Although body modification is not a new phenomenon, hymenoplasty (the surgical restoration of the hymen), can be regarded as a new arena of struggle for the domination on the female body. Intact hymen as a sign of “purity” is a powerful phenomenon that gathers many cultural practices and reconstruction of it opens up novel discussions on the old established idea of virginity. This article focuses on how the presence of hymen as a proof of virginity, is commercialized and gains an exchange value via the domain of cosmetic/plastic surgery clinics and recently marketed non-surgical artificial hymen products. Advertisements of products that create the illusion of virginity and both the empowering and disempowering discourse around hymenoplasty are taken into consideration. Having in mind Jean Baudrillard’s (1981) critique of usevalue, Stuart Hall’s (1973) conceptualization of the polysemic nature of a sign and Michel de Certeau’s (1994) ideas on everday life, advertisement texts and products are analyzed basing on the literature on consumer culture.
keywords: hymen, hymenoplasty, virginity, consumption culture
|Publication Date||December 30, 2015|
|Published in Issue||Year 2015, Volume , Issue 23|