Every Body is Different: Regulating the Use (and Non-Use) of Cosmetic Surgery, Body Modification and Reproductive Genetic Testing
Griffith Law Review, Vol. 18, No. 2, pp. 503-528, 2009
27 Pages Posted: 26 May 2010 Last revised: 27 Jul 2010
Date Written: 2009
This article explores the various ways in which the surgical and reproductive choices of individuals are controlled by the state through a comparative examination of the socio-legal regulation of the use (and non-use) of cosmetic surgery, body modification and the genetic testing of embryos and fetuses. To this end, this article draws predominantly upon critical disability studies as well as feminist discourses to reveal how some surgical and reproductive choices, such as the decision to use cosmetic enhancement surgery or screen for embryonic and fetal disabilities, are validated by the state because they are geared towards promoting socio-culturally acceptable forms of embodiment whereas other choices, such as the decision to voluntarily amputate a healthy limb or seek to implant embryos with genetic abnormalities, are rendered illegitimate and even illegal because they are conceptualized as giving rise to transgressive embodiment.
Keywords: body marking, disability, reproduction, genetic testing
JEL Classification: K10, K30, K32
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation