Summary Review - American Plastic: Boob Jobs, Credit Cards, And The Quest For Perfection

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Summary Review - American Plastic: Boob Jobs, Credit Cards, and the Quest for Perfection


The title of the book selected for summarization and review is American Plastic: Boob Jobs, Credit Cards, and the Quest for Perfection, by Laurie Essig; a sociology teacher at Middlebury College in Middlebury, Vermont. The book has no editors listed and has a total of three sections; each of which is divided into further sub-sections. The book has 240 pages and was published in 2010 by Beacon Press, located in Massachusetts. This paper will present an elaborate summary of the book - followed by a critical reaction towards the assertions made by the author in the book.

Content Summary

The book is divided into three parts. In the first part, the author begins by shedding light on the background and the history of cosmetic surgery. The author uses the terms plastics to describe people who are discontent with their appearance and choose to undergo plastic surgery for cosmetic purposes (Essig). In doing so, the author gives special attention to the frame of mind that leads people to consider plastic surgery as a viable option and the factors that contributed to the development of this mind-set. In the same vein, the author also gives consideration to the doctors who become involved in cosmetic surgery (Essig). The author gives consideration to the rationale that drives doctors and the events that led to the development of the field of cosmetic surgery and brought it to the point where it stands today.

The author traces back the roots of plastic surgery to when it first became imperative. In doing so, the author asserts that it was the First World War that brought about the need to undergo plastic surgery (Essig). As trench warfare thrived in the First World War, soldiers were fully secure and safe while they fought in battle but their heads were exposed every time they wished to engage in battle. As a result, the face was the most frequently injured/wounded part of the human body (Essig). Broken and damaged noses, scarred faces and worse scenarios were observed during this war, and it was because of the severity of these scenarios that it became necessary for surgeons to concentrate their efforts on reconstructive surgery (Essig).

Soldiers who had damaged facial in battle features were willing to take on the risks that came with reconstructive surgery as a result of their desperation to recover and return to a normal life (Essig). While the time after the First World War was spent in research into major reconstructive surgery, the Second World War further fueled the need for reconstructive surgery; as a result of which reconstructive surgery developed to become safer, faster and more effective. By adopting this frame of reference, the author insists that the damage that these soldiers felt after their battle is the same damage that the people of today undergo psychologically; hence explaining the desire for a respite from the current life that is less than adequate (Essig). People are now willing to ...
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