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Cosmetic Surgery in Iran
After the attainment of Islamic republic state, a policy was enacted that rested on the pillars of Hijab (mandatory veil) for women and a rapidly capitalist and modernizing economy replaced by populist and Islamic policies.
Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the leader of the revolution became the supreme leader of Iran until his death in 1989.
Persia has a rich cultural heritage and art that dates to thousands of years ago. The Iranians and their history have given a lot to the world and they have greatly contributed to the national heritage of human. The monuments tell the world and Iranians the true history of Iran while showing the epochal significance in world history. Painting under the Islam was regarded an important art. There were illustrations of manuscripts all illustrated with miniature paintings. This form of painting art combined with illumination grew a very distinct and significant tradition in Iran.
Iranians also engaged in sculpture (plastic art) that was primarily devoted to beatification and ornamentation of the palaces with Bas-reliefs forming the main part. Two kinds of Bas-relief decorated the double stairways leading on to the terraces and chambers of the palace. A lion attacking a bull motif appeared on the triangular panels of balustrades.
The revolution in Iran has backfired with the most notable being the Iranian obsession to cosmetic surgery. The focusing on internal spiritual values is by far overrode by the desire to attain a doll face with people as young as 14 years undergoing cosmetic surgery to attain the looks of famous Hollywood actors and actors in programmes from the west.
Proponents to the Persian culture believe that other Muslims under-appreciate the Persian civilization in particular. “Arabs no longer understand the role of Iran and the Persian language in the formation of Islamic culture. Perhaps they wish to forget the past, but in so doing they remove the bases of their own spiritual, moral and cultural being…without the heritage of the past and a healthy respect for it…there is little chance for stability and proper growth” R. N. Frye, The Golden Age of Persia page 236.
Because of the revolution that gave birth to an Islamic republic where Hijab is the order of the day for the female folks, the conservative Etemad newspaper ranks Iran with about 200,000 cosmetic surgeries per year the country with the highest nose surgeries in the world.
The Islamic regime introduced Hijab that required women to wear veils to cover their hair. Women cover all their body parts leaving the face as the only uncovered part hence they see the need to beatify it. The question oh Hijab has found its way into the spotlight with issues of women rights and equality becoming more mainstreaming. Hijab is enough proof of the absence of emancipation of women in non-western and Islamic nations.
During the revolution women as a form of solidarity Ayatollah Khomeini chose to observe Hijab by either wearing a veil or scarf without it was soon going to be mandatory. Many of them took to the streets in protest of the laws imposed by the Islamic government they helped put in power. Farzaneh Milani in Veils and Words said that it did not take long for a new interest in the veil to develop although this time it was not for the traditional and religious women only but some of the modern and more liberal women in middle and upper classes embraced the observance of Hijab and took up the scarf. The rejuvenated interest in the veil coincided with the white revolution’s reform implementation led by Mohammad Reza Shah. The reforms generally seen as a step to westernization and industrialization led to chaos and high poverty levels closely followed by mass country to city migrations (Zohreh Sullivan).
The misinterpretation of the Islamic doctrine by a few clerics, theologians, and fundamentalists perhaps stems the confusion to the veiling of women. They base their argument on their vivid interpretation of the Quran, Syariah and Prophet Muhammad’s teachings. They command that women shall only leave the confinement of their houses when it necessitates and other men see should not see them without the cover of loose garment. While the Quran is divine, constant, and free of error, the interpretation of the contained laws may vary according to country of study as the norms and attitudes of the time influence the insidious nature of the social attitudes.
Cosmetic surgery is a major shortcoming of the Islamic rule after the revolution and is an attribution to Hijab.
Because of a limited fashionable expression, Iranian women are indulging in things that can make them look and act European like make-ups, hair dyes, and cosmetic surgeries. Surgery is a reactionary measure to the compulsory and restrictive rules of Hijab in Iran. “They won’t let us display our beauty,” one woman said in an interview with the guardian on TEHRANBUREAU. Another said, “It’s human nature to want to seek attention with a beautiful figure, hair, skin…but Hijab doesn’t let you do that. So we have to satisfy that instinct by displaying our ‘art’ on our faces.”
To others, surgery is just an advantage of modernity and there has been significant progress in science and technology allowing people to look beautiful. Some use it as a way to attract suitors as Marjan aged 33 and a clothing storeowner in Iran reveals. She said, “I think what myself and many other young girls see as a motivating factor for improving their appearance is simply landing a better husband who is himself in a better situation, in addition to having a better social life with a greater degree of self-confidence. I always used to feel like something in my face was lacking, and I really hated the way I looked when I laughed and smiled, so I was really uncomfortable dealing with people. I feel much better now” during an interview with the guardian newspaper.
Initially, cosmetic surgery was considered for women but with time, the number of men going for surgery in Iran is swelling at a high rate. Apart from improving their looks, many use cosmetic surgery as a way of attracting customers as Mohammad a worker in a store for makeup and accessories points out in an interview with the guardian newspaper, “I deal with hundreds of uptown girls and women every single day,” he said. “They all come to me when they want to purchase cosmetic supplies, so I have to look nice and spiffy for them.”
