The Hunger Artist

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Sobell: D+ | Grade It Now!
Out of the mouths of babes

Amazing how we're only eight minutes into the episode and I'm derailed for yet a second time. The Botox thing is particularly timely, what with its recent approval by the FDA, its appearance on the cover of Newsweek, the New York Times Magazine profile of Patricia Wexler, MD, who helped popularize the treatment, articles about Botox parties, and the recent spate of print ads promoting 1-800-BOTOXMD -- and as I watch the acceptance of Botox as a cosmetic indulgence creep into pop culture, I get progressively more horrified. If you want to use a denatured botulism toxin to freeze nerves in order to treat severe facial spasms or to alleviate migraines, fine. It's a medical treatment; it eases suffering. But ads that read, "It took forty years to get it and ten minutes to do something about it -- your toughest wrinkle," plant the impression that any woman who's not consenting to inject chemicals into her nerves is letting herself go, and will have only herself to blame for not looking her best. The premise that women with wrinkles are unattractive only serves to promulgate an unrealistic and youthful beauty standard, and it also reinforces the notion that women are under some sort of obligation to work hard on appearing as conventionally attractive as possible. Pardon my profanity, but fuck that. There's nothing wrong with wanting to feel foxy -- I myself love a good pedicure and am something of a maniac in any Aveda spa or salon -- but there's no reason to feel as though you're obligated to strive for some aesthetic ideal that refuses to acknowledge, much less celebrate, anything resembling personality or life experience.

Okay, then. David keeps his temper considerably more in check than I did when he says, "People are still animals." He then turns his attention back to the woman: "Possible signs of torture. Lots of scarring -- some old, some new." Gil asks about the crater in the woman's cheek. David tells us, "The dovetail abrasion at the margins was caused by the scraping of the handle of some weapon. Tells me the blade was completely inserted more than once." Both men look squeamish. Gil then gently picks up the woman's wrist -- one thing that impresses me about the CSIs is how respectfully they handle the victims, and it's a wonderful detail that surfaces over and over in different episodes -- and points out that there aren't any ligature marks, then wonders aloud if it isn't unreasonable to expect someone to have to be restrained while having a crater gouged in their skin. David promises to look into it.

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