The stigma surrounding plastic surgery and facial injections has slowly dissolved over the last few years. Norms have shifted and statistically, people are more willing to go under the knife to change their appearance. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgery, there were 17.5 million surgical and minimally-invasive cosmetic procedures performed in the United States in 2017, which is a significant 2 percent increase over 2016.
This ascent, undoubtedly still in motion, is primarily correlated with the multitude of trendy cosmetic procedures promoted by influencers and celebrities on social media, like the Kardashians. “We live in a very visual world, and have come to expect that we will be ‘Googled’ or ‘Facebooked’ even before actually meeting someone socially or professionally,” Sam Rizk, M.D., an American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery member and director of Manhattan Facial Plastic Surgery in New York, told Time.
Dr. Julia Carroll, director and dermatologist at Toronto’s Compass Dermatology says that clients in their 20s tend to request more pronounced lip fillers than what is normally considered natural. Carroll tells The Globe and Mail, “There’s a difference between enhancement and enlargement, and young women definitely like more enlargement. It’s a bit of a fashion statement, but the good news is that most fillers are temporary – kind of like wearing a nose ring in your 20s.” This makes them more appealing to a larger group of people, who are dubious about getting work done.
The popularity of these procedures, specifically lip and nose injections, has caused many young girls to share their personal experiences and advice through YouTube and Instagram. These women post images and vlogs, revealing every stage of the procedure, from the doctor’s office to their three-week check-up. British beauty blogger, Masna X, posted videos on her YouTube channel and Instagram feed of herself getting nose and lip fillers to show her fans. “I personally am in love with it you guys. I always thought in the back of my head like okay like maybe I need to get a nose job in the future because I know noses don’t ever stop growing and then I went and got this done on a whim. It didn’t hurt me at all,” she explains.
Nose injections were first invented by Dr. Alexander Rivkin, a physician in Los Angeles, who came up with a way to use fillers like Restylane and Juvederm, to get rid of bumps and give the illusion of a smaller, more refined nose. “The most important lesson is that people think you’re adding to the nose, but you’re actually adding and making it look smaller,” Rivkin clarifies to Harper’s Bazaar. The whole process takes up to 20 minutes and doesn’t require much recovery time. “It’s a real lunchtime procedure. People can generally go right back to work,” he says. “You can be a little red or a little bruised for a week, but we have lasers that can fix that too.”
Though many people are interested in trying out non-surgical nose jobs, lip injections are still ahead of the game. After Kylie Jenner confessed to getting her lips done, Dr. Leah Totton of Dr. Leah Clinics told The Independent that her clinic reported a staggering “70% rise in lip filler inquiries.” This increase is visible just by scrolling through the Internet, and girls aren’t afraid to show it. According to Cosmopolitan, lip fillers can last up to six months and can cost up to two thousand dollars. The results are almost immediately visible and they don’t feel any different than natural lips. Nonetheless, the most important thing to consider when looking into injections is finding a good clinic. Lauren Curtis, another vlogger, shared a negative experience she had after her procedure. “Obviously bruising was gonna happen. I actually went back to the place because after the swelling decreased after the first round I noticed there was lumpiness and a bit of unevenness,” she stated in disappointment. “I don’t want you to think there are no risks involved.”
More frequently, however, influencers are addressing the reservations surrounding the great impacts, both physically and psychologically, that these trends can have on young women. Samantha Ravndahl, a makeup guru on YouTube, like many others, starts her videos with a disclaimer by saying; “None of you should ever feel like you need to get something done and none of you should ever feel bad about wanting to get something done.” She continues to specify that her main goal is to share her experience, not dictate a standard. “You guys are all beautiful as you are and you’re beautiful in any way that you want to be.”