Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Death of Carolin Berger

She was a German erotic actor who died in her sixth breast enlargement surgery, at the age of 23:
She went under the knife for the last time at the Alster Clinic and was having 800g (28oz) of silicon injected into each breast.
But her heart stopped beating during the operation. She suffered brain damage and was put into an induced coma.
The tabloid's headline read: "The senseless death of Big Brother star Cora shocks the whole of Germany.
"(Her) frail, 48kg (106lb) body struggled against death for 224 hours. She lost. Cora is dead."


Her previous five operations were reportedly done at a private clinic in Poland which refused to admit her for a sixth time.
I kept going over those weight numbers, the amount of silicone to be injected into her and her body weight. Then I started thinking about the widespread impact of heterosexual pron on what women's breasts should look like and how we now regard artificial breasts as really the natural ones, how seeing a very thin woman with very large breasts on television now looks normal, in the sense of averages. Pron has also affected the shaving of the pubic hair.

If it has done all that, surely it must have had some impact on general interpretations of sexuality and on the roles women and men take in sex?

Back to Carolin Berger. Her story reminds me of Nadya Suleman, the "Octomom", because both cases in some ways are about women taking the traditional jobs of women (to have children, to provide sex for men) to the very extreme. The usual reaction, based on the comments I have seen, is that these individuals are or were ill, that they made their own choices, that they have only themselves to blame.

But those choices don't happen in a total vacuum, and what this all tells us about societal norms can be worth discussing.