Sacrificing health for art

I realize art is, of course, subjective. I know what I like; sometimes I can explain why, and sometimes I’m not sure what it is about a piece that draws me to it. Certainly good art evokes emotion and can stir controversy and push limits. And like the notorious virgin Mary/elephant dung uproar, an undergrad at Yale has recently caused quite a stir with her own senior art project:

Beginning next Tuesday, Shvarts will be displaying her senior art project, a documentation of a nine-month process during which she artificially inseminated herself “as often as possible” while periodically taking abortifacient drugs to induce miscarriages. Her exhibition will feature video recordings of these forced miscarriages as well as preserved collections of the blood from the process.

The goal in creating the art exhibition, Shvarts said, was to spark conversation and debate on the relationship between art and the human body. But her project has already provoked more than just debate, inciting, for instance, outcry at a forum for fellow senior art majors held last week. And when told about Shvarts’ project, students on both ends of the abortion debate have expressed shock . saying the project does everything from violate moral code to trivialize abortion.

More after the jump…
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Breast implants gone awry…in a tattoo

I’ve written previously how people will do crazy things for aesthetics. I know some would consider any tattoo in this category; I can’t since I have a few myself. However, I’d never heard of a 3D tattoo before. I don’t mean just the art appears to make the tattoo stand out and look 3-dimensional; I mean implanting materials underneath the tattoo to make it physically stick out. It’s not always a happy ending though; more on a breast-implanted tattoo turned bad (and the “before” photo) after the jump.
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The futile quest for the “perfect” breast

Over at Respectful Insolence, Orac discusses an article where a scientist has spent his days shut away, slaving endlessly over a data set–of pictures of topless models. Why? To produce the perfect boob job, of course–or as the article puts it, “to help Hollywood look even more perfect.”

Great. Just what we need.

According to the researcher, the ideal breast “…is a 45 to 55 per cent proportion – that is the nipple sits not at the half-way mark down the breast, but at least 45 per cent from the top.” Like it wasn’t enough before to worry about them being too perky, or too saggy, or uneven…now the nipple has to be a certain percentage up on the breast as well? Thank you, Mr Mallucci, for your meticulous research.

This ticks me off even more than it usually would because a reader had just sent me a link to this story in US magazine about Heidi Montag and her “revenge plastic surgery.” Apparently this girl is on a reality show and despite her already having fame and, I assume, some degree of wealth from that, well, her breasts were just too small. So she decided to have them augmented. My issue isn’t so much with that procedure itself as it is with her attitude toward it, and what her comments and studies like the one above say about our culture and the emphasis we place on the “perfect” set of breasts and body:
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Not again…

Via PZ, I see that yet another Catholic bishop in Africa is claiming that condoms are laced with HIV:

The head of the Catholic Church in Mozambique has told the BBC he believes some European-made condoms are infected with HIV deliberately.

Maputo Archbishop Francisco Chimoio claimed some anti-retroviral drugs were also infected “in order to finish quickly the African people”.

His answer to AIDS is, of course, marriage, fidelity, and abstinence…which is all well and good, but not always possible or realistic. (Not to mention, what about an HIV-infected spouse?) WWJD?

[ETA: ERV has a longer (and more pissed off) takedown].

Facebook: breastfeeding photos are obscene. Scantily clad college co-eds, fine and dandy.

Facebook, for anyone unfamiliar, is a social networking site, a more organized and less gaudy version of MySpace. Originally started for college students, Facebook opened up to anyone with an email address earlier this year. You can post a mini biography, let others know what you’re up to, keep in contact with friends, upload pictures. Of course, not just any pictures will do; Facebook has a user agreement that includes a ban on “pornographic” pictures from their site.

This clause recently got Karen Speed, a Canadian mom, in trouble. Facebook originally took down photos it deemed “obscene content,” and then deleted her account altogether:
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