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Lost and Found Virginity: A Critical Look to the “Reappearing Hymen” in Consumer Culture

Year 2015, Volume , Issue 23, 97 - 111, 30.12.2015
https://doi.org/10.16878/gsuilet.285315

Abstract

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

References

  • BAUDRILLARD Jean (1981), “The Ideological Genesis of Needs”, For a Critique of the Political Economy of the Sign, Telos Press Publishing.
  • BARTHES Roland (1957), Mythologies, Trans, Annette Lavers, New York The Noonday Press.
  • CARPENTER Laura (2002), “Gender and the Meaning and Experience of Virginity Loss in the Contemporary the United States”, Gender and Society, Vol. 16, No. 3, Sage Publications pp. 345-365.
  • DE CERTEAU Michel (1994), The Practice of Everyday Life, Trans. Steven Rendall, Berkeley, University of California Press.
  • DRIVER Martha (2004), Sid Ray in The Medieval Hero on Screen: Representations from Beowulf to Buffy, McFarland & Company.
  • HALL Stuart (1973), “Encoding Decoding” Culture, Media, Language: Working Papers in Cultural Studies, London, Hutchinson, pp. 128-138.
  • RUGGI Suzanne (1998), “Commodifying Honor in Female Sexuality: Honor Killings in Palestine” Middle East Report: Power and Sexuality in the Middle East, No. 206, pp. 12-15, Middle East Research and Information Project.
  • SCHLEGEL Alice (1991), “Status, Property, and the Value on Virginity” American Ethnologist, Vol. 18, No. 4, Blackwell Publishing, pp. 719-734.
  • SU Ao-Jan, HU Charlie, KUZMANOVIC Aleksandar, KOH Ceng-Kok (2010), “How to Improve Your Google Ranking: Myths and Reality” Web Intelligence and Intelligent Agent Technology (WI-IAT), 2010 IEEE/WIC/ACM International Conference, Vol.1, pp. 50-57.
  • TOUARTI Christina (2007), Representation of Cosmetic Surgery in Women’s Magazines, Thesis submitted to Kent State University.

Year 2015, Volume , Issue 23, 97 - 111, 30.12.2015
https://doi.org/10.16878/gsuilet.285315

Abstract

References

  • BAUDRILLARD Jean (1981), “The Ideological Genesis of Needs”, For a Critique of the Political Economy of the Sign, Telos Press Publishing.
  • BARTHES Roland (1957), Mythologies, Trans, Annette Lavers, New York The Noonday Press.
  • CARPENTER Laura (2002), “Gender and the Meaning and Experience of Virginity Loss in the Contemporary the United States”, Gender and Society, Vol. 16, No. 3, Sage Publications pp. 345-365.
  • DE CERTEAU Michel (1994), The Practice of Everyday Life, Trans. Steven Rendall, Berkeley, University of California Press.
  • DRIVER Martha (2004), Sid Ray in The Medieval Hero on Screen: Representations from Beowulf to Buffy, McFarland & Company.
  • HALL Stuart (1973), “Encoding Decoding” Culture, Media, Language: Working Papers in Cultural Studies, London, Hutchinson, pp. 128-138.
  • RUGGI Suzanne (1998), “Commodifying Honor in Female Sexuality: Honor Killings in Palestine” Middle East Report: Power and Sexuality in the Middle East, No. 206, pp. 12-15, Middle East Research and Information Project.
  • SCHLEGEL Alice (1991), “Status, Property, and the Value on Virginity” American Ethnologist, Vol. 18, No. 4, Blackwell Publishing, pp. 719-734.
  • SU Ao-Jan, HU Charlie, KUZMANOVIC Aleksandar, KOH Ceng-Kok (2010), “How to Improve Your Google Ranking: Myths and Reality” Web Intelligence and Intelligent Agent Technology (WI-IAT), 2010 IEEE/WIC/ACM International Conference, Vol.1, pp. 50-57.
  • TOUARTI Christina (2007), Representation of Cosmetic Surgery in Women’s Magazines, Thesis submitted to Kent State University.

Details

Journal Section Articles
Authors

Pelin AYTEMİZ This is me

Publication Date December 30, 2015
Published in Issue Year 2015, Volume , Issue 23

Cite

APA Aytemiz, P. (2015). Lost and Found Virginity: A Critical Look to the “Reappearing Hymen” in Consumer Culture . Galatasaray Üniversitesi İletişim Dergisi , (23) , 97-111 . DOI: 10.16878/gsuilet.285315

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