February 12, 2010
posted by caroline picard
The Body Is Not Me
On Aug 12, 2009 Britney Spears was featured in a bikini on the cover of OK! Magazine. I Love My New Body! Was written beside the photo in yellow block caps.There is an inherent separation of the self implicit in such a statement. The idea that one’s body is not continuous in time, but rather can be refurbished and even replaced. If one gets breast enhancements, those breasts are “new.” If one gets plastic surgery to eradicate aging lines, one calls the result a “new face.” Thus the self which is continuous, the I that endures from childhood through adolescence, to adulthood and so on–that self has been split from the body. Like the aliens in Caccoon, the body is simply a commodified shell.
I’ve always found celebrity magazines pretty interesting. Their placement in the supermarket check-out aisles suggest by virtue of context that celebrities are a vital part of life. The wallpaper of nutrition and sustenance.
Which is not far from the truth. Celebrities are endemic to capitalist society. They epitomize the values of our culture, celebrating by way of example, the delight of exorbitant wealth, fame, fashion, travel, face cream and other expensive pamperings. As an elected group, they achieve a life of surface. While much of America’s populus would rather read about celebrities than be one, the idos of celebrity reinforce and propegate the predominant signs of sucess. Signs that disenfranchize and disassociate the the self from the flesh of its environment.