We in the West get plenty of grief for our vanity and the lengths (or depths) to which we’ll go to achieve the perfect look, but it looks like a certain kind of appearance enhancement is causing Middle Eastern men to flock to Paris for bigger and better…mustaches.
Paris-based surgeon Pierre Bouhanna and Turkish plastic surgeon Selahattin Tulanay have noted an uptick in recent years of medical tourists hailing from the UAE, Iran, Lebanon and Turkey seeking the implants, which experts say enhances a manly image.
Andrew Hammond, a Saudi Arabia-based journalist and author on Arab popular culture, said the mustache has a long history in the region.
“Having a mustache was always a big thing, ever since the Ottoman time,” he said. “Most Arab leaders have mustaches, or some form of facial hair. I think culturally it suggests masculinity, wisdom and experience. “
Christa Salamandra, an associate professor of anthropology at City University of New York, said that “traditionally, a luxurious mustache was a symbol of high social status,” and had figured heavily in matters of personal honor in the Arab world. Men swore on their mustaches in sayings and folk tales, used them as collateral for loans and guarantees for promises, and sometimes even shaved their opponents’ lips as a punishment.
Real men have mustaches.
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