Monday, April 19, 2010

It was a sunny day today

Things that happened to me today:

-- I got in a pseudo-argument with a guy in my Law, Science, and Society class about whether or not FGM is analogous to plastic surgery. He tried to tell me that most of the plastic surgery done in this country is to fix people's hideous disfigurements that would otherwise leave them ostracized from society. I told him that while I didn't have numbers, I was absolutely sure that I was right. After growing up in Southern California, moving to New York, and being rather fluent in the culture of the American television industry, I probably overestimate the number of people on the planet who have undergone cosmetic surgery. But I am not naive enough to think that there are enough hideous scars on the planet to pay for the kinds of cars that populate a cosmetic surgeon's office parking lot (besides, those people just build lairs under the Paris opera house, or are secretly Gerard Butler).

Sure enough, when I looked it up, of all plastic surgery done in 2008, 12 million surgeries were cosmetic and 4.5 million were reconstructive. More interesting perhaps, of hte cosmetic surgeries, over 5 million were Botox. Breast augmentations are the most common invasive surgeries at just over 300,000. Of reconstructive surgeries, 3.8 million of the 4.5 million were tumor removals. Only 160,000 were scar revision (full report but the American Society of Plastic Surgeons here). Booya. It is interesting to me that more people get poison pumped into their faces than get tumors removed from their bodies.

I won't say much on the subject of FGM, mostly because the jury is still out for me (read this if you are flabbergasted as to why I would say such a thing). On the one hand, I certainly wouldn't want it done to me. One of the major issues, and the reason I was arguing it's nothing like plastic surgery in this country is the lack of consent before the procedure. But then again, there is a sort-of generation-gap of consent in that mothers consent for their daughters up to 95% of the time after going through the process themselves. There is also an argument to be made for "consent" being irrelevant when it is something that you have to do in order to become a full member of a society. Not to mention arguing the consent angle begs the question of male circumcision in this society, which is certainly not consent-based. Nor would talk of banning it be legitimately heard. So, onward and beyondward with things from today.

-- I went to the doctor to see why I felt like my uterus was going to explode during both of my races this weekend (I've ticked off "DNF" to my series of humiliations for the season. If I get a "crash myself out" I've got bingo). She told me that I was probably fine and perhaps I should get more electrolytes. But do her a favor and try avoiding dairy for a couple of days. Three hours later, as the first spoonful of my Monday fro yo hit my lips, I remembered this request. Having already shelled out $2.25, I decided that dairy-free must be starting tomorrow.

-- We talked about blackface in Music Hum. I was appalled at the number of people who had never heard of it or didn't know what it was. Has no one seen the third episode of season three of Mad Men?  It's just shameful. After feeling superior for roughly 4.3 seconds, I learned that blackface theater was the first form of entertainment to be seen by the entire country, because the troupes traveled around the country, rather than just performing locally. This helped to support a growing nationalist spirit in the late 1800's. Basically, it was the American Idol of Reconstruction. The question is, did Geib not tell me this, or was I not paying attention? I refuse to believe that Bailey could have failed me. Perhaps I forgot.

-- Backstreet Boys were playing in Duane Reade. I walked out significantly happier than I walked in.

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