Building peace in the minds of men and women

The New body shop

The cultural corsets confining our views of the human body no longer fit in a world engulfed by Aids and global advertising. From the former freedom fighter in South Africa to the Tokyo fashion victim, individuals are struggling to redefine what it means to be a “real” man or woman. Each advance in the operating theatre brings us closer to the dream of physical transformation—the promise and curse of modernity. Aspiring beauty queens flock to Venezuela’s cosmetic surgeons while Indian peasants sell their kidneys to make ends meet. Meanwhile, cyberpunks slip computer chips under their skin, anticipating the next leap in evolution.

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July - August 2001