Let us put politics aside for once and talk esthetics. I have a lot to say on the obsessional relationship of Lebanese women with their physique–not that I am really affected or annoyed by it. In fact, I am even going to plead for them.
A commonplace remark states that one Lebanese woman out of 3 has had plastic surgery. We “know” that because the number of plastic surgeries equals the number corresponding to the third of the local female population; consequently, we associate the two numbers and we have a thesis! A solid thesis, since most of the Lebanese seem to believe it, given its occurrence in ordinary conversations. Foreigners too, tend to believe it–both Westerners and Arabs. It is a famous thesis indeed, as evidenced by a report broadcast on M6 (a French channel) in April 2010.
Allow me to point out, at this stage, that a widespread belief is not a sufficient reason proving its truth. The number of plastic surgeries is correct, but the thesis is wrong, because it assumes that all the local plastic surgeries are conducted on the local population. What about the foreigners, notably women from the Arab countries, who go there to get a nose- or a boob- or a lip-job? Believe me, they are not just a few of them.
We also tend to forget about the men involved, which makes it necessary to double-check our stats: all the clients are not only women.
Anyhow, one has to yield to the remaining fact that Lebanese women have indeed a “special”, and pervert, relationship with the notion of physical beauty; they’re possessed by it. If you hang out more in cafés, bars and restaurants there, you will see. Alternatively, simply turn on the TV and watch those stupid Lebanese drama series. What I mean is that you just need to watch the actresses: they’re almost all “refurbished”. The same goes for some anchorwomen.
On a side note: I always admired the high quality (and quantity) of denial among the Lebanese as to their miserable socio-economic situation. In the drama series, all the protagonists are handsome/pretty, rich businessmen, have big beautiful houses, 4×4’s, go shopping, etc. Our reality is misery, theirs is 24/7 dolce vita with some occasional petty complications (her boyfriend is cheating on her) and bourgeois problems (his stepson is secretly attempting to take over the family business). Each society has its drug and its trip. Lebanese society = denial and projection of self into a bling-bling paradise.
Back to our topic. I never quite understood why the Lebanese girls who happened to be pretty display this conceited attitude of self-importance, constantly telegraphing the message: “I’m beautiful, I’m beautiful, I’m beautiful; I’m a princess, I’m a princess, I’m a princess; and guess what I know it, I know it, I know it, (…) etc.”
Reminds me of American Beauty (a 1999 American film starring Kevin Spacey), where a 16 year-old blondie chick pretending to be a sex kitten (played by Mena Suvari), eventually turns out to be a lame virgin. Slight difference, however, the vamp age of a Lebanese Beauty starts, I think, with her 19th birthday.