Plastic surgery has become popular among many women of Afghanistan due to several different factors. Changes in traditional norms, more access to disposable income, and an ever more free media all play a key role. The country’s open access to Western ideas is still relatively new, following the collapse of an authoritarian government. While Afghan women still hold to their core Islamic faith, many now feel they do not need to simply accept every part of their appearances as Allah-given. Cosmetic procedures such as rhinoplasty and eyelid surgeries have become especially popular among women who now have the means to pay for them.
An Emerging Middle Class
Economic conditions have seen noticeable improvements in Afghan urban centers such as Kabul. Both men and women are enjoying freer job access, and a number of women are now able to earn their own livings. Those who are dissatisfied with some part of their physical appearances can now afford to have it improved through routine plastic surgery. In this particular society, women’s appearances are still very highly valued due to the emphasis on marriage prospects.
Financially Independent Women
Peacetime and the fall of a Taliban-controlled government have brought a host of new opportunities for Afghan women. They are now allowed by law to hold jobs and control their finances, a practice that would have been out of the question even 10 years ago. A number of husbands and fathers are also in favor of their wives and daughters spending some of their income on cosmetic procedures.
Open Access to Overseas Media
Access to television entertainment is now a way of life in Afghanistan, and some of the most popular stars come from Indian Bollywood and Turkish TV shows. A number of Afghan women want to have facial features similar to those of their favorite celebrities. Cosmetic surgeons frequently see new patients who bring in recent magazine pictures of their idols as starting points for inspiration.
Legacies of War
Notable cosmetic surgeons in Afghanistan have often honed their skills performing corrective procedures. Bullet wounds and burns from fires have been common patient afflictions during the most violent times in this country’s history. As more peace and opportunity has come to Afghanistan, these doctors have shifted their practices to providing cosmetic procedures.
Traditions Meet Modern Times
The idea of getting plastic surgery still carries some controversy in this conservative and fundamentally Islamic nation. A number of people consider too much emphasis on appearance to be prideful, which is viewed as against Allah’s teachings. Even with these religion-based ideas, modern Afghan culture is starting to recognize the value of feeling better about one’s appearance after having scars or similar cosmetic defects improved through a cosmetic procedure.