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Skin Deep

Country Available: Canada, USA
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Skin Deep is an intimate, revealing inquiry into the emotional and costly journey taken by an increasing number of women and men who choose to redesign and alter their bodies in pursuit of “beauty”. Procedures such as endoscopic laser resurfacing, rhinoplasty, breast reconstruction, eyelid surgery, and hand reconstruction are broken down into the step-by-step process experienced by each of the real subjects: from going “under the knife” to coming to terms with a new look.

Skin Deep seeks to understand both the personal and societal reasons these people, like millions of others, are driven to undergo these transformations. It is an extremely personal process that ultimately changes them for the rest of their lives. The series introduces us to many ordinary people who alter their lives significantly, including a nurse, a government clerk, a doctor, a high profile TV sportscaster, and many others.

Cosmetic surgery, our key mode of physical transformation, alters our appearance, which then alters the way we see ourselves, creating an endless spiral. Millions of people have spent billions of dollars to enlarge, shrink, and otherwise alter their body parts. Plastic surgery embraces self-enhancement, prejudice, greed, submission, and opportunity. Most patients are female, Caucasian baby-boomers, but Skin Deep profiles both men and women as they seek to look younger, enhance workplace status, and generally change their bodies and their futures.

Competition for the procedures has become so intense and the surgery so lucrative, that more doctors without specific surgical training are getting into the aesthetic surgery business. Many advertise that they are “board certified” without explaining that the board may not be recognized by established medical societies. No matter the surgeon, there are risks associated with elective surgeryand the numbers of complications and deaths are climbing.

Skin Deep explores safety, motivation, cost and other issues surrounding plastic surgery. This kind of surgery is meeting growing acceptance as more and more people opt for the procedures, but by emphasizing the importance of appearance, cosmetic surgery raises serious concerns about how society views such intractable problems as aging, gender and raceand about how we view ourselves.

Skin Deep examines these and other timely issues by looking at the growing use of cosmetic surgery around the world.

View a printer friendly version of this page...Copyright Date: 2002 Library Audience:
  • General Interest
  • School Audience:
  • Grades 10 - 12
  • Post-Secondary Education
  • Subjects:
  • Social Studies
  • Formats Available:
  • VHS Tape
  • DVD
  • Title Availability
     Bilateral Artificial Eye Fitting  USA, Canada
     Bow Correction & Leg Extensions  USA, Canada
     Cleft Palate Reconstruction  USA, Canada
     Double Mastectomy and Breast Reconstruction  USA, Canada
     Endoscopic Laser Resurfacing  USA, Canada
     Eyelid Surgery  USA, Canada
     Hand Reconstruction  USA, Canada
     Jaw Reconstruction / Male Breast Reduction  USA, Canada
     Laser Resurfacing / Acupuncture  USA, Canada
     Rhinoplasty  USA, Canada
     Scalp Reconstruction  USA, Canada