Plastic Surgery, Body Modification and the African American Community

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That’s White People Stuff: Plastic Surgery, Body Modification and the African American Community

That’s White People Stuff: Plastic Surgery, Body Modification and the African American Community Body modification has existed around since the beginning of time. Modifications have generally been used to mark the social position of an individual in a manner visible and recognized by other members of society. That similar modifications are interpreted very differently from one culture to the next is an excellent indication of relativity of ideals of beauty and deformity (Britannica, 2012). Body adornments accenting and decorating kings and queens of tribes, leaders of countries has been documented through history. The topic of body modification has historically been frowned upon by African Americans here in the United States. Body modification is most prevalently seen in African tribesmen and a rite of passage into adulthood among African tribes. In the United States when some African Americans see these people with these alterations and categorize those persons as “out there”, “weird” or simply to say “oh that’s white people’s stuff.” In recent years, plastic surgery has become the more and more prevalent in the African American community. This raises the question of is plastic surgery really “white people’s stuff? This paper will discuss the history of and definition of body modification. This paper will also focus on body modification and the relationship to African-American culture. Lastly this paper will discuss plastic surgery is important , how plastic surgery relates to today’s African American culture and why it should no longer be considered to be “white people’s stuff.” What is Body Modification?

Body modification or body alteration is defined as the deliberate altering of the human body for any non-medical reason, such as aesthetics, sexual enhancement, rite of passage, religious reasons, to display group membership, or affiliation, to...
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