Natural Beauty vs Artificial Beauty; The socially constructed notion that physical attractiveness is one of the women’s most important assets and something all women should strive to achieve and maintain, is paving way for a number of dermatologists all over the world in its modern practice.
For decades the cosmetic dermatology had been cooped up in the Western neck of the woods, generally employed by actresses and other eminent personas while the quintessential dames in rest of the world kept up with natural beauty. However it is now that cosmetic dermatology has knocked on the door of South Asia, inspiring women of all ages to embrace its picturesque approach.
For those who are nescient of the area under discussion, the dermatologist is a doctor that specializes in treating skin, hair, nail and mucous membrane disorders while cosmetic dermatologists are medical doctors who have sought additional training in dermatology in order to access and treat skin conditions cosmetically.
Their skill sets include such procedures as Botox, collagen injections, chemical peels, dermabrasion, laser surgery and liposuction. The burgeoning practice by women of beautifying themselves by artificial means raises the question about their lack of self-satisfaction and speaks much about their response to how they are evaluated by others.
The truth is that women’s insecurity about their appearance is driven by competition with other women. The jealousy inculcated in their instinct provokes them to look better than others. The ‘lookism’ itself is not an offence but the means adopted in this regard pretends serious objections on the grounds of religion and society.
The Islamic perspective on matters relating to beautification or adornment is one of extreme balance. On one hand, Shari’ah allows the various genuine non-surgical means of beautification such as the use of jewellery, Hena, Kohl, perfumes and various creams and balms.
On the other hand, however, it prohibits the tampering and altering of the body through surgical means considering it a form of mutilation and ‘changing the nature created by Allah’ hence the prohibition of cosmetic surgery. Botox and dermal fillers are non-surgical methods of treating scars, wrinkles, lines and other depressions on the face with the intention of improving one’s appearance.
They are not prohibited in of themselves. Besides, religion provides a general guideline with regard to cosmetic procedures, differentiating between beautification and removing faults. The trend, as it exists today, is inclined more towards personal embellishment rather than getting rid of contuses or marks.
The injections may contain unlawful and impure substances such as those from pigs or human albumin making them unlawful. The treatment may result in many serious side-effects. Excluding these two possibilities, there is no harm in cosmetic treatment.
I am not against Cosmetic dermatology but it appals me when I see that societal irrational perceptions have imposed on women to refuse to age gracefully and be content with what their Creator has created them with. In Pakistan, we are obsessed with fair complexions.
An opinion is formed that individuals with dark complexions are deprived of excitement in their life and altering their skin tone to a lighter shade will magically open doors to happiness, endless opportunities, and romance. Natural Beauty vs Artificial Beauty.
Similarly, fuller and plumper lips is another novel addition in the list of ‘being beautiful’ and that is why women seek for lip augmentation. When discussed with dermatologists, they claim that they don’t meddle with the creation of God; they just make them more appealing.
We need to challenge the attitude of contemporary society which perceives fair and beautiful as one entity, and which discourages the originality of facial features as less attractive. We must cultivate a culture that believes that beauty is beyond one’s skin colour, there is no specific definition of pulchritudinous and ageing gracefully is the most phenomenal life process than staying youngin artificially.