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HD Connection: Can We Stop Aesthetic Shaming?

Ready for a rant? Here ya go...

As aesthetic procedures (such as Botox, fillers, laser treatments, and even cosmetic surgeries) have become more widely publicized on social media, the shaming and negative rhetoric has increased. Back in the day, getting Botox was hush-hush and people just wanted others to believe they were remaining youthful-looking naturally. With the wave of aesthetic treatments becoming more visible and accessible online, on the one hand we have started to combat this mindset and begun to normalize these treatments. On the other hand, we tend to be bombarded with the extremes when it comes to aesthetic treatments. What I mean by this is we are seeing either over-filled and botched or perfect and retouched.

The former seems to be one of the root causes of aesthetic shaming. When what the public sees on social media is poorly done work, overfilled faces, or the horror stories, of course the reputation becomes negative. If I had a dollar for every time someone has said to me, "you just got Botox? you don't look any different" I could fund my Botox for the next 10 years. The point of aesthetic procedures is not to look drastically different. In my opinion, if you are going to a reputable injector you should never look over-filled and your injections shouldn't make you look vastly different. The whole point of aesthetic medicine and treatments are to enhance areas of your face in order to promote confidence and make you feel good about yourself.

The other problem I see is celebrities constantly lying about what procedures they have had. Of course, it's nobody's business what you do behind closed doors. However, when a celebrity suddenly has perfectly sculpted cheekbones, a jawline for days, luscious lips, and not a crease in sight, of course we start to speculate. When celebrities deny getting "work done" the message to the public is "no, I am just naturally flawless." For starters, we aren't stupid. I know your whole face didn't naturally transform, lift, and contour itself overnight when I can very easily pull up a picture of you a few months ago and calculate the amount of collagen you should be losing overtime by your age. And secondly, as a celebrity in the United States young women and men look up to you. You are pushing beauty standards without even knowing it. Just own that you had a procedure or two done so we can stop beating ourselves up for not looking as amazing as you do "naturally."

To conclude my rant with a bang (I promise it's almost over), I'm going to call out men. Now relax, I know I can't put all males in a box, but if this is triggering you just hear me out. All the time, I hear men say, "I don't like a woman who gets Botox and filler" or "I like girls who don't wear makeup." Then I see the females that they are dating and I know for a fact that those ladies have been getting Botox and filler on the low for a hot minute and the only makeup they aren't wearing is bright red lipstick. Part of this is our fault for keeping procedures hush-hush. How can men know that we don't naturally look like this without us telling them? But my other opinion (which may be controversial) is that a man has no right to tell me what I can and cannot do to my face. Especially when society's

beauty constructs are dictated by men in the first place!

<<<<Just take a peak at some of the unwarranted comments I get from men I don't know on social media.

In the world we live in today, aesthetic shaming isn't going away. It would be nice to minimize it where we could. Awareness is key here. Ladies (and gentlemen), let's start by being open about what you have done. If people around you hear you talking about your treatments they'll start to recognize that not all people who get a routine Botox treatment end up with sausage lips and a dropped eyelid. Let's also start being aware that celebrities aren't always truthful about procedures and their overnight glow-up doesn't make you any less of a beautiful individual (with or without aesthetic treatments). And finally, guys, please start to recognize that women are held to impossible standards and looking down on aesthetic procedures doesn't make it any easier on us. At the end of the day, getting an aesthetic treatment is for the sole purpose of increasing self-confidence. So if you haven't had and don't plan on getting aesthetic procedures, good for you. But don't make someone who has had treatments done feel like they are beneath you.

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