Edited by Tommaso M. Milani
[Linguistic Landscape 4:3] 2018
► pp. 298–319
Commodification of women’s breasts
Internet sites as modes of delivery to local and transnational audiences
Cosmetic surgery has become a widespread phenomenon in the last decades, especially in Colombia where a large number of women undergo it every year. This surgical boom is reflected in several Linguistic Landscape resources including the internet, where a growing number of cosmetic surgery centers advertise their procedures. Particularly common among these procedures is breast augmentation, which many Colombian women have at a young age. This article reports on a study which drew on critical linguistic landscape and feminist theories to explore how local cosmetic surgery websites contribute to the commodification of women’s breasts, and its implications for users of these websites. Data collected for this study included text and images from 12 local websites advertising cosmetic surgery in Colombia, including breast augmentation. Data analysis showed that these websites contributed to the commodification of women’s bodies by using a series of ideological mechanisms. Implications for users of these public spaces include asking critical questions about these websites and becoming more socially active in their consumption.
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