Beverley Skeggs (2001) has argued that women (and especially working-class women) use femininity and the female body as a form of cultural capital. Without the ability to gain capital in other arenas, their bodies and their appearance are their main resource. From a feminist perspective, this goes some way towards explaining the predominance of a culture of consumption around the aesthetics of female body parts, from body modifications and the cosmeceutical industry to the transmediation of the porn aesthetic into the mainstream televising of young working-class women in the United Kingdom (The Only Way Is Essex, Channel 4, UK) and women’s bodies online (Rate My Vajazzle). Even the popular (non-working-class) feminist Naomi Wolf (2012), in reclaiming the term of shame vagina for her recent book Vagina: A New Biography (2012), has found new markets in which to accrue cultural capital. On the one hand, her book has joined the trend to remarket this female body part as no longer shameful/hateful. On the other hand, it has repoliticized the biology of the vagina as transcendental (with a nod to William James). That she incites notions of the Goddess, the female soul, and sexual healing alongside neuroscience as a solution to the feeling of being demeaned for writing about the vagina demonstrates (as we showed in Chapter 4) the new discourse of emotional empowerment that mixes science with spirituality.
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