Unconventional Cosmetic Trends Raise New Concerns

Unconventional Cosmetic Trends Raise New Concerns

As if earlier mania for plastic and cosmetic surgery was not enough, now some hitherto unheard of styles in ear and nose surgery are growing in popularity that signal an era of unconventional vogue – some of which sound pretty scary. Bizarre rhinoplasty types with strange labels like ‘’ eagle nose’’, and ear cosmetic procedures colloquially known as ‘devil ear’, ‘wolf ear’, or even ‘donkey style’ or ‘doggie jawbones’ is a sign of more deeply-entrenched problems than just a passing fad.  
‘’In a disconcerting trend we are witnessing abnormal and extravagant vogues in plastic and cosmetic surgeries which definitely could have cultural reasons,’’ Dr. Mohammad Aghajani, treatment deputy at the ministry of health told ISNA. ‘’ I think cultural and social authorities should do more to address this trend.”
Aghajani appealed for help from all relevant institutions. ‘’The media, including broadcast and print media, news websites as well as schools and universities should raise awareness about this issue.’’
He urged concerned bodies to inquire about the root-causes of such trends which are spreading in the society. ‘’ Since most of these surgeries are unnecessary, it should be determined why they are so appealing to so many people,’’ Aghajani was quoted by the news agency as saying.
Obsession with physical appearance and beauty is apparently not new in Iranian society. An official at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently said although Iran is 17 in the world in terms of population, yet it is the seventh biggest consumer of cosmetics.
Mostafa Esmaeeil said official figures point to $ 1 billion being spent on cosmetic imports, adding that the figure does not include the huge volumes smuggled into the country. Iran once held the record for the highest rate of nose surgery. According to a report in 2012, as many as 200,000 Iranians, mostly women, go to cosmetic surgeons each year to reduce the size of their nose and move the tip point upwards!!  

 External Factors    
Aghajani reiterated that the medical community is less to blame for the rampant increase in needless surgeries. He attributed the main causes to societal factors that give rise to such tendencies. “Unfortunately there is an abnormal fondness for these sorts of surgeries and    this should be traced outside medical circles. There is a dominant culture that influences medical trends and in fact has overshadowed it,” he maintained.

 Reducing Demand
Aghajani noted that while ‘’reducing demand’’ seems to be the most viable course of action to stem the tide of unhealthy trends in surgery, he admitted it would be no easy task. To curb demand, first the public should be convinced about the harms of such trends- both physical and psychological, he noted. He referred to a previous campaign to reduce the number of cesarean sections births – another unhealthy trend that had cultural roots. ‘’It took intense cultural campaigns to turn the tide of rampant c-section births.’’

 Legal Statutes
As for the legal status of unconventional surgeries, Aghajani did not offer any clear answers. ‘’It’s not easy to decide whether these surgeries can be considered criminal…But to present a clear answer, cases should be heard in the Legal Medicine disciplinary councils to determine whether or not medical ethics have been upheld’’.
Aghajani said that the Charter of Medical Ethics is a reliable reference is settling legal disputes regarding the surgeries, but he himself supports amicable counseling to exhort potential proponents of such surgeries to change their mind. ‘’One should really ponder whether natural and unadorned beauty is more attractive and whether these flamboyant acts, which are now creeping in society, harm our national identity.”

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