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08 May 2013

Homeogender surgery

There is a type of are some trans woman who have lots of surgeries as part of their transitions.   Some examples are Allanah Star (60+ surgeries), Gia Darling (45+), Fulvia Siguas Sandoval (64+ and in Guinness Book of World Records for most cosmetic surgeries); Nina Arsenault ($150,000+ of surgery); Amanda Lepore.  For some of these the surgeries did not include vaginoplasty.

They are hardly typical of trans women, but they do attract press attention, and in so doing can give out the mistaken impression that trans women in general are fakes and freaks.

Are such women autogynephilic?   Apart from ‘autogynephilia’ being a badly thought out concept that should be dismissed unless and until some future author is able to do something much better with the idea, several of those I have just mentioned were early transitioners.

The point that I am getting around to is that is that having lots of cosmetic surgeries to achieve an idealized body is not peculiar to trans women.  An equally small percentage of cis men and women do it also.  Some examples:

Luciana Malgeri,  Princess Pignatelli, Mrs Avedon.  A classic in this field.  She had a nose job as a teenager and married an Italian Prince.  After divorce she had silicone facial injections and  other cosmetic surgeries.  She opened her first book with:  “A few times every century, a great beauty is born. I am not one of them. But what nature skipped, I supplied—so much so that sometimes I cannot remember what is real and what is fake.”   Camille Paglia’s discussion of transsexuality on p368 of Sexual Personae: Art and Decadence from Nefertiti to Emily Dickinson segues into a discussion of Luciana (perhaps showing that Paglia has no idea about transsexuality).

Vanilla Chamu has spent over 10 million yen to become like a French doll. 

Herbert Chavez of the Philipines has had multiple surgeries since 1995 to look more and more like superman.

Cindy Jackson, in Guiness Book of Records for most (50+) cosmetic surgeries (is Fulvia Siguas Sandoval now forgetten?).

Jocelyn Wildenstein is said to have spent over $4 million on facial plastic surgeries.

One of the psychiatrist’s terms for such surgical makeovers is Body Dysmorphic Disorder.   However I think that there is a more neutral, and therefore better term.  I have previously discussed Hom(e)ovestity – dressing UP as your birth sex.  What we have been discussing here is surgical homeovestity.   Nobody seems to have coined a term for this behaviour.  On the model transvestity –> transsexuality we would get homosexuality, but that term is well established with a different meaning.   I therefore propose Homeogender Surgery. 

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