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Saving Face – Disfigurement and the Politics of Appearance - NYU Press Scholarship Online
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Saving Face: Disfigurement and the Politics of Appearance

Heather Laine Talley


The face is a core feature of our physical identity. Our face is how others identify us and how we think of our “self.” Yet, human faces are also essential mechanisms for communication and as a means of eating, breathing, and seeing. Thus, facial disfigurement can endanger our fundamental notions of self and identity or even be life threatening. Because it is so difficult to conceal our faces, the disfigured face compromises appearance, status, and, perhaps, our very way of being in the world. This book examines the cultural meaning and social significance of interventions aimed at repairing f ... More

Keywords: human faces, physical identity, communication, facial disfigurement, disfigured face, face transplantation, facial feminization surgery, Operation Smile, facial stigma, face reconstruction

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2014 Print ISBN-13: 9780814784105
Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016 DOI:10.18574/nyu/9780814784105.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Heather Laine Talley, author