The advancement in technology has led to many people developing a growing discontent with some parts of their body leading to surgeries that either replace or remodel those parts. It is that a big number of those that have gone through the doctor’s knife end up regretting their decision…
It’s used in reference to practices and policies through which a human body is regulated by powers of the society. These powers may include but not limited to institutional powers portrayed in laws and government, economical production exacting disciplinary powers, exercise of discretionary powers in consumption, and powers negotiated individually in intimate relationships. Body politics is a way of alleviating oppressive effects of interpersonal and institutional powers on the population who are denied the control rights to their bodies or whose bodies are marked as inferior.
Body politics came to being in the 1970s during the feminist movement in the United States. It initially involved the fight against objectification of the female body, the campaign for rights to reproduction for women, and violence against the feminine gender. In the struggle for equal rights in the public, “The personal is the political” slogan captured sense that equal rights in sexual relationships and in homes was crucial to the struggle. This form of politicking put emphasis on a woman’s authority and power over her body. Many of these feminists rejected attention-drawing practises between their bodies and those of their male counterparts. They refused to shave their legs and armpits, stopped using cosmetics and wearing of form fitting, revealing cloths.
This second wave promoted the breaking of the silence in cases of rape, violence against women and girls, and sexual abuse that many perceived as extreme examples of social sanctions by the male power.
Then a third wave came of feminists that found the gender ideologies of the second wave as being a little too confining. They instead opted to other forms of body modification and practises like gender-blending, transgender lifestyles, butch-fem gender roles, tattoos, body piercing, and transsexual surgeries.
Body politicking scored highly in the United States when the U.S Supreme Court upheld the women’s right to terminate pregnancies. Abortion debates found political battlegrounds on women’s bodies. The organization of prostitutes also arguing that laws and regulations governing commercial sex transactions were out of date such that prostitution be legalized. Since body politics is all about power to control bodies and resistance against such powers, it then can play a role in challenging and upholding racism. The civil rights movement unseated the predominant racial body politics in the United States in abolishing Jim Crow laws and abating racial segregation. African American pointed positive attributes to black physical features and the slogan “Black is Beautiful” heralded. As a body politic, they wore natural hair, unprocessed “Afro” and donned in African inspired clothes.
The female gender in Iran sails in the same boat as their counterparts in the United States. The Hijab hinders them from taking total control of their bodies, as they are required by law to cover all their body leaving only the face to the public scrutiny. They engage in cosmetic surgeries to at-least be noticeable in the public. The Iranian female folks by use of body politics, in this case cosmetic surgery, try to show that they still have some control on their bodies. The laws in Iran tend to deprive the female folks nearly all their rights and power of control over their own bodies. This is a form of body politic as the women use it to present to the world their utter detest of the Hijab. This form falls in the third wave as a body politic method in the world.
Arratee in her research on “body politics and politics of the body in case of female flight attendances” defines body politics as the set of connections among people, institutions, and ideas condensed and represented by the body. The study reveals body politics inscribed on women’s bodies in postmodern perspective. Company rules, culture, nationalism, and capitalism discipline the bodies and identities these attendants while on the other hand their bodies act as resistant to dominant powers. the uniform and scripts acting as external powers not only disciplines the attendants but also regulates and controls their bodies by internalized bio-power to maintain their appearance and health. Women are though not always passive victims of disciplinary practises as these flight attendants show as they employ body politics to resist these processes actively.
They have to maintain their perfect bodies through exercise, cosmetic surgeries and various drugs though through these practises they could constitute subjectivity. They often are stereotyped as objects and at the same time subjects of sexualized bodies. In a third space of the cabin, their identities are negotiated and ambiguous as they perform particular identity in the contest for their own meaning and representation to allure their femininity. Attendants in Asia had to lose weight because the significant of them in forty and fifty were obese and overweight so they can conform to customers’ demands.
As body control a lot many operations are now in practice to correct flaws in appearance with the common being harelip, crooked nose, ugly scars, disfiguring acne or warts. With advertisements to change the sexual body, size of penis or breast also in the market, people have power and control over their bodies. “The silicon revolution” that has boomed in many countries around the world has given women the ability to surgically enhance their breasts. In Russia, women are struggling to get rid of so-called cellulite from buttocks and stomach. This body politic form seems a spontaneous struggle against excess weight and its institutionalisation comes alongside cosmetic surgery and fitness therapies. The outcome of this process is an altered conscious towards the body in modern day Russia with radical changes in the representation of physical beauty, both female and male. The playful girlfriend’s body has replaced traditional Russian model of a maternal female body. The then forms of female fertility symbolised by fatty pleats, obesity, and stomach and buttocks are no longer acceptable in the modern Russia. Petite bodies with long legs and neck, and physical delicacy now mark attractiveness traditionally, such passed for unattractiveness.
Persian culture is among the richest in the world with a proud and long-standing civilization. The nation’s characteristics are rivalled by a few with literature, poetry, architecture dating to two and half millennia and live customs dating back to Zorastrians over 3000 years ago. Art is another eminent feature of Persian culture with brilliant literary works famous all over the world. They range from exquisite carpets, subtle soulful classic music, and outstanding tile work of unique blue mosques to old influential architectural styles. Persian has also endeavoured in the art of cooking. Spice and herb rich Persian delicacies are products of skill, creativity and patience of many generations of cooks.
Miniatures in Iran were small paintings on paper, whether illustrations on a book or album intended works like muraqqa. The applied techniques greatly compare with traditional miniatures in illuminated manuscripts from the western and Byzantine. Miniatures are the best-known Persian paintings in the west and have a better survival and preservation rates to Persian traditional wall painting.