No Shame. I am starting to see a rise in campaigns and posts about no judgement. MYA one of the leading cosmetic surgery companies recently had a TV advert banned. The advert showed women talking openly about the breast augmentation they had undergone and the positive impact it had on them. The advert received 17 complaints and as a result, the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) branding it “irresponsible and harmful” and banning the advert. I am in complete agreement that any product or service whether it be a material thing or procedure cannot be promoted to suggest that it can enhance your life or make you happier. However, off the back of the banned MYA campaign, there is now the no judgement campaign encouraging people to not cast judgement on those to choose to change their body or their faces.
Cosmetic procedures, whether surgical or non-surgical, are always elective by nature; therefore they are undertaken by choice. So, like with anything in life that instigates an individuals personal choice why does this then provoke people to cast judgement on it? This mostly came to light for me during Love Island last years, and the nations shock/disgust/mockery over Megan Barton-Hanson alleged £25K on surgery. Her before photos went viral, followed by a flock of memes mocking the change. But why was this such a hot topic across the nation? Yes, £25K is a lot to spend on anything however she worked for it and funded the treatments herself.
Before Love Island Megan made her money as a model, so essentially her body and her appearance were her means of earning an income. With this in mind, was she technically investing in her career when she elected to go under the knife? I think what riled the nation so much was that, personally, in my opinion, Megan looked great. She is not the typical image that springs to mind when you envision what someone who has had £25K of cosmetic procedures done looks like. Megan is undeniably gorgeous, and the work she has had is undoubtedly great. Yes, she has an ample chest, well-proportioned nose, shapely behind, full lips and well-defined cheekbones but everything looks in proportion. So why was the nation so full of judgment?
Is it really because they felt they had been deceived? That prior to news breaking and photos going viral Megan was perceived as a natural beauty, and now this revelations made her a ‘cheat’?
Body shaming is so dangerous - whether it be with regards to plastic surgery or natural imperfections. I don’t know many people who can say they a 100% happy and confident with their body so why judge others? Knowing the demographics of my followers on Instagram (apparently if you are female, aged between 25 and 34 and live in London or Newcastle you dig me), and knowing also that if you follow me you are probably interested in injectables, medical aesthetics or teeth - I know that my target audience does not truly represent a broad spectrum of society. However, when I asked my followers if they’d had any form of non-surgical aesthetic procedure, 61% said they had, and of those who hadn’t 87% said that they would consider it. When I went on ask if those who had opted to have elective treatment a shocking 70% said they felt like they had been judged for their choices.
Whilst I do have Megan’s corner agreeing that it is her body and her choices on the decisions she makes to augment it, I do disagree with her comments made trivialising procedures and likening them to ‘getting your hair done’. For whatever personal reasons an individual choosing to undergoing surgical or non-surgical cosmetic procedures has, the decision should be well considered weighing up the pros and cons with informed consent. Personally, I would like to see an end to the shame culture on elective procedures.
Your body. Your choices. No judgement, please.
Why in 2019 is Botox™ still considered a dirty word? This came to my attention last year when we worked a wedding fair promoting our facial aesthetics company. When we asked attendees if they'd had or considered having facial aesthetics treatments (i.e. Botox™ and fillers) I was alarmed about the response we got. Whereas many were excited and intrigued and wanted to learn a little more. Many were passive or even downright rude about our business.
"Fillers? Oh no we are NOT interested."
"Botox™? I do not agree with that."
"No! This kind of thing should be carried out by medical professionals only' - Couldn't agree more with you, I'm sorry my 5-year Dental degree doesn't cut it with you.
It's understandable that aesthetics treatments still carry a stigma around them, because like with anything else in life there's always a small few that ruin it for everyone else. For many, fillers can only look one way - swollen and unnatural, and botox can only mean frozen expressionless faces.
Celebrities undoubtedly have a little (a lot) of extra help which probably comes from both a surgical and non-surgical treatments. Let's face it, they look GREAT. Amanda Holden does not look like your average 48-year-old. Victoria Beckham doesn't look like your day to day 45 year old. I get asked all the time, do you think they've had a little work done? Yes! Of course, I do. Do you think she's had her lips done? Yes! Are her cheeks real? No! "But she doesn't look done?" Exactly!
Look at celebrities on television, their faces don't move like 'normal' peoples do. You can back watch Made in Chelsea and time stamp when the lead players have dabbled in a little anti-wrinkle treatment. Could the untrained eye see this? Probably not, and that's the key to great aesthetics.
I do feel it's a balance between the two, as the alternative is that if all celebrities were open about the work they'd had done, it could be considered as promoting treatment. Though the results are non-permanent and still technically classed as a beauty not a medical treatment no treatment is without risk, and you wouldn't be wrong to say it could be considered unethical for celebrities to endorse non-surgical facial aesthetic procedures. Take Kylie Jenner for example, I don't like to say she 'admitted' to having lip fillers as, again, this would suggest she was confessing to something terrible, but when she confirmed she'd had lip augmentation google search boomed. The search results for lip fillers spiked and has never dropped to lower than it did before she opened up. So is it because most celebrities would never speak of the tweekments they have had that's made Botox™ and Fillers a taboo topic? Whether it is a little bit of aesthetics treatments that can be detected or not, why is it still such a dirty word, especially amongst our parent's generation? Is it considered vain to not want to grow old gracefully? My dad made a good point that he felt his money was better invested in my education than in his face (fair point dad, well played).
Amongst our generation is it considered cheating? How many times have you heard "she's pretty, but she's had a lot done" do we use the detection or knowledge aesthetics treatment to score someones real attractiveness like we should only celebrate those who were naturally blessed with facial features which are conventionally considered to be attractive?
When I first entered into the world of aesthetics, I was quite hurt by the responses of some of my family and colleagues. Those who didn't want to share the website I'd worked tirelessly on out of fear of looking 'unprofessional' to the other colleagues they had on their social media. Those who downright told me they disagreed with the options I'd made for my career path. Perhaps it's through lack of awareness about treatments and the subtle natural results that can be created or the belittling title of 'beauty treatment' that aesthetics procedure carry that undermines the training and skill required to perform them. But by talking about the B word, I want to clear its name. Through educating and increasing understanding about aesthetics treatments and how to get into the industry I want to banish the negative associations made with procedures, because by making facial aesthetics a subject we can talk about openly - we can make it safer and a less judged for the practitioner and consumer.
This is the B word, let's talk about it.