Category Archives: daughter

Women and Posthumanity: The future looks large and sexy

The body has a lot of change to go through on the path to post-humanity. There is a lot of room for improvement and enhancement. Even with all of these cool improvements and enhancements though, my cynical side emerges. While these would be great, are we giving ourselves too much credit that the choices we will make on the route to post-humanity will be practical? Isn’t society a little more vain that that? Seriously? The desire for youth and beauty is by no means a new phenomenon. However, I was caught off guard, just a bit when I was forwarded a video of an interview with Tom Ford, the fashion designer and director of the film A Single Man.  In the video  Tom talks about women being posthuman and makes some good points in the interview all of which tied in to a paper I wrote on cosmetic surgery awhile back.

He mentions that breasts today do not bear any resemblance to what actual breasts look like. He is right, they try to look natural, but the key word is “try”. Several points that his statement make me think of is, if they are unnatural looking why do we want them to look natural? As a woman who has a genetic predisposition on the higher end of the size curve, I do not understand. The unnatural version of natural looks nothing like my own natural ones, even if we are the same cup size. I have friends who fall in to the same category that I do and talked to them about it and they agree. There is a level of insecurity, but it is not insecurity about size, but about gravity. The posthuman breasts go against the body’s natural inclination to succumb to gravitational pull, if you will. My friends and I however cannot pay to fight gravity; we are left to lesser forms of posthuman enhancements such as the push-up bra. This leads to my second point about Tom’s statement: actual breasts. Is the desirable path one where breasts do not bear any resemblance to natural breasts? Form over function. Breasts work, but do we still need them to work in the same way?

We have formula now, that while it can in no way match breast milk, it does work and many women use it. It is an alternative. Before you send me any hate comments, I breastfed all three of my children, not for a year, but I did. I did eventually switch over to formula. Regardless, if we want surreally attractive breasts, does the functionality need to remain the same or will sex and sexual appeal transition to be the exclusive function.

As adults, we can talk and think about these types of questions and issues, but what about the young girls. Tom Ford makes another point in the video that girls are seeing the adults with their unnatural breasts and think that they need to get their breasts done. He goes on to mention that we have lost touch with what a real breast actually looks like. Again, as adults that is one thing, as a young girl it’s another. In the adoption of the posthuman form are we taking critical examination of what images and ideas we are passing on to the next generation. Further examination though should include the messages conveyed and the impact of these messages on young girls. When thinking about the posthuman woman, the girls of today, how will their lives change by the choices made today. They could very possibly choose to go against the grain of the constructions of beautiful breasts and choose the au natural route. Insecurity about breast size is a facet of growing up that girls deal with. Plastic surgery enables them to address these insecurities, but what do they gain and what does it solve? Large unnatural breasts are not something a mother can pass on to her daughters naturally, it will require, at this point in time, a monetary investment of perpetuation within culture.

Tom points out that we are becoming our own art by manipulating our bodies and creating them the way we want them to look. He also says that it desexualizes, comparing these beautiful bodies to cars. Since they are so glossy, polished and an idealized form of perfection, they are too scary and not human. I would love to hear the answers to the questions he poses about after these surgeries of breast enhancement does it help ones sex life? Or is it intimidating? A body in its artistic form is admirable at a distance without touching. Not like a ball of clay where you want to get your hands dirty and really play with it intensely

Last night, as I was thinking about what I was going to say in the piece I turned on VH1, yes, I think it is a valuable source for pop culture insight. It did not fail me. The show that I turned on was “VH1News Presents: Plastic Surgery Obsession”. It fit in perfectly with what I was thinking and wanted to say, without the reference to post-humanism. The show is about the rise in popularity of plastic surgery, in and now out of Hollywood. The show supports both the new ideals of women’s bodies and that the younger generation is picking up these ideals. The fact that VH1 aired the show, despite a voyeuristic appeal that shows like this have, says something about what we want to see on TV. Finally, at the end of the episode the show touched on males and cosmetic surgery. Tom Ford did not talk about the men being posthuman in his interview, or at least the clip I heard, but VH1 talked about how tricky it was for men to undergo plastic surgery and come out of it looking “natural”. Does this mean that with women getting around 98% of the plastic surgeries they are more willing to transition to a posthuman form or is it just easier for them? What does this mean and how does this reflect on men? Are men going to, can they follow the same path as women? These are interesting questions to think about in addition to the critical examinations of the decisions of women. I look forward to hearing and thoughts.


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AI and my two-year old

Last night I went shopping for my soon-to-be two-year-old daughter’s birthday presents. She’s two, so her main criteria for gifts is that it has to have Dora the Explorer on it. Not too big of a standard. We got to the babydoll aisle and were looking at the baby’s. There’s a variety out there for those of you without kids, from the baby’s filled with beads to the top-of-the-line “real” ones. There was one that really stuck out with me and what I’m learning/doing in my interests with AI and the like.

Her name is “Baby Alive Doll” and she’s quite interesting. She blinks, moves her face/mouth, drinks and poops. What bugged me a bit was that she says, “I love you, Mommy!” My daughter just sat and stared at this “baby” in the box. To her it was a real baby stuck in a box. I watched her watch the doll and it was very eerie. Not only did the doll say mommy, but it poos. My daughter is not potty-trained yet, so the idea of purchasing a doll to buy diapers for is disturbing in it own right. One is enough fo me. But it was more than that.
I saw in my daughter’s eyes something as she stared into the package, I couldn’t completely put my finger on it. To me, I felt like the mother in AI: Artificial Intelligence buying David. This doll would be a companion for my daughter, talk to her, keep her busy, ask to play, but…David….it’s not the same, but it felt briefly similar. What if she played rough with the doll, as she does since she hangs out with her brother a lot. And after she played rough,tossed it to the side. Forever saying from the corner, “Play with me mommy!” I am not ready for this just yet. I almost feel for the doll that doesn’t yet feel for itself.
My daughter not knowing any better may feel for her too. This is just a thought, but I’m curious to hear others. The technology is infantile compared to where it’s going, but it’s still a step in that direction, so what is to happen. Is this how we will become accustomed, start with baby and move up from there? Ben Goetzel is working on baby AI and training them. This particular doll is not able to learn, but will Ben move on when his technology’s ready to putting it in these dolls and what type of impact will that have on society? Just thoughts for now, answers/insight are great for shedding any light.

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Filed under AI, AI: Artificial Intelligence, baby, Baby Alive doll, Ben Goetzel, birthday, daughter, David