Why or Why Not? Religions Views on Cosmetic SurgeryLiving in a world full of makeup, pushup bras, and photoshop, it is evident that a great deal of the people within today’s society are not satisfied with their appearance. Whether it is their weight, size of breasts, facial features, or buttocks, many end up going to extreme lengths to change the things they do not like about themselves. A study done by the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons shows that, “… in 2011, 15 million people across the globe turned to plastic surgery to enhance their looks.” As stated in the quote above, it shows that a great magnitude of the population all across the world are using cosmetic surgery to enhance or completely change their appearances. Being that the statistic covers the entire world, it includes people of all race, age, gender, and most importantly, Religion. Many of the world’s major Religions have different, yet similar positions on the moral issue. Western Religions with the shared founder, Abraham, such as Christianity and Islam have a more strict stance against cosmetic surgery while followers of Eastern Religions such a Hinduism have a more fluid, open position on this topic. Beginning with Christianity, the Catholic Church’s view on cosmetic surgery is negative as expected. Christian teachings discourage vanity, as pride is considered to be one of the greatest sins. God made all of his people in his image, so it’s believed that they should be accepting of their appearance, even with what they believe to be their imperfections. Another argument that Christians make against cosmetic surgery is the cost. Being that cosmetic surgery is quite expensive, people of the Christian faith believe the money people invest into tummy tucks, breast augmentations, and rhinoplasties would be better spent for other purposes such as charities, rather than superficial enhancements. Written in 1 Samuel 16:7 it says “But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” This bible verse speaks on what should matter the most to Christians, what God thinks of them, since they live their lives in worship of him and it matters more to him who they are on the inside rather than your external appearance. Being that both of the Religions, Christianity and Islam have the same founder of Abraham and trace their roots backs to some of the same important Religious figures, they are bound to have the same stances on certain topics and the moral issue of Cosmetic Surgery is one of them. Like previously mentioned Muslims share a similar view as Christians do on on cosmetic surgery yet are more extreme with their beliefs and have different reasoning behind them. Being that Islam is a extremely restrictive religion on many accounts, body modifications for the sole purpose of beautification are frowned upon, as they are considered to be needless alterations to the creation of Allah. To quote the words of Imaam al-Nawawi in his commentary on the Hadeeth: “Allah has cursed the women who make tattoos and the women who have this done, the women who pluck facial hair and the women who have this done, and women who widen the gap between their own or others’ teeth for the sake of beauty, changing what Allah has created.” (Saheeh Muslim, 3966). This quote is not directed completely towards cosmetic surgery however when you go thought it and analyze it in the sense of the moral issue and it provides insight into how strongly Muslims feel about it. Finally on the complete other side of beliefs on cosmetic surgery is the Eastern Religion, Hinduism. At a glance Hinduism is considered to be one of, if not the most tolerant Religion in the world and because of this it is no wonder that the faith has a significantly different view on this moral issue then the other Religions I researched. Plastic surgery itself is believed to have its roots traced back to ancient Indian society. The Sushruta Samhita text describes the first rhinoplasty (nose job) in history, despite having been written somewhere around 600 B.C. Additionally bleaching creams are a modern-day Indian obsession, so it’s safe to say that Hinduism, in general, has a more open approach to body alterations then some of the worlds other major Religions. However all three of the Religions listed above have the same position when it comes to non cosmetic plastic surgery – that’s performed for strictly medical purposes. In Christianity it is okay to have plastic surgery if it reconstructive and beneficial to the person’s health. In Islam there are a few exceptions to the otherwise strict beliefs, if there is a deformity that causes someone physical or severe emotional pain they are permitted to correct the problem through different means, including surgery if necessary. And finally being that Hindu’s are not discouraged to have cosmetic procedures done to begin with, it is considered perfectly fine within their faith. After researching the Religions, Christianity, Islam, and Hinduism and their positions on cosmetic surgery, it helped me to form a more educated personal opinion. Once I learned why Christians and Muslims are against it in some circumstances and for it under others and the history behind and why Hindus are in support of it, I can see and understand all three religions points. However since in the Bible, Quran, and Vedas it does not blatantly state the exact circumstances where cosmetic surgery is excusable and when it is not, I think it is important to be open minded and respect each religions views.