Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “American Plastic: Boob Jobs, Credit Cards, and Our Quest for Perfection” as Want to Read:
American Plastic: Boob Jobs, Credit Cards, and Our Quest for Perfection
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

American Plastic: Boob Jobs, Credit Cards, and Our Quest for Perfection

3.20  ·  Rating Details  ·  35 Ratings  ·  7 Reviews
The riveting story of how cosmetic surgery and plastic money melted together to create a subprime mortgage crisis of the body

Plastic surgery has become “the answer” for many Americans, and inAmerican Plasticsociologist Laurie Essig explores how we arrived at this particular solution. Over the last decade there has been a 465 percent increase in cosmetic work, and we now s
ebook, 0 pages
Published December 28th 2010 by Beacon Press (first published November 16th 2010)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about American Plastic, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about American Plastic

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 81)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Jan 27, 2015 Michaela rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought this was going to be a little meatier than it was but I still enjoyed it for the tidbits garnered. It was interesting that the skills of plastic surgery, particularly facial, were garnered during WWI and then again in WWII. Nor had I ever given thought to how the advent of VCRs brought P*rn into the home and expanded its consumption. It was disgusting to learn how people migrated to plastic surgery to aspire to the profile of those in power (WASP.) It was depressing to read how female ...more
Apr 06, 2011 Tracy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I really wanted to love this book. Essig makes some cogent points in connecting our cultural drive for perfection with debt and cosmetic surgical/nonsurgical procedures, but on the whole it just wasn't as well-argued as it could have been. I also really wanted her to dig in and seek out folks who do or don't seek out cosmetic surgery who are people of color, trans folks, queer folks, low-income folks, and others with marginalized identities. Instead, they were included (if at all) as an aftertho ...more
Jun 02, 2011 Adam rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Adam by: Jayper
Whoa there's a lot here! As much as I enjoyed reading American Plastic, I'm sure I could have gotten so much more out of it had I read it as part of a college course. Good thing I have my brother, a student at Essig's current university, to lecture me on the subject matter!

American Plastic takes a sociological shot at comparing the cosmetic surgery industry to the recent credit collapse. An unlikely, but rather well aligned comparison.

Essig explores the potential reasons for the incredible ballo
Sep 29, 2010 L.J. rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
American Plastic: Boob Jobs, Credit Cards, and Our Quest for Perfection
Laurie Essig, Beacon, $26.95 (240p) ISBN 978-0-8070-0055-7

Essig, assistant professor of sociology at Middlebury College, argues that our national obsession with plastic money and plastic surgery is more than a cultural fad; it's a capitalist conspiracy engineered to persuade Americans that problems of economic insecurity, downward mobility, and lack of opportunity for the poor can be solved by consumption. Essig posits that
Apr 12, 2013 Anne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars

The blurb promises an analysis of the relationship between cosmetic surgery, credit, and culture. But, written by a sociologist, it actually focuses on the cultural underpinnings of plastic surgery (the economic stuff was crammed into a few chapters). Who is getting all this "work" done and how did we (the US, as a country) ever arrive at this point where so many people feel the need to get that "work" done.

Again, it was written by a sociologist, so let's just say the economic analysis
Feb 21, 2014 Andrew rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Of nasolabials and neoliberalism or, death-denial on the installment place. Sharp look at the factors contributing to the rise of plastic surgery in America. Connecting late century consumer capitalism,unregulated banking industry, and the myth of the transformative power of the market place, Essig deflates the idea that our future is destined to be plastic.
Jennifer Campaniolo
When I finished reading this book, I was in a funk. I thought Essig would take a harsher line against the increasingly plastic culture we live in, but it was only in the last chapter that she actually offered some hope that as a society we might, might, become less superficial. She spent most of the book citing people like Joan Rivers, but who wants to look like her? I would think she would be a perfect example of why NOT to go under the knife to look younger. I don't feel like I learned very mu ...more
Melissa marked it as to-read
Jun 04, 2016
Stacey rated it liked it
Jun 02, 2016
Tiff marked it as to-read
May 03, 2016
Brandee Marckmann
Brandee Marckmann marked it as to-read
Apr 05, 2016
Stacey is currently reading it
Mar 19, 2016
Brittany rated it it was ok
Feb 14, 2016
M rated it liked it
Jan 16, 2016
Elisha added it
Sep 06, 2015
Allison marked it as to-read
Aug 18, 2015
Ella rated it liked it
Aug 18, 2015
Mark rated it it was amazing
Jun 24, 2015
Alisa rated it it was amazing
May 25, 2015
Gregor Schmidinger
Gregor Schmidinger marked it as to-read
Feb 16, 2015
Beth G.
Beth G. marked it as to-read
Feb 13, 2015
Brooke rated it it was ok
Feb 09, 2015
Zoe rated it really liked it
Jan 13, 2015
Georgia marked it as to-read
Nov 26, 2014
Evan added it
Jan 10, 2016
Chantal Aucoin
Chantal Aucoin marked it as to-read
Oct 08, 2014
Katie marked it as to-read
Aug 29, 2014
Katie rated it it was amazing
Jun 10, 2014
Gabe marked it as to-read
May 12, 2014
« previous 1 3 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
Laurie Essig teaches sociology at Middlebury College in Middlebury, Vermont. She has written for a variety of publications, including Legal Affairs, Salon, and the Chronicle of Higher Education. She blogs for the Chronicle's Brainstorm blog.
More about Laurie Essig...

Share This Book