This chapter explores the history of cosmetic surgery and its intersections with transplants, showing how FAT is both and neither and something else entirely. Through a deep dive into the literature of cosmetic surgery, the chapter maps the discursive terrain on which face transplants have been charted, discussing the rhetoric of facial manipulation in the context of FAT. If the lack of a face is a debilitating medical condition for which a transplant is the cure, what is the difference between that and a more cosmetic intervention—is it a difference of degree or kind? The narrative differentiating the former from the latter, this chapter shows,is one of risk: the risk of the operation and especially of the lifetime on immunosuppressants while living with a new face. But risk is just an excuse that obscures the true source of our objections. After a discussion of the first transplants and their relationship to the birth of bioethics as a field, the chapter explores the first facial reattachment and reactions to it. It moves to fears of identity transfer and cellular memory, tracking the literary and cultural manifestations of these phenomena, thinking about how these concerns impact conceptions of transplant surgeries more broadly.
Chicago Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.
To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.