Skip to main content

Distributed for Reaktion Books

Making the Cut

How Cosmetic Surgery is Transforming Our Lives

Distributed for Reaktion Books

Making the Cut

How Cosmetic Surgery is Transforming Our Lives

From London to New York, Madrid to Melbourne, Singapore to Tehran, the demand for cosmetic surgery is soaring. Botox injections, collagen fillers, breast implants, microdermabrasion, mini face-lifts: extreme reinvention is all the rage. For better or worse, ours is the era of cosmetic surgical culture.
In this captivating book, which draws upon research conducted in Europe, America and Australasia, social commentator Anthony Elliott investigates the rise and rise of cosmetic surgery, lucidly reviewing recent developments in celebrity culture and the consumer industries, which many argue are responsible for the popularity of cosmetic and surgical forms of extreme reinvention. Yet it is not just cultural forces advancing the makeover industries: Elliott shows that cosmetic surgical culture has become increasingly global in our own time as a result of major institutional changes dominating public life in Western societies. He provocatively argues that personal vulnerabilities have reached the point where people turn to surgical culture in an effort to reinvent themselves and improve their life prospects
Making the Cut paints a disturbing social portrait of a global culture held in thrall to immediacy, where cosmetic surgical enhancements of the body are fundamental to new forms of self-design and self-improvement.

196 pages | 5 halftones | 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 | © 2008


Reaktion Books image

View all books from Reaktion Books


"Elliott makes a lot of interesting points and connections between the ’desires’ of the individual and the needs of the global economy (newer, thinner, faster) and how those things are being carved into our flesh. Indeed, while reading it, you can’t but think you are watching the birth of an ’expert.’ . . . His mind works in intriguing ways."

Mary McNamara | Los Angeles Times

Table of Contents

1   Drastic Plastic: The Rise of Cosmetic Surgical Culture
2   Celebrity Obsession: Fame, Fortune and Faking It
3   Want-Now Consumerism: Immediate Transformation, Instant Obsolescence
4   Making the Cut: Cosmetic Surgical Culture in the Global Electronic Economy
Photo Acknowledgements

Be the first to know

Get the latest updates on new releases, special offers, and media highlights when you subscribe to our email lists!

Sign up here for updates about the Press