magnificent Miscegenation 127
The National Passion 135
Nanci's Rhinoplasty 143
My Black Is My Brand 150
Role Models 162
The Economy of Appearances 167
Part Three. Engineering the Erotic
Creating and Modeling Nature 177
Aesthetic Medicine and Motherhood 183
The Vanity of Maids 195
Lens of Dreams 204
I Love Myself 219
Conclusion 239
Acknowledgments 253
Notes 257
References 269
Index 285

Additional information

Pretty Modern: Beauty, Sex, and Plastic Surgery in Brazil by Alexander Edmonds
Used - Good
Duke University Press
Book picture is for illustrative purposes only, actual binding, cover or edition may vary.
This is a used book - there is no escaping the fact it has been read by someone else and it will show signs of wear and previous use. Overall we expect it to be in good condition, but if you are not entirely satisfied please get in touch with us

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