HomeΦιλοσοφια: International Journal of Philosophyvol. 19 no. 1 (2018)

Sherri Irvin, (ed). Body Aesthetics

Ninotchka Mumtaj Albano



Sherri Irvin’s Body Aesthetics is a collection of essays inquiring on the beauty, aesthetics, objectification, oppression, marginalization and eroticization of human bodies. The book reflects the fact that we live in a world where we revel and appraise the beauty and form of human bodies but such culture has its fair share of consequences. The human anatomy has become the object and subject of aesthetic judgement because our encounter with other bodies begins with our curiosity about our very own bodies. Irvin emphasizes that as bodies, our identity greatly depends on our external features. It is what physically identifies and differentiates us from others. The aesthetic assessment we make of other bodies is often accompanied by a standard which we have adapted and on which we base our assessment of ourselves. Our bodies become both the subject in question and an object of inquiry, a spectacle and a spectator and the viewer and the bearer of another’s gaze.