Previously rare in Saudi Arabia, there are now about 35 plastic surgery centers in the capital city of Riyadh.
A recent study of the trend indicated that liposuction, breast augmentations and nose jobs were the most popular procedures among women, and that hair implants and nose jobs were most popular among men, as reported by the Associated Press.
For Saudi women, who are required to cover most of their bodies under robes and veils, many see nothing unusual about undergoing plastic surgery even though the results are largely covered up.
Sarah, 28, said in an interview with the Associated Press that underneath their robes, many Saudi women have trendy haircuts and designer clothing that they show off at women’s gatherings, in front of their husbands, or on trips overseas.
"We attend a lot of private occasions, and we also travel," Sarah told the Associated Press. She did not want to provide her last name, in an effort to preserve her privacy.
By the way, in case you are wondering how many surgeries she is considering:
Sarah said she is considering having 22 surgeries herself, including a breast lift, a procedure to pad her rear, and another that would change her down-turned lips into a more traditional smile.
She also expressed interest in having her lips done to resemble those of Lebanese singer Haifa Wehbe, and other procedures for her nose.
And what is the opinion of the clerics? Well...they seem to be quite flexible. After all, this is not as offensive as...wait for the horror...the sight of a woman in a driving seat! Ok...so what do the clerics say:
In fact, the country’s cosmetic practices are causing clerics to contend with new questions about the intersection of beauty and faith: Does the Islamic faith allow for various cosmetic surgeries, such as nose jobs, breast implants or liposuction?
Sheik Mohammed al-Nujaimi, a Saudi cleric, uses guidelines that were reached in a meeting between plastic surgeons and clergymen three years ago to determine which procedures religion allows.
"I get calls from many, many women asking about cosmetic procedures," al-Nujaimi told the Associated Press. "The presentations we got from the doctors made me better equipped to give them guidance."
The meeting between the clerics and surgeons three years ago attempted to reconcile whether certain cosmetic procedures are in conflict with the Islamic belief that God’s creation should not be tampered with.
The outcome was that procedures intended to reverse damage or disfigurement from an accident, or procedures that enhance or fix features that cause a person grief, are considered acceptable. Procedures or surgeries that would change a "perfect nose" to more resemble the shape of a celebrity’s nose, are generally frowned upon.
I'm glad that these clerics are so sensitive to a person's grief. Yup - every things is ok, as long as women don't demand actual rights.
Read the full story here.