Gendered Reflexive Projects of the Self: Individualisation or Visual Standardisation?

  • Aishaa Pascha Leeds Beckett University


Contemporary society has witnessed an increase in the prevalence of aesthetic surgery within mainstream culture, such as nonmedical cosmetic procedures performed by surgeons to reshape the visual aesthetic of a patient (Gilman, 2000). A fundamental feature of cosmetic corporate marketing is language which advocates improved safety and natural, lasting results (Swanson, 2013). By utilising intrinsically gendered adjectives - such as ‘more youthful,’ ‘less tired’ - the concept of an empowering ‘makeover culture’ is reinforced whereby ‘the self is a project continually to be worked on’ with endless choices (Alsop & Lennon, 2018: 100).