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The many faces of Botox: Beauty, crisis, and cosmeceuticals in Greece

Liakounakou, Alexia; (2020) The many faces of Botox: Beauty, crisis, and cosmeceuticals in Greece. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

This thesis is a portrait of Greek society through the prism of cosmetic beauty, during the period of financial austerity following the country’s entry into a debt-restructuring programme. Based on field research carried out in privately owned cosmetic-medical spaces for fourteen months, it focuses on the consumption of cosmetic pharmaceuticals (‘cosmeceuticals’), such as Botox, fillers, and other non-surgical technologies, and examines how Greek specialists and individuals view these products within a philosophy of healing and care. In treating ‘cosmeceuticals’ as a medical field in their own right (separated from ‘cosmetic surgery’), this thesis highlights the ways in which cosmeceuticals affect the Greek women who consume them, and the kind of personalized characteristics these individuals bestow on cosmeceuticals in order to render them more familiar. These make up the ‘many faces’ of Botox, an expression that is meant to capture the range of figurative uses, associations, characterizations and properties that patients attribute to such treatments. I furthermore explore how these associations are deeply personal yet simultaneously socially potent, for they create bonds between patient, drug, and physician. As this thesis aims to contribute to the existing anthropological work on Greece through the prism of beauty, I maintain that beauty and other related concerns are meaningful matters, forming the ‘depth’ as much as the ‘surface’ of life in Greece, even during ‘austerity’.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: The many faces of Botox: Beauty, crisis, and cosmeceuticals in Greece
Event: UCL
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author 2020. Original content in this thesis is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) Licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/). Any third-party copyright material present remains the property of its respective owner(s) and is licensed under its existing terms. Access may initially be restricted at the author’s request.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Anthropology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10091003
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