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It’s Not Fair that Aimee Mullins is More Cyberpunk Than We Are

It’s 2013. And years ago, when I wrote Cyberpunk, I used to joke that by 2013, my son (who at that point was only a conceptual gleam in his daddy’s eye) would be lopping off limbs to be a fashionable teenager in the Dark Future.

Cyber-fashion. Up to now, the idea of “cyber-fashion” has been only a concept from science fiction. So imagine my delight when I stumbled across a TED talk by fashion model and athlete Aimee Mullins about prosthetic limbs–not as replacements for lost parts (Aimee’s been missing both her legs since childhood), but as fashion statements and desirable forms of body modification.  People have often commented about the juxtaposition of sheer, smooth femininity and hard edged cyberware in ‘Punk for years–I’ve taken a bit of heat over the classic illustration of Alt Cunningham at the start of Never Fade Way (especially from the feminist side). But there was a reason why I commissioned that art. I wanted to show, in a totally IN YOUR FACE way, that in the Dark Future, sexy and cyber– augmented and attractive– beautiful and dangerous– are not necessarily oppositional concepts.  Keeping that in mind, fold that picture of Alt with her shiny metal arm into this picture of Aimee Mullins with her supertech “cheetah” legs.

Mullins

Fellow Cyberpunks; the future has arrived.

The title of this post is a reference to one of Ms. Mullin’s stories–when a friend of hers find out that Mullins has used a pair of  augmented legs to add 6 inches to her height, she exclaims, “But that’s not fair!”  And that, people, is how cyber-fashion gets started.

But I’ll let Aimee tell the story; and her vision of an augmented, no boundaries future, in her own words:

By the way; the legs she’s wearing are only one of her 12 pairs. And you think you have trouble deciding what shoes to wear when you get up in the morning. Wimp.

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