Islam and plastic surgery

I found two rather conflicting realities regarding the above subject which I will post here.  First the ideal.

Does Islam allow facial plastic surgery?

Plastic cosmetic surgery is permissible in Islam only if it can correct or improve a defect that bothers a person physically, emotionally or psychologically. It should be done when it is very much needed. Unnecessary plastic surgery, just to change the shape and style, is a waste of time and money and is disliked according to the Shri’ah.

Now the reality.

Women between the ages 20 and 65 are the most common age group seeking plastic surgery here, she said. Men commonly seek liposuction or other forms of weight reduction. Many patients simply want a surgical makeover. Some see models and celebrities and are dissatisfied with what they see in the mirror. Some seek a nose job to fit the image of an Arab. “They like long noses because a traditional Arab should have a long nose,” said the surgeon.

What gives?  I have seen more than once Muslim women with their abayas in local area malls, wearing dark glasses with nose bandages on, a sure sign of plastic surgery.  They see no contradiction in the procedure and their ‘way of life’, but such scenes harken back to the old days when people hot combed their hair or use skin whiteners to bleach their skin in an attempt to meet the “standard” of beauty.  Perhaps it’s time to redefine the standard.  And as for those who want to be with people who are long legged, or blond hair and blued eyes, or whatever your vision of beauty is, then just do it!  Don’t try to shape people of your culture into bodies and colors of another culture.  There are plenty of people in the world you can find already “made” it that’s your thing.

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