Practice Makes Perfect: How medicine promotes the pathologisation of ugliness

  • Yves Aquino (Speaker)

Activity: Talk or presentationPresentation


Abstract: The broad aim of my doctoral thesis is to investigate the ethical implications of medicalising norms of beauty. Medicalisation may result from the entanglement of biological and sociocultural norms, which promotes the belief that a healthy body is a beautiful body (and vice versa). With the popularity of medical and surgical aesthetic procedures, the simultaneous pursuit of the health and beauty ideals tend to reframe beauty concerns as medical problems. To a certain extent, medical reframing of beauty concerns often leads to pathologisation of ugliness. Pathologisation of the ugly can occur in various ways: Ugliness can be associated with psychosocial problems, it can be depicted akin to disability, or it can be defined as disease or disorder. The claim that medicine promotes the pathologisation of ugliness requires an interdisciplinary research since judgments about beauty and ugliness are often influenced by the intersection of various social identities that include gender, race and social class. Although primarily a philosophical project, my research draws from fields of evolutionary biology, sociology, anthropology and medicine in order to offer an ethical critique of medical practices that pathologise ugliness.
Period12 Oct 2017
Event titleMedical Humanities Seminar
Event typeSeminar
LocationSydney, AustraliaShow on map
Degree of RecognitionLocal