Ilse Ketelaars, S331345
Module 6 – Body and Medical Techniques: Deliberate Physical and Mental Changes
Although not immediately obvious, the advertisement shown is one for plastic surgery. I choose this advertisement for the reason that it does not look in any way similar to the more classical advertisements for plastic surgery. With classical advertisement I refer to the ones with beautiful people (or parts of those people) explaining how happy they are after the deliberate bodily changes.
The advertisement is placed in the building of a plastic surgeon, and shows a copy of The Creation of Adam, which is a section of Michelangelo’s fresco Sistine Chapel ceiling painted circa 1511. This part illustrates the biblical story from the book of Genesis in which God breathes life into Adam. In the advertisement Adam is not depicted, in his place is the one who is pushing the button for the elevator (as seen in the second picture). This elevator leads to the plastic surgeons practice. In the left corner of the advertisement the text “Be born again” is shown, this slogan even makes the connection between the divine and plastic surgery more explicit. Because on the one hand the text refers to the Adam being born, and the one hand it refers to the person standing in front of the elevator who has the ability to be born again through plastic surgery. Within this advertisement the role of religion is thus partly replaced by cosmetic surgery, claiming that through operations a person can become a more pure form of his or himself.
This advertisement especially plays with a person’s mind. In the first place because it might not be clear what the advertisement promotes, and thus people start wondering about this. In the second place, it refers to the idea of nowadays consumer culture in which a person is free to choice how to life his or her live. Religion, which for most people is a very mental experience, is taken over by plastic surgery (in this advertisement) which claims to have to same effect as religion. Thus claiming that by altering the outside, the inner journey of a person changes to.
In my opinion it is an innovative and less aggressive way of promoting plastic surgery. Nonetheless the advertisement also raises some questions. First, does the advertisement work on people who do not recognize the work of Michelangelo. Secondly and more important, in the Christian tradition the body is a person gift from God. Therefore can this advertisement be seen as offensive to religious people, as it links a holy story with a practice that alters the work of God.