3_Medicalization and Racial Features - Kaw

3_Medicalization and Racial Features - Kaw - MEDICALIZATION...

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MEDICALIZATION OF RACIAL FEATURES Americans, and Asian Americans (Rosenthal 1991b). Not surprisingly, within every racial group, women still constitute the overwhelming majority of cosmetic surgery patients, an indication that women are still expected to identify with their bodies in U.S. society today, just as they have across cultures throughout much of human history (Turner 1987:85).' The types of cosmetic surgery sought by women in the United States are racially specific. Like most white women, Asian American women who undergo cosmetic surgery are motivated by the need to look their best as women. White women, however, usually opt for liposuction, breast augmentation, or wrinkle removal procedures, whereas Asian American women most often request "dou- ble-eyelid" surgery, whereby folds of skin are excised from across their upper eyelids to create a crease above each eye that makes the eyes look wider. Also frequently requested is surgical sculpting of the nose tip to create a more chiseled
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