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23 Jul, 2008 00:25

Beirut bombshells back with a vengeance

The rush for a perfect body and an eternally young face makes many try to cheat Mother Nature with the help of a squirt and a scalpel. And in Lebanon, despite years of political and economic decline, many women have taken off the veil and flooded cosmetic

Violence and political uncertainty are most people's impression of the Lebanese capital, Beirut, but a few decades ago Beirut was a synonym for luxury.

After periods of violence and amid traditional Muslim and Arab values, glamour is coming back with a vengeance.

Women are standing in line to get a chance to lie on the surgeon's table. They want to have the same noses, hips and breasts as those of the pop and cinema stars they adore.

“I have Botox injections. That's absolutely natural for me – just like hair styling, make up or manicure. It removes wrinkles and makes your face look fresh,” says Nadin Agnatious, a TV presenter.

It is thought per capita demand for cosmetic surgery in Lebanon is roughly equal to that of the U.S. and Canada – and procedures are up to four times less expensive.

Hip liposuction is booming due to the low-rise jeans trend. But nose jobs are still the most popular procedure.

Meanwhile, doctors are warning the quest for combating Mother Nature may be dangerous.

“A two-hour-long operation can make you look 15 years younger, but there are certain risks. Even if a doctor has a licence to do plastic surgery, it often happens that in two or five years’ time a patient has inflamation or many other problems caused by medical interference,” says Dr. Nadir Saab, a plastic surgeon.