From lecture, the role of medicalization allowed us to gain control over our bodies and behaviors through medicine. This idea allows us to conceptualize our body as universal, there is a universal healthy person and that person is absent of disease. Through the use of medicine, such as antibiotics, one can reach the universal normal body. While later, the role of biomedicalization allowed us to enhance our bodies and behaviors through the use of medicine. This idea allows us to not only see our body in a universal health state, but gives us the flexibility to customize our bodies. After all, we are all individuals and your bodies should be too! Further, your body is quantifiable and a commodity. Your body can get you places in this world (get a good job, be a model, attract a mate, etc.) meanwhile, the health care industry can make money off it. Therefore, if you use medicine you will have a better life because you will be more efficient and enhanced version of yourself. You just have to pay a certain price for these enhancements. In essence, you are still you, but you are a better you. Plus, people get to keep their jobs and make more medicine to enhance you even more because you bought their products. And the cycle continues.
This summary of medicalization and biomedicalized is a wee bit dramatic, but I think it gets the point across. Our culture heavily relies upon medicine to not only treat illness but to make us “better” people. Meanwhile, the health and self-enhancement industries pump out more medicine to keep us satisfied and ensure profits are increasing. We have grown up among medicine, pills, treatment, and doctors. We see them as the gatekeepers to a better life lived. We often seek to be culturally ideal (in some form or another) and if we have access to the best technology and medicine we can live a healthy and successful life. For example, some college students believe if they use ADHD medication they will be smarter, get better grades, and have a better outcome later in life because they took these magical pills to help them with their homework. Or maybe you are diabetic, but you do not what to change your lifestyle? Well if you take the medication that Paula Deen does, you can! In these examples, you see that our culture has an obsession with quick fixes. We always want to be more efficient, like a machine really. In order to do that, we want to take the quick route. Instead of putting aside more time to study, I could just take Ritalin. That way I can party all the time and still do well in school. Or if I am overweight and do not what to change my lifestyle and eating habits, I can just take a diet pill to fix that problem. In some ways, medicine has become the magic of the modern age.
Clean & Clear & Confident <– Link to video.
I see the treatment of acne as something that has been highly biomedicalized. In this short Clean & Clear advertisement one can see cultural ideologies associated with the development of acne. This advertisement displays their product as a remedy for acne and specifically targets young girls. Our society puts an emphasis on flawless skin, and when girls start developing acne around the age of puberty (which is already a lot to deal with) they see themselves deviate from the cultural ideal. The social role of these girls is to have perfect skin so their acne will not distract others. An added bonus to using Clean & Clean spot treatment is that the “real” you can shine through. Doctors have no social role in this ad. You do not need an adult to tell you what to use on your face for acne treatment, because you are an individual and can decide for yourself. And there is the strategy – target the young girl who feels self-conscious, who is going through all of these changes, who feels like she cannot talk to anyone, feels ugly because she has acne, and who lacks confidence because of it. Tell her it can all be fixed and she can have her individuality back. Show her images of relatable young girls without acne. Girls who are just like her. I have to say their presentation is well thought out. I remember being a young girl with acne and feeling like people could only see my blemished skin. Now a few years older, I see that idea as pretty ridiculous. Rather, we should be showing young girls that acne does not block your personality or the “real you,” because who you are will show regardless.