The Vatican has just released their opinions on plastic surgery, comparing it to wearing a “burqa made of the flesh.”
A paper is in the works for the church’s Plenary Assembly coming up this week on “Women’s Cultures: Equality and Difference.” This assembly will be examining the pressures placed on women to achieve culturally idealized beauty. Head of the Pontifical Council for Culture, Gianfranco Ravasi, is the brains behind the upcoming assembly and the voice of women around the world. As the olde saying goes, behind every great woman is an even greater cardinal of the Catholic Church.
However, minor complications may arise when men pretend they’re women and make decisions on their behalves.
According to the Vatican, there are a number of reasons why women should avoid going under the knife. The Vatican’s papers insist that plastic surgery is an aggressive attack on the female identity and that this attack against female identity is similar to wearing a burqa made out of skin.
Muslim women weren’t all that thrilled either about the Vatican papers likening lip injections and chin implants to their traditional religious garments. The Vatican has also been criticized by North America for airing a controversial commercial starring Italian actress Nancy Brilli speaking out against plastic surgery, as viewers found the thin, blond haired, blue eyed actress to be a perfect example of the stereotypical beauty ideals women feel pressured by.
Brilli’s stance against plastic surgery was also called into question once people found out that her partner works as a plastic surgeon.
Women have been encouraged to send videos to the Vatican and share their opinions on what it means to be a female and why certain pressures can lead to cosmetic surgery. While the Vatican’s Council for Culture insists that women’s voices are essential to the meetings taking place February 4-7th, there won’t be any women allowed at the meeting, as the members of the council are all men.
Ravasi provides some justification for this controversial process, explaining that women are the ones directing the dance and the men are just performing the steps. (Ladies do love a man who can dance.) The all-male council hopes that the decisions they make about women behind closed doors this week will help to make them feel more included in a religious institution that is somewhat notorious for being patriarchal.