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Versatile trendy and resilient the global cosmetic surgery industry shows no signs of decline espe- cially with its promises not just of aesthetic improvement but of absolute transformation. Introducing the concept of surface imagination Rachel Hurst discusses the fantasy that a change to the exterior will enhance the interior or that the outside is more signicant because it fashions the inside. Drawing on psychoanalysis feminist theory popular culture the history of medicine and inter- views with women who have undergone cosmetic procedures Hurst explores the tensions between the two primary surfaces of cosmetic surgery the photograph and the skin. The photograph an idealized surface for envisioning the effects of cosmetic surgery allows for speculation and re- touching predictably and without pain. The skin on the other hand is a recalcitrant surface that records the passage of time and heals unpre- dictably. Ultimately Hurst argues the fantasy of surface imagination corroborates the belief that ones body is mutable and controllable and that control over ones body permits control over ones social emotional and mental suffering. Acknowledging the varied experiences and opinions of the patients interviewed but also cri- tiquing the promises made by the industry Surface Imaginations develops an innovative approach to thinking about cosmetic surgical transformations through the seduction of surfaces. Rachel Alpha Johnston Hurst is associate professor of womens and gender studies at St Francis Xavier University. 2 4 M Q U P F A L L 2 0 1 5 C U LT U R A L S T U D I E S G E N D E R S T U D I E S Surface Imaginations Cosmetic Surgery Photography and Skin rachel alpha johnston hurst A meditation on why surfaces are so profound in the contemporary culture of cosmetic surgery. S P E C I F I C AT I O N S November 2015 978-0-7735-4600-4 34.95T CDN 32.95T US 22.99 cloth 6 x 9 248pp 13 photos 2 diagrams 2 tables Ebook available