Blog | Events | Multimedia | About | Purpose | Programs | Publications | Staff | Contact | Join   
     Login      Register    

Support the IEET

The IEET is a 501(c)3 non-profit, tax-exempt organization registered in the State of Connecticut in the United States. Please give as you are able, and help support our work for a brighter future.

Search the IEET
Subscribe to: Monthly newsletter Daily news feed Blog feeds Twitter IEET Wiki

Technoprogressive? BioConservative? Huh?
Quick overview of biopolitical points of view

whats new at ieet

How I help transgender teens become who they want to be

Science and Democracy

National Geographic Investigates the Future of Food

Lucy Movie (2014)

War Is Good for Us, Dumb New Book Claims

Will sex workers be replaced by robots? (A Precis)

ieet books

Between Ape and Artilect: Conversations with Pioneers of AGI and Other Transformative Technologies
by Ben Goertzel ed.


rmk948 on 'Is the US an Oligarchy? Not So Fast.' (Apr 19, 2014)

Rick Searle on 'War and Human Evolution' (Apr 19, 2014)

CygnusX1 on 'War and Human Evolution' (Apr 19, 2014)

Peter Wicks on 'Social Futurist revolution & the Zero State' (Apr 19, 2014)

Rick Searle on 'War Is Good for Us, Dumb New Book Claims' (Apr 18, 2014)

Rick Searle on 'How to regain trust in the NSA era: The IGUS Gambit' (Apr 18, 2014)

Rick Searle on 'Social Futurist revolution & the Zero State' (Apr 18, 2014)

Subscribe to IEET News Lists

Daily News Feed

Longevity Dividend List

Catastrophic Risks List

Biopolitics of Popular Culture List

Technoprogressive List

Trans-Spirit List


Sex Work, Technological Unemployment and the Basic Income Guarantee

Technological Unemployment but Still a Lot of Work…

Technological Growth and Unemployment:  A Global Scenario Analysis

Hottest Articles of the Last Month

The Singularity Is Further Than It Appears
Mar 27, 2014
(14960) Hits
(8) Comments

Future of love and sex: monogamy no longer the default, say experts
Mar 30, 2014
(12042) Hits
(3) Comments

Quest for immortality spurs breakthroughs in human-machine merge
Apr 6, 2014
(6293) Hits
(1) Comments

Shape-shifting claytronics: wild future here by 2020, experts say
Mar 24, 2014
(5440) Hits
(2) Comments

IEET > Rights > Disability > Life > Enablement > Vision > Bioculture > Interns > Kristi Scott

Print Email permalink (0) Comments (4845) Hits •  subscribe Share on facebook Stumble This submit to reddit submit to digg

The Baroque Body: The Role of Body Modification in Scott Westerfeld´s Uglies

Kristi Scott
Kristi Scott
Humanity in Cybernetic Environments

Posted: Mar 20, 2010

(with co-author M. Heather Dragoo)  Abstract: As a genre, science fiction provides a uniquely fertile medium from which we can extrapolate the defining characteristics of personhood, explore our future potentials, and project our current selves onto tomorrow. One such example is the Uglies trilogy by Scott Westerfeld.

The series builds on a socially stratified environment, akin to Huxley’s Brave New World, but built around the contemporary surge in popularity of cosmetic surgery instead of a prenatally-determined class system. The world created by Westerfeld suggests that while body modification is for many today an expression of individuality or chosen community, it is creating a new and coercive ‘normal body.’ The extreme and abnormal becomes the norm.

Once extreme body modification measures are adapted, new rogues will push the boundaries again to stand out as individuals. Beauty standards reflect a cycle of rebellion, conformity, and rebellion. Westerfeld’s trifecta of uglies, pretties, and specials are subversive political images targeted at the young, the potential early-adopters of body modification, highly susceptible to peer influence and with considerable disposable income.

Through the Uglies lens, the body is a transformational medium, a social commentary carved with a knife in flesh. Thus, this paper will seek to juxtapose the changing nature of the body with social dynamics from a humanistic perspective.

Download the book that includes this chapter here.

Kristi Scott M.A. is an IEET Affiliate Scholar. Her work centers on the way popular culture presents issues of identity, body modification, cosmetic surgery, and emerging technologies. She has been a freelance writer since 2003 writing for a variety of magazines over the years, most recently as a writer and copy-editor for h+ magazine.
Print Email permalink (0) Comments (4846) Hits •  subscribe Share on facebook Stumble This submit to reddit submit to digg


YOUR COMMENT (IEET's comment policy)

Login or Register to post a comment.

Next entry: If Only We Were Smarter!

Previous entry: Tech Pace Fast, Opposition Uncertain: IEET Readers


RSSIEET Blog | email list | newsletter |
The IEET is a 501(c)3 non-profit, tax-exempt organization registered in the State of Connecticut in the United States.

Contact: Executive Director, Dr. James J. Hughes,
Williams 119, Trinity College, 300 Summit St., Hartford CT 06106 USA 
Email: director @     phone: 860-297-2376