From taboo to routine
Khaleej Times on the spread of cosmetic surgery in the Gulf
Cosmetic surgery, once considered taboo in the Middle East, is becoming popular in the region, with a large majority of elite women and men going for it of late.Kuwait Times 'Kuwait Plast 2008' This year the conference is concentrating on the problem of flaps, which occur after liposuction.
Men usually go for hair restoration surgery, including hair transplantation, restoration of scalp, eyebrow, eye lashes and moustache; liposuction; chin augmentation to look more masculine; lip implant; and tummy tuck.
Women, particularly Arab ladies, go for breast augmentation, breast implants, breast reduction, breast lifting for sagging breasts which is very popular among those with many children, lip implants, liposuction, minor facelift, post-bariatric (obesity) surgery, rhinoplasty or nose lifting, skin rejuvenation and many others
Dr Nihal Aboushousha, director of marketing and business development of AACSH [American Academy Hospital Cosmetic Surgery in Dubai Healthcare City], said cosmetic surgery is becoming more popular among people in the Middle East than the West.
She explained that the American Academy Hospital Cosmetic Surgery chose to open a branch in Dubai because the statistics showed several Emiratis had been travelling to the US for cosmetic surgery worth billions of dollars.
"Obesity spread in the Kuwaiti society, and many people suffer from this disease. Some of them decide to put an end to this problem, so they underwent liposuction, which can cause flaps. Now they don't know what to do with the access (sic) skin, which should be removed with plastic surgery."The New Republic says,
Cosmetic surgery is commonplace in Iran, where the number of nose jobs performed each year is about the highest in the world. As Azadeh Moaveni notes in Lipstick Jihad, "To live in Tehran and not surgically enhance something would be like going to a designer sample sale and walking out empty handed." Interestingly, the nose bandage is a status symbol in Tehran and some even wear a nose bandage purely for social credit, when really no operation had been performed.Finally, some before and afters of Western celebrities. Beware: it isn't always pretty.
Why the Iranian obsession with appearance? In the case of nose jobs, there's a fairly straightforward answer: Since the Revolution, in 1979, the face has been the only part of the female body others could see, so fixating on it makes sense. But an emphasis on beauty also has deep historical roots in Iran. As one local told me, "Traditionally, Iranians believed that by taming and beautifying 'rough,' 'savage,' and 'uncontrolled' nature, it would lead to a higher level of godliness and spirituality. The word 'paradise' comes from the ancient Farsi for 'garden' and is a symbol of this consciousness." Indeed, a popular Persian carpet motif is a microcosm of this: It is a bird's eye view of a garden--walls around the edges, a fountain in the middle--a symbol of perfection brought into the house. Another Arab friend of mine had a cruder, but related thought about why Iranians obsess over appearance. "They have a superiority complex," he said--in other words, beauty is a way to show that they're a superior, more civilized people.
Labels: cosmetic surgery