I think there has been a backlash against the total transformation when people wanted to have everything done head to toe... There are too many bad surgical results walking aroundAt the risk of sounding as if I know more than a plastic surgery consultant, I think the idea that the plastic body is passe is merely wishful thinking. The desire for surgical bodies is still there, it just may be going elsewhere. In other words, as budgets get tighter, many Americans are turning to cheaper alternatives than the ones being caught in this survey. The survey is from the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, an organization that certifies cosmetic surgeons. But US healthcare, as we all know, is more or less unregulated. Anyone with an MD can perform cosmetic surgery- your dentist, your gyno. As Americans look for ways to cut corners and save money, they are far less likely to go to the more expensive board certified surgeons. Also, more and more Americans are using “surgical tourism” sites to find cheaper boob jobs in the Dominican Republic or Thailand. What can easily cost $8000 in the US can be half that price, including airfare and a “vacation,” somewhere else. Even within the US, Americans from more pricey states in the Northeast are traveling to less expensive states in the South to save some money on their breasts. Finally, there are thriving black markets in cosmetic procedures in every major city in the US. My point here is that the plastic body is not passe. And I’m not just saying that because my book, American Plastic, will be published this year. I”m saying it because the plastic body, invented at the birth of consumer capitalism, is central to what it means to be “modern.” Modernity demands that we work on ourselves, seek a better version of ourselves, and buy products to make ourselves more like the unattainable ideals that float through our cultural consciousness. Of course none of this is preordained by the gods, but as long as consumer capitalism can make billions of dollars selling us bodily insecurities and the products that promise to make us feel relief from them, the modern body will remain plastic. Cosmetic procedures, gyms, make-up, and fashion will promise us perfection as we empty our wallets in pursuit of peace with our embodied selves.