Against the background of the so-called ’obesity epidemic’, Media and the Rhetoric of Body Perfection critically examines the discourses of physical perfection that pervade Western societies, shedding new light on the rhetorical forces behind body anxieties and extreme methods of weight loss and beautification. Drawing on rich interview material with cosmetic surgery patients and offering fresh analyses of various texts from popular culture, including internationally-screened reality-television shows including The Biggest Loser, Extreme Makeover and The Swan as well as entertainment programs and documentaries, this book examines the ways in which Western media capitalize on body anxiety by presenting physical perfection as a moral imperative, while advertising quick and effective transformation methods to erase physical imperfections. With attention to contemporary lines of resistance to standards of thinness and attempts to redefine conceptions of beauty, Media and the Rhetoric of Body Perfection will appeal to scholars and students of popular culture, television, media and cultural studies, as well as the sociology of the body, feminist thought, body transformation and cosmetic surgery.

chapter Chapter 1|26 pages

Survival of the Fittest

chapter Chapter 2|26 pages

Mass Media and the Perfection Market

chapter Chapter 3|24 pages

Reality Television Transformation

chapter |4 pages