Two young women dead thanks to the fetishisation of female body parts
British woman Claudia Aderotimi was only 20 when she died last week after travelling to the US for a procedure to give her a bigger ‘booty’. She paid more than £1000 ($1600 AUD) for silicone injections to give her the look she thought would help score a part in music video clips. She’d auditioned before, and failed.
The practitioner used industrial silicone. Think sealant designed for plumbing kitchens and bathrooms. This noxious substance was injected into a vein, in error.
Claudia Aderotimi flew to Philadelphia for a cut-rate bottom enhancement in a hotel near the airport in an effort to conform to pornified ideals of women’s backsides, increasingly featured in music video clips.
The silicone injection was apparently a ‘top-up’ to a procedure carried out last November. It was arranged online and performed by a practitioner believe to be lacking qualifications.
Last Monday she developed chest pains and was taken to hospital where she died 24 hours later from a suspected a blood clot in the lung believe to be caused by the silicone entering her bloodstream.
It’s not the first time women have been harmed from the use of cheap industrial silicone. Here’s a report about how other women were made gravely ill as a result.
Susannah Frankel observes that we fetishise the female form and then condemn the wish to improve it. She writes:
Of course, anyone with more than a passing interest in body image will know that the roundness of rump that Aderotimi aspired to is no more easily achievable than the ideal of extreme slenderness that is still more widely upheld by the media – unless, of course, one is born in possession of either. Times may be changing – it is reported that buttock implants are almost as much in demand as breast augmentation – but the emotional impulse that lies beneath the desire to change one’s body in any shape or form remains the same. And so, after years of women the world over wondering “does my bum look big in this?”, will they now be asking: “Does it look big enough?” And if anyone were ever likely to miss the cruel irony that lies at the heart of this, then Aderotimi’s story has driven it home.
But some women shouldn’t have bums at all
But of course it has to be the right kind of ‘big’ – not the ‘wrong’ kind used by the weight-loss industry to shame women into buying its products. Have a look at this add (left) seen in a Melbourne shopping mall last week (thank to Catherine Manning for forwarding).
“No hips or butts”
Apparently OptiSlim’s meal replacements will magically transform the woman on the left into the woman on the right and give her that nice, tight, pert, rounded backside so necessary to be an acceptable woman and to complete and utter happiness in life.
While OptiSlim doesn’t involve knives or needles, the female body is still broken down into problematic parts (hips, butts) which need to be transformed.
Carolin dead after sixth breast enlargement: male fans pay tribute – to her breasts.
Claudia’s death came after another woman of similar age also had her life cut short while trying to super-size her breasts. German porn actress Carolin Berger, better known as ‘Sexy Cora’, dead at 23.
Carolin Berger, who weighed a mere 46 kilos, wanted to fill a size 34G cup. During the operation by two US surgeons (do these people ever say no?) she suffered a brain hemorrhage and was put into an induced coma where she lay for nine days before dying. Sky News reported:
She went under the knife for the last time at the Alster Clinic and was having 800g (28oz) of silicon injected into each breast. But her heart stopped beating during the operation. She suffered brain damage and was put into an induced coma. Cora’s husband Tim Wosnitza remarked, “The doctors told me that she wouldn’t make it. The brain damage was too big.”
The writer at this site described the dead woman as greedy.
The stand-out feature of her death was not the actions of the doctors whose negligence during the attempt to turn her into a human freak show allegedly killed her. It was the emphasis on her breasts.
Here’s how our own News.com reported it
“Busty Big Brother porn star dies after breast op: A BUSTY Big Brother star who got viewers in a lather when she soaped up other housemates’ boobs has died after a breast enlargement op went wrong.”
The author of a piece titled ‘No Immunity in Death for sexual objectification’ on the blog ‘Against all Evidence’, writes powerfully about media and porn consumers representations of Carolin.
Basically every mainstream headline about her death involves the words ‘porn star’ or ‘sexy’, and few use her non-porn-industry name. A couple examples: “‘Sexy Cora’ Dead: Porn Star Dies After Sixth Breast Operation” . . . “Porn Star Dead After Breast Surgery”
She cites a post on a forum eulogising ‘Sexy Cora’ for dying in the line of duty:
She’s a hero. She died doing something awesome to an extent that most people wouldn’t dream of. She’s like a cop that died saving a bus full of babies and puppies by pushing it through the wall of a burning building.
Her death is a tragedy because it lessens the pool of new pornographic images of women with grotesque silicone mounds where there natural breasts once were, for men like him to enjoy.
Jill, writing here, extrapolates:
Porn stars are not human beings, they are a brand of consumer sex receptacle. Thus are the dimensions of Berger’s breasts, both pre- and post-op, more germane to the announcement of her death than, apparently, the detail… that her surgeon-butchers are now up on negligent homicide charges. To find out about that, you have to go to CBS News’ lurid true crime website, where Berger’s humanity is of little importance compared to her value as a sensationalized dead TV slut. If you doubt this, you have only to observe the 38-page wealth of “Sexy Cora” images available in a CBS online photo gallery, and compare it to the amount of CBS discourse relating to Berger as a human person (barely any), or to the instances of broader CBS discussion of the murderous effects of institutionalized misogyny on the quest for human enlightenment (zilch-o).
She says Carolin died because of “rigorous adherence to deeply internalized pornographic beauty standards.”
Claudia and Carolin were real women whose lives were needlessly sacrificied in pursuit of a goal inspired by pornographic fantasises about what constitues a sexy woman. But all women and girls are harmed by the message that they are in need of repair, a message becoming so loud that in the end they think of their whole bodies as deformed and in need to correction.