WOW | Coffee Break

How far would you go to enhance your looks?

With increasing number of people resorting to cosmetic procedures, beauty standards today stand on a different barometer. And it’s not just the glamour industry that has fallen victim; almost every woman today has a turbulent relationship with her looks. An increasing number of women – some even in their twenties – are going in for botox, permanent makeup and cosmetic corrections.

Is this a healthy trend? Have we set unreal standards? Is there a psychological implication to it? We ask six different professionals to learn their perspective.

Interviewed by: Pabita Dahal

Do you believe in cosmetic procedures to enhance looks?

Swati Chaudhary
Make-up Artist

Swati: Yes, I do. Technologies are better these days in the cosmetic field and it is healthy to enhance your beauty with cosmetic procedures. I have tried cosmetic procedures from The Skin Clinic by Dr Jebina Lama for facials and peels and I would highly recommend it.

Jebina: Yes, I do believe cosmetic treatments can enhance our looks. As we know aging is inevitable and opting for cosmetic treatments can help us to reduce the signs of aging. Cosmetic procedures don’t mean you have to do cosmetic surgery only you also have non-surgical treatment options that can enhance your beauty. These non-surgical cosmetic procedures are low risk which give you a subtle and fresher look.

Nishinta: Cosmetic procedure is a personal choice that anyone interested can opt for. Many undergo cosmetic procedures for general beautification while for others, it is a process for them to look normal after facing a major accident. Thus, I believe that it is for an individual to decide if a cosmetic procedure is a right option for them or not as they must live with the consequences and benefits that come with it.

Usha: I don’t think it’s wrong to go for cosmetic procedure since everyone has some dissatisfaction regarding their looks and it is an easy way to enhance your beauty. Everyone wants to look beautiful and confident and it is a way to become confident. If you are feeling uncomfortable with a particular body part, there is no harm to remove it healthily. For example, there is a big mole on your cheek and you feel it damages your pictures, it makes you look less confident and you feel more confident and comfortable without it, why not?

Prativa: Cosmetic procedure is a very broad term and can encompass minor non-invasive skin rejuvenation procedures to major surgical procedures. If non-invasive cosmetic procedures are performed safely by trained professionals to enhance skin health then it could be a form of self-care. Cosmetic procedures could also be very helpful for patients with special cases of skin damage and abnormal skin conditions. I believe the adoption of a healthy lifestyle with proper diet, exercise, and skincare routine could be a more sustainable way of looking and feeling healthy.

Why do you think more people are opting for cosmetic procedures?

Dr Jebina Lama
Dermatologist, Norvic International Hospital/ Medical Director, The Skin Clinic by Dr Jebina Lama

Swati: People wish to follow ongoing trends and they want proper guidance so that they can get what they want. We have so many talented and experienced people in this field and because options are available everything is possible. So, people love experimenting.

Jebina: I think people are not only doing cosmetic treatments because of social media and beauty influences all around the world but rather they are doing it to look good and maintain a healthy appearance. People are more aware of what is out there to enhance their facial features and I think there is nothing wrong with this trend. At the end of the day, it’s one’s own choice whether to do cosmetic procedures for or not.

Nishinta: There is increasing pressure for all genders to look young and attractive. Both men and women are willing to take the risk of enhancing their appearances so that they become more comfortable in themselves and maybe society will perceive them better.
Today, people are increasingly dissatisfied with their bodies. A recent study conducted among girls aged 11-21 in Britain showed that 33% of the participants were unhappy with their looks and 25% of them would consider cosmetic surgery. Although cosmetic procedure is a personal choice, the standards of beauty have forced many to undergo surgery.

Shilpa: I think the so-called beauty standards of our society – of always looking perfect and in good shape – is pressuring, especially for women to go in for cosmetic procedures. Also, it has become easily accessible these days and people tend to try it out for a period.

