Widen the eyes, lift the brow, thicken the eyelash, bridge the nose — do whatever but make me look ‘North Indian’ and not ‘North Eastern’.” Shocking as it may seem, but it is with this demand that North Eastern girls in the Capital are flocking to cosmetic surgeons. Surgeons say the trend that started feebly 4 years ago now ensures them regular clients for surgeries that cost upto Rs 45,000.
“Their basic demand is big, prominent eyes, a brow lift and an increase in the density of the eyelash hair,” says Dr Naveen Taneja, of National Skin Center. He adds, “These girls are as young as 18, and as old as 35.” The girls cite reasons ranging from a personal dislike of small eyes to a keen desire to fit into Delhi’s society, infamous for discriminating against north-eastern women.
“These patients mostly say they don’t like their droopy eyes and the small round nose, typical of north eastern looks. We begin with a procedure to turn the nose sharper, followed by a surgery, under local anaesthesia, that involves creating a fold in upper eyelids so that the eyes widens and the look turns very ‘north Indian’. This costs around Rs 40,000,” says Dr Anup Dhir, senior cosmetic surgeon, Apollo hospital.
Dr Seema Malik of Eleganza skin clinic adds, “There have been around 25 cases in the last three months, of North Eastern girls aged between 18-30, most of them students in Delhi. They said they wanted ‘wide eyes like North Indian girls’ so that they can do nice eye make up.” “Those who want to avoid a surgery ask us to correct the nose with a filler. Some girls also come especially from the north east for this purpose,” says Dr Taneja.Two North Eastern girls living in Delhi, choosing to remain anonymous, tell HT City why they opted for such a surgery
I wanted to fit in
I am 24, belong to Darjeeling, and run a small business in ISBT. People here always made fun of my small eyes and said I looked funny. I didn’t feel like going out and chose mostly to stay indoors. I read about corrective surgery in magazines and went to a South Delhi clinic. It hurt a little and my eyes were bandaged for long, but I am happy because I feel ‘I fit in’ much better now.
I wanted to be a Delhi model
I am 22 and originally belong to Nepal, where I’ve done a few modelling assignments. I came to Delhi seven months back for work. I realised that clients and photographers like big, beautiful eyes — like those of the Delhi models. I thought if this is what I’m lacking, why not go for surgery to widen my eyes? It cost me Rs 30,000, but I have beautiful eyes now. Some North-Eastern friends told me not to get it done, saying that girls from our region have small eyes. But big eyes suit my personality. Now, I get more modelling assignments.