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Scarred for Life: Women's Creative Self-Journeys through Stigmatised Embodiment

Scarred for Life: Women's Creative Self-Journeys through Stigmatised Embodiment <jats:p> A recent advertising campaign for a product named Bio-Oil promises to restore women's ‘natural’ (that is, hetero) femininity – their attractiveness, desirability and self-confidence – through eradicating scars which are posited as detrimental to a fully functioning life as a woman. In this paper I draw on my research with three women who experience stigmatised embodiment as a result of the scars of self-injury alongside my own experience of (primarily) medically-inflicted scarring to challenge the imperative to normative gendered embodiment which are promoted by this product. I use feminist and queer approaches to embodiment, difference and The Human to critique the normative, gendered body-self ideals which are perpetuated in the Bio-Oil advert and which also reflect the broader normalising projects of bio-medicine in terms of gender, sexuality and disability. I go on to apply this queer, feminist and embodied approach to a research ethic through which I explore three women's experiences of stigmatised embodiment and the alternative journeys they have made using creative practices to develop an embodied self beyond normative and stigmatising ideals. These experiences further emphasise the ways in which normalising body projects only further fragment and alienate an already socially problematised self, while the women's individual, creative reflections of their unique corporeality and its history offer a more coherent and productive identity (in each woman's individual terms).This creative ethos is also mirrored in the empirical orientation of this paper, in which I aim towards an experiential and affective methodology which invites readers to engage in an intimate dialogue with stigmatised bodies/selves (including my own) and to experience the alternative possibilities that working with and through (rather than normalising and eradicating) stigmatised embodiment can offer. </jats:p> http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Somatechnics Edinburgh University Press

Scarred for Life: Women's Creative Self-Journeys through Stigmatised Embodiment

Somatechnics , Volume 1 (2): 315 – Sep 1, 2011

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Publisher
Edinburgh University Press
Copyright
© Edinburgh University Press
Subject
Articles; Film, Media and Cultural Studies
ISSN
2044-0138
eISSN
2044-0146
DOI
10.3366/soma.2011.0022
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

<jats:p> A recent advertising campaign for a product named Bio-Oil promises to restore women's ‘natural’ (that is, hetero) femininity – their attractiveness, desirability and self-confidence – through eradicating scars which are posited as detrimental to a fully functioning life as a woman. In this paper I draw on my research with three women who experience stigmatised embodiment as a result of the scars of self-injury alongside my own experience of (primarily) medically-inflicted scarring to challenge the imperative to normative gendered embodiment which are promoted by this product. I use feminist and queer approaches to embodiment, difference and The Human to critique the normative, gendered body-self ideals which are perpetuated in the Bio-Oil advert and which also reflect the broader normalising projects of bio-medicine in terms of gender, sexuality and disability. I go on to apply this queer, feminist and embodied approach to a research ethic through which I explore three women's experiences of stigmatised embodiment and the alternative journeys they have made using creative practices to develop an embodied self beyond normative and stigmatising ideals. These experiences further emphasise the ways in which normalising body projects only further fragment and alienate an already socially problematised self, while the women's individual, creative reflections of their unique corporeality and its history offer a more coherent and productive identity (in each woman's individual terms).This creative ethos is also mirrored in the empirical orientation of this paper, in which I aim towards an experiential and affective methodology which invites readers to engage in an intimate dialogue with stigmatised bodies/selves (including my own) and to experience the alternative possibilities that working with and through (rather than normalising and eradicating) stigmatised embodiment can offer. </jats:p>

Journal

SomatechnicsEdinburgh University Press

Published: Sep 1, 2011

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