Usha: There is a certain time when you are busy with earning, family, kids, and many other things. But after a certain age women feel that now it’s my turn, I have to look after myself. At that time, they can afford it. And in this phase, if they go for a buttock, liposuction, whitening treatment or any kind of cosmetic procedure, it is okay. It is a personal choice.
I have seen my friends who have done cosmetic surgeries and they are very happy to do it. Their beauty is enhanced and they have become happier and confident with the transformation and the compliments they receive from others. Compliments increase their confidence I have observed. In short, the desire to look gorgeous and become confident invites people to try cosmetic procedures.

Dr Prativa Pandey, Research Scientist/Founder and CEO, Catalyst Technology/ Herveda Botanicals

Prativa: Cosmetic procedures may have gained momentum due to reasons as simple as increased interest, availability and affordability to more complex issues like pressure due to unrealistic metrics of beauty -especially for women – set by social media and advertisements. There are two sides to the coin. While some people claim that cosmetic procedures have enhanced their confidence, there are others whose self-esteem is lowered due to unrealistic and unhealthy standards set around beauty.

Is the new beauty standard we are setting for ourselves healthy?

Nishinta Bhatta, Investment Manager, Dolma Impact Fund

Swati: People are opting for cosmetic procedure and it is a totally healthy standard. There is no harm in such procedures as long as it enhances your personality.

Jebina: If someone desires to look good without social pressure then why not?
It’s not unhealthy to want to look good and be the best version of yourself. Our skin and face make the first impression and also reflects our lifestyle. If we are under pressure and workload, we tend to look tired and unhappy and cosmetic procedures can help us look fresh, bright and well-rested.

Nishinta: This is not a healthy standard that we are setting for ourselves and the future generations. We need to shift the focus from materialistic beauty to individual character.

Shilpa: I think it’s not healthy in the long run. I believe in the fact that we should embrace our imperfections but at the same time, I think it’s a personal choice if someone wants to go through cosmetic surgery which would make them comfortable with themselves, then why not?

Usha: Yes, it’s very healthy. But you have to take care that you are taking the service of an expert, acknowledge the details of the procedure and effects of it through proper consultation. Until you are comfortable mentally and it has no harm physically, anyone can opt for it. But sometimes it becomes addictive with people going for one procedure after another and this is not healthy. If you are addicted, you must stop right now. But if it is occasional and you are at ease with it, there is nothing to worry about.

Prativa: There isn’t enough evidence to understand the impact of cosmetic interventions on a person’s quality of life – self esteem, confidence, relationships, and acceptance by others – in the long term, but too much of anything is bad. Cosmetic procedures should supplement, but not replace a healthy lifestyle and daily skin care.

Would you consider it for yourself?

Shilpa Maskey

Swati: Yes I would. As I have said I believe that personality is ours but making it bold and better is part of a cosmetic procedure. I have tried it and I love the results.

Jebina: Yes, I follow what I preach. I have been doing cosmetic treatments on myself and my family members for quite some time now. I have undergone every procedure I do at my practice. I believe that to become a good aesthetic doctor you must undergo all the treatments as you can see visible positive differences in yourself. I get compliments from all my patients. People always wonder how I maintain myself so well. It’s no secret, just doing subtle treatments to get a fresher and natural enhancement.

Nishinta: I do not see myself opting for cosmetic procedures. I am comfortable in myself and I believe that we should focus more on enhancing our personality, confidence and overall wellbeing. Looks are temporary, but health, happiness and achievements go a long way.

Shilpa: I don’t think I will go through any kind of procedures. I am scared of needles!

Usha Khadgi, Miss Nepal 2000/ Owner, Usha’s Stylish Collection

Usha: Till this day, it has not been necessary. I do facials and have done laser toning once or twice for glow. But if it is required in the future I will definitely go for it. My concern is that it must look natural.

Prativa: I haven’t thought of doing any specific cosmetic procedure. I do take care of my skin health though. Key reasons why I started an all-natural skincare line are to create consumer awareness around skin health over merely looks, and to redefine beauty as something beyond skin deep, by bringing plants, people and science together.