A portrait of a modern Lebanese woman

Disclaimer: This post is sarcastic and it doesn’t aim to offend anyone! It describes a specific type of women rather than unites everyone under the given parameters.

nabil-harfouch
Road banner, which was all over Lebanon in summer 2016 and which was sarcastically joked around. Ya albi means You are my heart in a cheesy way

In European point of view, women of East are unhappy, powerless creatures, who are obliged to cover their heads and unquestioningly obey men. Perhaps, that’s how the things are in some countries or communities, but certainly not in Lebanon. A woman here is a flash of bright light, a sparkling fire and a bombshell! So forget everything you ever imagined and meet the portrait of a modern Lebanese woman.

To begin with, the majority of women in Lebanon are educated, most with higher education. Generally the percentage of educated people in Lebanon is high, around 95%. And educational base is powerful, with lots of good strong universities. A well-known AUB (American University of Beirut) is considered one of the best and most prestigious universities in the Middle East. Therefore, women in Lebanon are not only able to read and write, but as elsewhere they study Marketing, Management, International relations, Law, Medicine and other specialties. I’m talking about urban inhabitants; women in small villages are mostly engaged in household and agriculture.

There is this common type of modern Lebanese girls who are free, proud and ambitious. I have never seen such a high level of self-confidence and the ability of self-presenting in other countries. It is a good example for many women all over the world, but without turning it into pure narcissism as it mostly happens here. Some girls stay very arrogant, insolent, defiant looking. The two main trends of this kind are art and healthy lifestyle. It sounds good theoretically, but quite sad on practice. The art in their understanding is a bunch of corrected and filtered images in Instagram or tones of great poses for photo shoots; they also think of themselves as amateur or even professional photographers having loads of male followers. With regard to a healthy lifestyle, it is reflected in long hours in gyms every sindle day. They choose the coolest fitness centers, running on the treadmill with full make-up and hair style. I understand that this is a global trend, but it’s very prominent in Lebanon.

myriam_klink-1
Myriam Klink inside her pink Hummer – a Lebanese model turned into singer

Lebanese women are very demanding when it comes to men. Local girls wish for a prince or rather a businessman, with a fancy car and cool apartments. He should also be handsome, charismatic and successful. The relationships like “he’s still young, I will support him in all his undertakings, and we will develop together” is not an option. Therefore, many young guys prefer to marry foreign women, or they come up with a fairy-tale about their unprecedented wealth and success, involving themselves into numerous of debts. In general, I agree with the Lebanese women. Us, Russians, spoil our men too much, that they turn into lazy animals who don’t want to work or take any responsibilities. On the other hand, I have never looked for a superhero; I have always tried to support my man, even if he is not rich, but has the potential and the push to develop. But back to the subject!

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Maya Diab – Lebanese singer

Let’s switch from characters to appearance. Lebanon has been considered as the fashion center in the Middle East for centuries. Therefore women in Lebanon are very fashionable and they are carefully following all the fashion trends. Many look as though they had just descended from the pages of a glossy magazine. Ripped jeans, ultra-tight pants, crop tops, chokers, Cartier bracelets, strapless dresses with frills, 1990’s style, in other words, all the tendencies of summer 2016! In malls, gyms, supermarkets, on the streets and in cafes – the glamour is everywhere! This is similar to Russian girls who wear high heels even while shopping, but more bizarre, bright, sometimes even vulgar. I love stylish people, but I always prefer the middle ground.

rola-saad
Rola Saad – Lebanese singer and model

Same goes for makeup, which can never be too much! Manicure and pedicure –of course! Face make-up – indeed, even in the pools and fitness centers. The same situation with hairstyles: God forbid going out with a ponytail or a bun! Females usually prefer luxury shining straightened hair, large chic or stranded perfect curls. The explanation is clear: there are more hairdressers in the country that the girls themselves.

haifa-wehbe
Haifa Wehbe – Lebanese singer and actress

And the last thing that “greatly distinguishes” Lebanese women of all ages from let’s say European women is the love towards plastic surgery, when every third or maybe second girl has her nose or cheekbones made. I don’t know what’s going on. Perhaps, it’s the fact that Arab women in general have rather wide nostrils, and their dream is to have “nose-pegs”. However nose surgery is just the beginning in the chain of Botox, silicone and other implants. Many are also in love with colored eye lenses, that don’t suit with the oriental appearance. I am puzzled about the reasons of this insanity exactly in Lebanon. After all, many Eastern nationalities have the same structure of the nose, face shape or body proportions. The answer, most likely, in all that’s written above, and it is a striving for the doll looks and outer perfection. I am absolutely against plastic surgery. In my opinion, the plastic is necessary only in problematic situations (such as the consequences of accidents, disproportional face or body, irreversible change in shape after  giving birth/infant feeding, etc.). All other cases I take as our women’s individuality and charisma.

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Elissa – one of the most famous Lebanese singers

P.S.: Not all women in Lebanon are as described in this post. For example, my husband’s sister is a very natural girl of extraordinary beauty. I see a lot of gorgeous women on the streets with their Middle Eastern style curls and curvy shapes, which I find extremely attractive. Such women just don’t need that much make-up and hair spray as they daily use! I think that natural beauty and charisma is always the key to charm. Women should try to be themselves, slightly playing with textures, shades and colors. SLIGHTLY!!! That feels much better, believe me!

All the photos are taken from Google.

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