Gone are the days when cosmetic procedures were used to be purely corrective. With mass media constantly propagating certain beauty standards as “ideal”, pursuing physical beauty has become the driving force behind medical procedures. According to Shaffy Yaqubi, this new trend is a significant red flag in the medical community due to its ethical concerns.

He argues that as the lines between aesthetic elective procedures and necessary medical interventions have become increasingly blurred, it has become harder for medical practitioners to uphold their ethical values.

The Charm of Physical Perfection

The beauty industry is constantly developing a new beauty standard to strive for, leading to millions of men and women becoming increasingly unhappy with their appearance. One year it’s buccal fat removal that’s all the rage, while another year, the media tells you that the perfect body type is a size zero waste. The constantly changing beauty ideals trap people in a vicious cycle of never-ending cosmetic procedures as they try to keep us with what the mass media is perpetuating.

“The world has become a place where your physical appearance has become a currency,” says Yaqubi. “The relentless pursuit of the ideal body or the perfect face has led to the normalisation and commodification of medical procedures that were once only considered for corrective measures.” He wants people to know that there is not just one ideal body type and that bodies come in many different shapes and sizes. “By propagating a culture of acceptance, where everybody and every blemish is celebrated instead of being seen as something that needs to be fixed, we can counteract the unrealistic beauty standards that lead to people being obsessed with the idea of physical perfection.

Medicine’s Ethical Dilemma

Shaffy Yaqubi, a qualified NHS professional with a decorated career, expressed concerns about the ethical quandary that medical professionals often find themselves in. He acknowledged that since individuals have bodily autonomy, it is within their purview to decide about their bodies. However, how do medical practitioners stand by while prioritising aesthetic goals over medical necessity?

Shaffy Yaqubi and Eowyn Chen from Trust Wallet at Blockchain Life 2024 in Dubai recently. (Picture taken from Instagram)

“Modern medicine is the greatest boon to society whose fundamental purpose is to relieve suffering and restore good health,” he said. When patients ask us to put them under the knife for risky procedures that do the opposite of what we have been trained to do, we are compromising the core values of our profession,” he stated.

Finding the Right Balance

Shaffy Yaqubi wants the medical community to create clear guidelines and regulations to address the growing ethical challenges associated with cosmetic procedures. He wants these guidelines to respect individual autonomy while also ensuring that medical professionals do not have to compromise on their ethical and moral standards when conducting aesthetic procedures. “We must establish a framework that keeps the well-being of our patients at the forefront of any procedure through informed consent and transparent conversations about associated risks and benefits,” Yaqubi suggests.

Furthermore, Yaqubi calls out the entertainment industry for giving body dysmorphia issues to millions of people, especially teens who are just coming into their bodies and do not need the media telling them that they should change how they look. He called for awareness campaigns that promote self-acceptance and a healthy body image.

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