The Supplement Body

In The Body Electric Carolyn De la Peña argued that our close relationship with technological advancement changed our views of our gender-specific roles in society, and has contributed to our understanding of them in the 21st century. Peña makes clear how acceptance of new technologies is facilitated when they are seen to fix our perceived defects, deficiencies, and deviance. Our implementation of such fixes is achieved through intimate devices such as the Pulvermacher belt.

The Link above entitled “End of the American Male” is a very long advertisement for a hormone supplement called “T Drive” produced by ASRESEARCH. The “T Drive” add, more of an infomercial, adds to where its belt predecessor left off by making the claim that the new threat on the “American Man” is three “feminizing” hormones linked to estrogen that cause all of man’s “lacks” and deviances. Furthermore they claim that these hormones are found everywhere: tap water, plastic bottles, food. ASRESEARCH with their “expert” Paul explain that their fully “natural” hormone supplement pill is the only option to cure all of man’s defects, and links the boost in testosterone and elimination of “feminizing” hormones created by the drug to success, wealth, and all other attributes of an “alpha male,” which is presented as the natural male form.

Peña’s ideas are thus illustrated in contemporary examples, as the continued modernization, industrialization, and globalization that has happened over the past century has led to the new “miracle cure” — the “hormone” and other chemical supplements disguised as a natural fix. The incorporation of such cures is literal, in that, rather than applied to the body, we take them into the body in the form of powders, power bars, many different supplements deemed not only “ok” but also “healthy” and restorative.

There are many products that are sold that promise to make us better in some way, what are your experiences with these? Do we see them elsewhere: makeup, diet pills, etc.?


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