Over the past few years, there’s been an increasing shift towards embracing your own natural beauty and letting it shine, so to speak. The #nomakeup hashtag on Instagram now has over 16.3 million posts. If you’re like me, this is an absolute godsend. No more early mornings slapping on a full face of make-up; it’s now acceptable to go out in public looking like yourself. In a world full of increasing pressures from social media and celebrities, it’s a sigh of relief to see the people gracing our televisions and our ‘Discover’ pages looking a bit more natural. Or is it?
Maybe she’s born with it…
6 weeks ago, Megan Barton-Hanson entered the Love Island villa. Like her or loathe her, you can’t fail to recognise that she is drop. dead. gorgeous. The words ‘Margot Robbie lookalike’ have been thrown around newspapers and online websites. But how much of that is natural and how much is a surgeon’s handiwork?
A cosmetic surgeon has commented that the amount of work she’s had done reaches around £40,000. Ouch. This includes a rhinoplasty, or nose job, chin reshaping, dental veneers, breast augmentation and cheek and lip fillers. Yes, you can’t deny it looks good, but what effect is this having on viewers?
Young and impressionable
Social media has long been blamed for having an effect on people’s mental health, even more so with the rise of Instagram and the influencer title. Instagram has been named by The Royal Society for Public Health the worst social media for having an effect on mental health, namely body image, anxiety, and depression. Just look at your discover page. Alongside the odd toothy-related account (nerd alert), my page is mostly filled with toned and bikini-clad females and celebrity selfies. The issue with sites like Instagram is you only see a snapshot of someone’s day/week/life. It’s easy to see a picture and aspire to look like someone you see.
Take Kylie Jenner as a perfect example. The girl has risen to fame and taken over Kim’s position as the ‘girlboss’ of the Kardashian klan. Her make-up line has made over $420 million in the last few years. Much of that comes down to the desire to get lips just like Kylie herself. And buying her lipsticks isn’t the only way people are trying to get a Kardashian pout. Back in 2015, the #KylieJennerLipChallenge caused a storm as young people filmed clips of themselves sucking on water bottles and shot glasses, leading to bruising and pain. At the time, Kylie refused to admit she’d had any cosmetic procedures performed on her lips. Although she has now admitted to having fillers, there’s still speculation around other procedures she’s had done.
Although people in the public eye are entitled to do what the heck they want – do we need people to disclose when something is natural and when something is not? The Kylie Jenner Lip Challenge is a perfect example of when young, easily influenced people aspire to be something that’s just unattainable naturally. It can be dangerous.
Personalities on Instagram are becoming role models for young people, girls especially. With that, needs to come some responsibility. Namely, for making people aware when they’ve procedures to alter the way they look. Yes, there is another side to the coin; that knowing they’ve had these cosmetic procedures will influence young people to undergo them, but that’s an issue for another day.
Natural beauty is the best beauty
What we need to be doing is working towards more realistic natural beauty. Not natural beauty with a sprinkling of silicone. We need to embrace the facts and learn to work with what we have. Yes, we all have things we’d love to change, but is going under the knife always the answer?
I’d love to do more on body image and confidence, so I’d love know your thoughts – please leave a comment or tweet me @pollymaisie and let me know!