According to the Vatican, plastic surgery is a form of “aggression” against the female body and, what’s more, it’s apparently, “like a burqa made of the flesh.”
A church plenary assembly on “Women’s Cultures: Equality and Difference” looked at the pressure faced by women when it came to body image.
According to the Independent, the Pontifical Council for Culture’s working paper cardinals claimed that going under the knife for plastic surgery has been linked to eating disorders and depression.
As the paper noted, “Plastic surgery that is not medico-therapeutic can be aggressive toward the feminine identity, showing a refusal of the body in as much as it is a refusal of the ‘season’ that is being lived out.”
The council went on to warn over the “indiscriminate and undifferentiated” objectification of women, especially in the media. “No political or social battle has been able to do without a mechanism so profoundly rooted as that of the exploitation of the female body for commercial benefit,” it said.
The Vatican will no doubt come under fire for using the inflammatory language which it has used, not just from Christians but also from Muslims and others.
In addition, the Catholic women’s initiative also landed the Vatican in trouble over a video starring a “sexy blonde” woman to promote their message.
In the clip, the woman, asks her viewers how often they ask themselves, “Who are you? What do you do? What do you think about yourself as a woman?”
Phyllis Zagano of Hofstra University wrote in the National Catholic Reporter, “What were they thinking at the Vatican? Aside from the obvious – sexy sell has long gone by the boards in developed nations and is totally unacceptable in predominantly Muslim countries – the fact of the matter is that highlighting a stereotypical spokeswoman is not the way to ask for women’s input.”
It remains to be seen what the backlash will be from the controversial video, with the Vatican once again finding itself at the center of a volatile storm which could well get worse.