Get access

Women and the Knife: Cosmetic Surgery and the Colonization of Women's Bodies


  • Kathryn Pauly Morgan


The paper identifies the phenomenal rise of increasingly invasive forms of elective cosmetic surgery targeted primarily at women and explores its significance in the context of contemporary biotechnology. A Foucauldian analysis of the significance of the normalization of technologized women's bodies is argued for. Three “Paradoxes of Choice” affecting women who “elect” cosmetic surgery are examined. Finally, two Utopian feminist political responses are discussed: a Response of Refusal and a Response of Appropriation.

Get access to the full text of this article