By Sekka Team
In the Arab Gulf States, women love to glam! According to a 2018 report by Goldstein Research, the GCC States are collectively the fasting growing market for cosmetic products in the Middle East. We love to look good, and undergoing simple nips and tucks are arguably becoming the norm. Dubai is a global plastic surgery hub, and more and more renowned plastic surgeons are operating from their clinics in Dubai.
But what makes millennial women in the region willing to go under the knife, and to have needles injected in their faces? The answer, according to the responses of our all-female interviewees, is a combination of wanting to look good, delaying the signs of aging, becoming more confident and fixing a birth deformity. The attitude that is most common amongst all of them can be summarized as the following: Who cares what others think? If it makes you feel good when looking in the mirror, then just go for it!
Anonymous, 31, Oman
You are undergoing a non-surgical rhinoplasty procedure in a couple months. Why are you doing it?
I’ve always been self-conscious when it comes to the shape of my nose. My looks are very Arabic, and I believe that my long nose is taking away from my other beautiful features, such as my eyes. After taking a Photoshop course, I used my skills to photoshop my images all the time, and see how my profile would look like with a slightly altered nose, and I love it! I want to recreate that look in real life.
How has social media influence your decision?
I’m not going to lie; social media has greatly influenced my decision to get cosmetic work done on my nose. I know that most of the time, it’s lighting and filters that are doing all the work, but you can’t help but get carried away by that with time. It makes you strive for perfect-looking skin and great-looking features. Selfies have changed the game. They have made us more self-conscious about the way we look. Photography, which was once a hobby for a niche group of people, has become something a lot of social media users are learning and mastering to get that perfect photo.
Is your decision is not supported by your family, or loved ones?
Not at all. My family are blessed with beautiful genes and features, and I was the one who ended up with bad acne, and the longer nose, so I always felt self-conscious around them. I don’t think they know how it feels for me. Every time I sit next to someone, I feel unconfident about my nose. I feel like I’m Pinocchio! I tried contouring and learning some other make-up tricks, but I’m still not confident.
And you’re going for it regardless of what they think?
If it’s something that would help with my confidence, then I don’t see why not. I’ve been wanting to do it ever since I was a teenager, but no one agreed. Now, I got in touch with a great doctor in England, who could give you rhinoplasty surgery results with the use of fillers. So, I want to try that option first as I have a terrible fear of anaesthesia and the pain that could result after surgery.
Anonymous, 32, UAE
What did you have done?
Botox injections in my forehead.
How long have you been doing it?
I got my first Botox injection treatment nearly one year ago. It was on a whim, to be fairly honest with you.
What motivated you to get Botox injections?
The idea had crossed my mind before, but my fear of needles, and of something going wrong perplexed me, and so I kept dancing around the idea until I once accompanied my sister to her appointment. I decided to take the plunge then and there. So, it was a spur of the moment decision. I am what people may call “high maintenance” and “vain”. Although, this whole thing may seem shallow and pedantic to some degree, it has always been a priority for me.
Therefore, when I graced into my thirties, the magnifying glass grew and I embarked on the “stop the signs of aging” journey. It began with skincare regiments with hefty price tags, and 10mins of facial yoga everyday. But I knew that that wasn’t quite enough. Time began to show on my once ageless, line-free forehead, and I had to stop it from going any further. I knew easy fixes weren’t going to do the needful, and so I sat on that hospital bed, got my first dose of Botox and never looked back. Within three days, I was wrinkle-free, my muscles were relaxed and my excessive facial expressions were at bay.
Is this it for you, or are you considering further treatments?
I have pondered the idea of doing more (i.e. dermal fillers). Maybe once I’m deeper into my thirties, I may change my mind and explore fillers. But, till then, to each woman out there that wants subtle tweaks here and there I say, why not? Do what makes you happy and only you.
Anonymous, 29, Bahrain
You did a cosmetic procedure to fix your protruding ears. Can you tell us why you did it?
Ever since I was a kid I hated the way I looked in the mirror, even though my mother and family never told me that there was something wrong with my ears. Every time I woke up in the morning and looked at my face in the mirror, it made me my really upset. I didn’t like it. I could never tie my hair in a ponytail, or lift it up, because I didn’t want anyone to see my big, popped out ears.
How did the shape of your ears affect your personal life?
It affected my confidence negatively, especially when a man proposed to me, and his sister had told me that my ears were a bit popped out. He then asked me if my ears were really popped out. He was unable to tell, as I am a veiled woman. So, the fact that he came and asked me about them made me really sensitive about my ears. I made a vow to myself to not get married until I had pinned my ears back. I don’t care how people say that if someone loves you this wouldn’t matter. It matters to me, and I have to look good for myself.
Have you been bullied as a result of your ears’ shape?
Yes, I have been, especially by my cousin, who used to joke about my ears all the time.
Has your confidence changed in any way after you underwent the procedure?
It affected my confidence and my life tremendously. I’m more confident. I’m able to do simple things, such as tying my hair in a bun or a ponytail, without having to worry about how my ears would look.
And you’re open about having it done?
Oh yes! I don’t hide it. In fact, I’m open about cosmetic procedures in general, and I wouldn’t hide them in the future if I got more done.
The views of the authors and writers who contribute to Sekka, and the views of the interviewees who are featured in Sekka, do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Sekka, its parent company, its owners, employees, and affiliates.