Lost and Found Virginity: A Critical Look to the Reappearing Hymen in Consumer Culture

Kayıp Bekâreti Bulmak Üzerine: Tüketim Kültüründe Nükseden Kızlık Zarına Eleştirel Bir Bakış

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Although body modification is not a new phenomenon, hymenoplasty (the surgical restoration of the hymen), can be regarded as a new arena of struggle for the domination on the female body. Intact hymen as a sign of “purity” is a powerful phenomenon that gathers many cultural practices and reconstruction of it opens up novel discussions on the old established idea of virginity. This article focuses on how the presence of hymen as a proof of virginity, is commercialized and gains an exchange value via the domain of cosmetic/plastic surgery clinics and recently marketed non-surgical artificial hymen products. Advertisements of products that create the illusion of virginity and both the empowering and disempowering discourse around hymenoplasty are taken into consideration. Having in mind Jean Baudrillard’s (1981) critique of usevalue, Stuart Hall’s (1973) conceptualization of the polysemic nature of a sign and Michel de Certeau’s (1994) ideas on everday life, advertisement
texts and products are analyzed basing on the literature on consumer culture.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)97,122
Number of pages26
JournalGalatasaray Üniversitesi İleti-ş-im Dergisi
Issue number23
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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cosmetics
domination
restoration
surgery
reconstruction
discourse
literature

Cite this

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title = "Lost and Found Virginity: A Critical Look to the Reappearing Hymen in Consumer Culture: Kayıp Bek{\^a}reti Bulmak {\"U}zerine: Tüketim Kültüründe Nükseden Kızlık Zarına Eleştirel Bir Bakış",
abstract = "Although body modification is not a new phenomenon, hymenoplasty (the surgical restoration of the hymen), can be regarded as a new arena of struggle for the domination on the female body. Intact hymen as a sign of “purity” is a powerful phenomenon that gathers many cultural practices and reconstruction of it opens up novel discussions on the old established idea of virginity. This article focuses on how the presence of hymen as a proof of virginity, is commercialized and gains an exchange value via the domain of cosmetic/plastic surgery clinics and recently marketed non-surgical artificial hymen products. Advertisements of products that create the illusion of virginity and both the empowering and disempowering discourse around hymenoplasty are taken into consideration. Having in mind Jean Baudrillard’s (1981) critique of usevalue, Stuart Hall’s (1973) conceptualization of the polysemic nature of a sign and Michel de Certeau’s (1994) ideas on everday life, advertisementtexts and products are analyzed basing on the literature on consumer culture.",
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