By Alexander Edmonds
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Additional info for Pretty Modern: Beauty, Sex, and Plastic Surgery in Brazil
Yet only half. After all, it is often through jokes, gossip, and complaints muttered under one’s breath that the fantasy life of nationalism plays itself out. From this perspective, we can begin to understand the popular reaction to silicone breast implants. This controversy reflects a particular tradition of fetishizing the female body. But the fact that it was connected to Carnaval, a key symbol of Brazilian identity, points to other issues as well. In the United States, breast implants provoked an ongoing debate about their safety, leading to a temporary ban by the FDA and the largest classaction lawsuit in American history (Haiken 1997).
The next week I arrange to meet Preta at her condo in a beach neighborhood, where she lives with her father. Preta greets me in the frigid, marble lobby, dressed in a golden velour tracksuit, sleeves rolled up to expose her tattoos. Walking to the car, she explains that her dad is upstairs giving an interview to the New York Times on Brazil’s innovations with intellectual property rights. Gil has been active in the global open-source movement, making a portion of his songs available for free downloading.
I don’t listen to this. I go to Church with make-up. ” “Neither the male nor the female pastor. Jesus must thank God that at least I left the beach and showed up! I’m very vain; I like make-up, décolletage. ” “Not mine. The pastor even wants to do it. ” I ask Preta if she had any problems with her surgeries. As she talks in more detail, I realize she has more ambivalent feelings than she had at first let on. “When I had my second lipo I wasn’t well, I didn’t know where I was going . . ’ But I came out of the surgery with a deep depression.
Pretty Modern: Beauty, Sex, and Plastic Surgery in Brazil by Alexander Edmonds