Medicalization’s Misconception of the Soul. #Notes
Medicalization of Body Aesthetics
Body Image as a Social Issue
Socially traumatized Bodies, how do we unjudge them?
Aging Barbie Patent, becomes a non-judgemental educational tool to approach self realization of the natural aging process of humans. Dolls have a life expectancy of one year, and consumers can buy different fashion items for each stage of getting old and a funeral box.
Sagginess of skin, deterioation of flesh, aging is seen as is and stops avoidance behavior. Bell’s Programme for overcoming body image disturbance states that it is helpful to realise that body image is not a fixed construct and helpful to be mindfully aware of judgemental thoughts and create a sense of non-judgemental thoughts. One of the most powerful influences on body image is culture, and we’re all bombarded by ‘ideal’ images of women, which creates comparison therefore judgemental thoughts oneself and others alike. These judgemental thoughts creates a social standardization, social problem, social norm that there are good bodies and bad bodies. It becomes a social issue, where the ‘normal’ performers are always compared to the ‘non-performers.’
Reflective Future through Face-Tracking, becomes a reflective tool in viewing oneself as their parents’ counterpart gender. When one looks in the mirror you see the present time of yourself, but to have an image closely resembling one’s future will reflect of their bodily image and acceptance of the vulnerabilities in the future.
To balance the scale of bad images to good images we extend our hands to the medical for social transformations: which we call medicalization. The problem itself is unnatural and binds itself to control the outburst of bad images. And the solution of it is also an unnatural process as it tries to manage social problems by separating the body from the idea of the soul/self/me/individual.
In medicalization the body is viewed as an object; soft and modifiable. It is not part of the individual’s soul, it is not fragile, it is distinct and distant. Medicalization is the disassociation of the body from oneself, when it is not, and the results designs distraction from the important/soul.
We have a high dependency to medicine for validating our primary social conditions: usage of drug use to not be assigned a disorder or out of ‘social norm’ behavior. Plastic/Cosmetic/Aesthetic Surgery is a part of medicalization as it is a modality to social control – in that it controls the physical, spiritual and social levels. In Korea, medicalization through plastic surgery is means to balance social/economic status, it affects marriage, job hunting, and acceptance in culture. It also creates competition amongst people to be fitted socially well. It is a game of selling their fleshes as merely a game asset. But for whose benefit?
It is also a social trend, towards the medicalization of bodies via plastic surgery, but are these real choices? When society is designed to revolve around an unnatural social control of undesirable behaviors and looks, who calls the shots for defining aesthetics?
Is it merely a play on following unnatural social trends? Or is there a deeper problem underlying the creation of social issues? Perhaps plastic surgery is a tool to avoid confronting the notion of death. An escape from reality. Death is a fact, and the great equalizer of all life.
Let us step back to what we are. Naturally we are a body and if you are not a mechanical biologist we have a soul or is spiritual as well. Walt Whitman speaks of the body as the soul. On the other side, as mentioned before, medicalization views the soul and body as separate. It sees the body as an asset to the soul. The temporal condition the body is in can be manipulated, deceiving many to believe that the soul can also be manipulated. It is also the notion of quick fixing death superficially. If the body is considered as an asset that maybe manipulated without affecting the soul, medicalization is stating that the body is not a part of “me” or of the individuals. This is creates an illusion of the avoidance of death and the objectified judgments of bodies. Hence, the bodies are outside problems not related to “me” and can be simply be fixed. The body is a tool a machine for behavioral sociality and not a means for socialization.
*However the disease of the soul is not curable. There are two wrong notions with the image of bodies, people have a tendency that the superficial cure of plastic surgery is the cure of the diseases of the soul, but medicalization acts as if the body is separate from the soul, creating confusion and distraction.
Behavior sociality and socialization these two are not equal and does not overlap.
Addiction of plastic surgery. Studies of Peale & Brodsky opens addiction to not only pertain to substance abuse but other ‘behaviors’ may become an addiction, for example ‘love’, gambling, money can become addictions. Plastic surgery can also become an addiction, an addiction that tries to search outside oneself for something that is looking in the inside. Addictions are due to dissatisfaction. One example of a woman addicted to plastic surgery used it as a means to escape from social tensions at home and to enhance poor self-esteem.
The body has a right to be loved as is. The body has the right be accepted as is with no judgment. As the soul has the right be accepted and loved. The question is do we ourselves have the right to manipulate our body? Can we manipulate our body to affect our needs? The questions acknowledges the body as an object, which is the belief that the body is distant from “me” the individual so the power to manipulate the body becomes rightfully so. However viewing the body as an object is a mentality of disassociation, this notion objectifies oneself, tries to escape reality, and creates a delusion of the self to be invulnerable. This is the denial of the fact of death, denial self-esteem, and the denial of the ownership of self existence. (Spiritually unhealthy)
Socialization of aesthetics, there is an argument to cosmetic surgery as a means for seeking identity. Seeking for one’s identity is an action that does not undergo social transformations/pressure/norm. Such acts of following social implications is an act of self-denial, which does not equate to the quest of searching for an identity, but closer to looking for acceptance. It is a mere behavioral sociality to fit in with an identity (superficial) compared to finding an existential identity to socialize, connect with people.
Social issues are a problem of acceptance not of identity. Cosmetic acceptance is trying to be someone you are not by result of peer pressure, social pressure, social standardization, social norms; identity is unaffected by such phenomena. Creating an image for acceptance is objectification of the self, an idolization, an iconization of former selves as the Society of the Spectacles recites.
The bodies we are, have vulnerabilities “that drives behaviors searching for an intimate relationship in which that very vulnerability can be accepted.” These vulnerabilities are “emotional and bodily frailty.” Whitman agrees that the body is the soul. And seeking peace starts with the acceptance of vulnerabilities of bodies. The “body can touch and be touched but it can not be reached” physically, the soul is reached differently. Susie Orbach, in her book “Bodies” say women “are basically in search not so much of sex as of self-esteem. Their sexuality is what they use to try to get it.” We alienate the body as an object to gain something of value to the soul, but they can not be thought of as separate, they can not be. And we view the body as affecting the soul, but the soul affects the body and the body reacts to the soul’s disease. Bodily transformations only superficially affects the soul as the body is the surface of our soul. So we are forever thirsting and burning to cure the disease of the soul.
We deseason ourselves with medicalization, we affect our bodies and hope that it will affect the soul, but if the body and the soul are one, the body is only the outer layer of the soul. To cure the disease of the soul we must touch the inner parts.
Bell, L., & Rushforth, J. (2008). Overcoming body image disturbance: A programme for people with eating disorders. London: Routledge.
Bhikkhu, T. (Winter 2014). Under Your Skin. Tricyle, 56-61,102.
Jamison, K. (1999). Night falls fast: Understanding suicide (pp. 205-212). New York: Knopf.
Napoleon, A. (n.d.). The Presentation of Personalities in Plastic Surgery. Annals of Plastic Surgery, 193-208.
Orbach, S. (2009). Bodies: Big ideas, small books (pp. 150-160). New York: Picador.
Suissa, A. (n.d.). Addiction to Cosmetic Surgery: Representations and Medicalization of the Body. International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction, 619-630.