Lebanon, a Mediterranean country, is considered notoriously image-conscious. It may be an embattled country, what with Israel, Hizbollah and Christian militants clashing fiercely all the time.
But the thirst to look 'more beautiful' seems to remain unquenched.
Only that should explain why the Fist National Bank has come forward to offer easy loans for undergoing plastic surgery.
Its website dubs the 'plastic surgery loans' as a way to 'have the life you've always wanted'.
Beauty is no longer a luxury....With FNB's Plastic Surgery Loan you can cover all your Plastic Surgery operations and Orthodontics, the website proclaims Customers can borrow loans ranging from one thousand dollars to five thousand dollars. Only conditions being, they should be employed and under 64 years of age.
Latest data seem to show that there is a huge interest among Lebanese in plastic surgery and banks would like to cash in on it.
The bank says it has received more than 200 calls a day about the loan since it was launched with a TV and poster campaign last week.
'We like to look our best... There are people who see this loan as their life raft,' a bank official said.
The most popular procedures are nose jobs - which cost a fraction of what most people pay in Europe or the US - followed by liposuction and botox.
Liposuction is a surgical procedure intended to remove fat deposits and shape the body. Fat is removed from under the skin with the use of a vacuum-suction canula (a hollow pen-like instrument) or using an ultrasonic probe that emulfsies (breaks up into small pieces) the fat and then removes it with suction.
Botox is a simple, non-surgical, physician-administered treatment that can temporarily smoothen moderate to severe frown lines between the brows in people from 18 to 65 years of age.
Also there is usually a sharp increase in breast augmentation surgery in the spring, as women prepare for the summer season spent on Lebanon's beaches.