by EMA MARYA YACOB

Beauty. It has always been something society covets. Society has set a standard of beauty, and it’s portrayed everywhere on social media. A curvy body, regardless of your body health. Flawless skin, even if it requires you consuming dangerous supplements. Big round eyes which compel Asians to undergo plastic surgery to get eyelids and more ridiculous expectations…

Beauty standards are why Ameenah is firm with her decision. ‘If I am to get Ahmad to like me, I’ve got to bear a little pain. Beauty is painful anyway.’ She says without hesitation, quoting from an American magazine she read last night. What Ahmad said about his definition of beauty has really been bothering her these past few days.

‘I want someone with a hot body and ew, no pimples please!’ Ahmad explains at Chris’ party last two nights. Presently, Ameenah scans her body as she stands naked in front of her mirror. She sees cellulite, tummy rolls and monstrous thighs. Her skin? Oh, it’s red with pimples and acne scars all over. She looks at the calendar hanging on the wall. It’s next week. She’s scheduled herself an appointment with Dr. Nefario, a plastic surgeon she found online. She’s never heard of him and he hasn’t been reviewed much but he offers quite good prices on the Internet for simple surgeries. ‘I’m just going to get my fat sucked out and a bit of botox would do, that’s not going to cost me much.’ Ameenah reassures herself as she checks her savings in her piggy bank. Sin? ‘I’ll pray for forgiveness.’ Ameenah ignores the sting of guilt as she puts on her clothes and jumps into bed.

A week passes by slowly and Ameenah is in her surgery robe. She cannot wait for her brand new self. The skinny, sexy, flawless Ameenah. Ameenah’s body tingles as she daydreams herself walking like a model in two hours’ time.

‘Allah!’ Ameenah screams in her head as the needle pierces through her flesh. The pain is excruciating and she can’t wait for it to end. After two hours of surgery and an additional two hours of post-surgery rest, Ameenah regains her consciousness. She stares at her body. It’s definitely five kilos down, maybe more. All her flabs are gone. She walks slowly to the mirror and stares at the reflection. Her skin has never been this clear, and it’s definitely glowing!

Back home, Ameenah is happy to see everyone impressed and envious of her new look. When doubted, Ameenah merely convinces them that she is currently consuming a vitamin that aids weight loss and acne-clearing. That evening, as she is on her way to Ahmad’s to show off her brand new self, suddenly, she feels as if something is poking her thighs. Then, her whole body is in pain. It is as if somebody is burning her alive. She rushes back to Dr. Nefario’s clinic. Surprised, she sees that it’s closed down permanently. The place is empty and there are no signs of anyone nearby. The pain becomes more excruciating as Ameenah falls down helplessly onto the road. She is drenched in sweat and tears as she tries to reach her phone to call for help. She could feel her face swelling, as if something is about to explode inside. She could not bear the pain any longer. At this moment, she regrets her foolishness to undergo the surgery to feel beautiful for just two days and suffer permanent damage forever.

At-Tin: 4 “We have certainly created man in the best of stature.”