The article “plastic fantastic” has two pages. At the first glance, what catches my eyes is the illustration accompanied. It occupied half of the space, the rest of them are text. This indicates the importance of both picture and text is equal. In the illustration at left-handed page, there is a breast spurts out some nauseated green liquid signifies the lousiness of man-made breast. We all know that green liquid symbolizes putrescence. There are dozens of capsules that signifies the sickness of drug use to make beauty.
And those death’s-heads remain us that plastic surgery is always having the risk of death. To enhance the sex attraction, the illustrator draw another bare woman who has a pair of plump breast with two lip markings imprinted on each of them. Interesting enough, the size and shape of these two markings are exactly the same with the woman’s own lip. It connotes that this woman is so loved with her perfect breasts that even she is bursting to kiss it.
This connotation in fact ulteriorly puffs that plastic surgery can make you dream comes true, it can increase self-confidence.
Finally, there is a classical blue coloured picture at the right bottom of the whole illustration, which quite strikes the eye, as the style doesn’t match with the whole image. It is a picture shows a girl looking into the mirror and combing her hair. Readers can only see her face through the mirror; this signifies nobody knows what does she really looks like.
What she looks like in the mirror is only a shadowy image, just like those artificial belles, it connotes inauthenticity. The mirror, a signifier, signified a supernatural technology-plastic surgery, which could make you become your most desired looking.
“Plastic fantastic” is one of many articles about plastic surgery in Plup magazine for the extreme makeover issue Feb/Mar 2004. Seems this issue made a great effort to ‘introducing’ artificial beauties such as face-lift, and breast enlargement, etc. Although many of those articles seem quite resent plastic surgery, but readers are active decoders who do not always accept the encoded meanings within the text (Shuchi Kothari – Question the Audiences). Different people have different reaction after reading.
Some of them had no ability to make their own meanings, so they just accept whatever the author write, thus, the massages are ‘inject’ into their brains. I noticed that the author of ‘Plastic fantastic’ used many verbs such as ‘slice, dice, and cut’, and these words are in relation to the illustration above the text: a human body is divided into many pieces with numbers labeled, and a serious looking surgeon who is injecting something in to a woman’s arm. They signified horror. Some brain washed reader may simply open wide their eyes and say: “oh my god, that’s terrified!
” But there are readers who think it is cool, who think it is worthy to sacrifice their body in order to become a perfect looking super star. “The media may have shaped our identities more profoundly at the deep structural level of consciousness and memory”(Luke Goode & Nabeel Zuberi-Identity). That is: the “toxic media deluge” (words referenced from Plastic fantastic) has already build in our mind in recent years through televisions, Hollywood movies, and magazines! The media made plastic surgery become a culture, a general social phenomenon.
Besides, if people choose to read the same magazine, they are a group of people with similar interests. Personally I believe there are more Pulp’s readers who interest at what the fantastic result they can get after a plastic surgery rather than paying attention to the author’s disgruntled nonsense about how shame that you don’t even want to be yourself. That’s what most today’s so-called fashionable people’s reaction; they were coerced into being blown along with the main stream in this superficial media world.
Otherwise how could they enjoy a magazine full of ads and whimsical illustrations? Because they all love to follow the fashion trend, and I am sure most of them were quite curious when they saw the content which most about plastic surgery. That’s the selling point! Despite how strong the ‘legitimate’ article “plastic fantastic” opposes people to get a plastic surgery, it still outlined many truly Cinderella-like experiences, and it mentioned some famous celebrities who look so glamorous now, because they all had certain kind of surgeries before.
So, what is the purpose to put such an article in such a magazine? The above analyses allow me to draw a conclusion: the article itself is actually an in disguised form of advertising of plastic surgery industry. 1088 words 2.
Bibliography Luke Goode & Nabeel Zuberi-media studies: switching on Shuchi Kothari – Question the Audiences Pulp magazine P17 3 1 QizhenZhu ID:3652143.
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