The semiology of body care as manifested by the secularized person and the religious person indicates different conceptions of the body and the self. For the modern individual, the body is being liberated progressively from the hold of natural and transcendental definitions. It enters into the cycle of secularization, eventually penetrating the realm where human rationality exercises its will to master and tame the body through science and knowledge. Genetic engineering and manipulation of reproduction are two examples of such highly scientific interventions. But phobias over cholesterol, taboos on smoking, and an obsession with fitness are more mundane examples of how the notion of health, inspired by scientific rather than by erotic desires, now determines lifestyles. Body sculpting, fitness, and energy are the ideals of the modern individual, who is witnessing the leveling of differences between the sexes and the age groups and the replacement of life cycles with lifestyles.
Rethinking Modernity and National Identity in Turkey, Bozdoğan & Kasaba, 1997.