Soraya De Zoysa – Director of Silvacos, Sothys Sri Lanka and The Estheti Centre.

Soraya De Zoysa describes her entry into the Beauty industry as a result of coincidence, which turned into a case of love at first sight. As the Director of the Estheti Centre, one of Sri Lanka’s leading skin care facilities, Soraya has seen and helped multitudes of women deal with various beauty related issues, from hair in unwanted places and dry skin to warts and scars, she’s dealt with it all. But according to her the greatest challenge to woman’s confidence in her appearance is herself.  “I think a woman is her own worst critique. She worries about “flaws” in her appearance that other people would not even notice. Unfortunately, society also plays a major role in making women feel inadequate; from well -meaning family and friends to commercials that prey on our insecurities.”

On the topic of society’s role in increasing insecurities, Soraya proceeded to discuss the what and why behind body shaming, and how it should be dealt with. “There are “molds” that society expect people to fit into physically. Body shaming usually occurs when one does not fit into these ideal body types which are considered to be ideal. People may say you’re, too skinny, too fat, too busty or flat chested etc. While this is still a serious problem, I also see a lot of change in society where women are embracing their uniqueness and identity. For example, a physique like Kim Kardashian’s would have been considered disproportionate in the past, and now people are opting for surgery to get her look. Even in our society it is encouraging to note that more and more women are starting to embrace and appreciate their natural skin tone as opposed to desiring a fairer complexion.” 

According to Soraya, people who body shame probably do it for one of two reasons – because they genuinely feel you would be better off looking different or they’re bullies who are insecure themselves. “I’m not sure how we can change society, but I feel the best way to deal with this problem is to accept our differences and use it to our advantage.”

Speaking of a woman’s journey towards being happy with the way she looks, the beauty specialist explained, “A woman could start this journey, but I would really like to meet a woman who reached that destination! Human beings are naturally an insatiable species. So, I feel this would be an unrealistic goal. Furthermore, I don’t think there is anything wrong in aiming to better one’s appearance, as long as you have a healthy balance.”

Addressing the issue of the potentially harmful procedures women currently undergo in order to look beautiful, Soraya said, “I always believe that just because a little is good, does not mean more is better. That being said, the term “potentially harmful” is very relative. For example, getting Botox maybe considered harmful to one, but it could also be a perfectly safe procedure in the right hands and the same maybe said about surgery. I feel that whatever procedure a woman undergoes is a personal choice. My only advise is that you should make sure you do your research and stick to reputable products and professionals”.

Today the line between enhancing one’s beauty and changing the way one looks is rather blurred. Voicing her opinion on the matter, Soraya stated, “I personally feel that whatever beauty procedure you decide to venture into should be about enhancing the way you look and not changing it. But here again it’s a personal choice. It’s important not to lose sight of what we are blessed with in the race to perfection.”

Of the Beauty industry of Sri Lanka, Soraya had this to say, “It’s encouraging to see that the beauty industry in Sri Lanka is keeping up with the rest of the world. We see many more devices entering the market and offering a range of non-invasive procedures, which is quite exciting! However, I also feel that the Beauty industry must treat their customers responsibly. There are a range of concerns that my customers bring to me that require counselling and not just consultation. I hope the Beauty industry in Sri Lanka does not exchange its passion and commitment towards making people feel better about themselves for financial gain.”