chapter  6
Copies without originals: Envy and the maternal body
Pages 17

Diana has had quite major facial cosmetic surgery. This affecting account of her experience highlights, in her own words, the unconscious phantasy that fuels the pursuit of body modi®cation in some patients. She underlines, twice, the pleasure she gained from not telling her mother what she was going to do ± a strategy that ensures the disturbing triumph over her mother (disturbing because it is underpinned by violence towards the object) when she becomes, as she says, `unrecognisable' to her. Becoming unrecognisable to one's own mother must surely rank as one of the worst possible experiences ± for most people. However, Diana's experience points to the fact that the only way she can cope (what she calls `taking control over my life') is to look nothing like her mother, or nothing like how her mother made her, and nothing like the person the mother expects to see.