In Sexual Personae, American academic and social critic Camille Paglia discusses the idea of modern society as "an artificial construction, a defense against nature's power." One manifestation of this rebellion and resistance against nature is our desire to defy aging.
It’s not our fault we were born into a brainwashed civilization that’s constantly telling women to be prettier, skinnier, and look more youthful, but we do have the power to find our beauty within ourselves rather than to seek it in the next aesthetic treatment. Beauty has become a focus on our faces and bodies rather than our entire being. The results of this are horrendous; even teenage girls are spending an immense amount of energy pursuing anti-aging remedies, and women are falling into a perpetual cycle of altering their features through cosmetic means.
In 2022, there was a baby botox boom among Gen Z and millennials to prevent "premature aging." Dermal filler is also having its heyday. In the same year, the global dermal filler market size was estimated to be around 5.5 billion dollars. While there’s no doubt that women – and men – are still flocking to clinics to reduce their smile lines, crow’s feet, and forehead wrinkles, a growing number of people are speaking out against fillers.
What Are Fillers Anyway?
Before we continue, let’s briefly go over what dermal fillers are. Fillers are injected into the skin for added volume to lift the appearance of lines. They make certain features more pronounced, like your nose or jaws. They're behind the big, full pout in celebrities and can smooth out wrinkles on your face.
There are four different kinds of fillers: hyaluronic acid (HA), a sugar found in the body; calcium hydroxylapatite, a mineral of bone; and poly-l-lactic acid (PLLA), which is made out of synthetic materials.
Why Women Are Done with Fillers
I've seen plenty of women on social media who have stopped getting fillers, and there are many reasons why. Snitchery on YouTube, for example, said she dropped them after getting side effects like lumps and puffiness around the injection sites. She also noted how fillers cost anywhere from $600 to $800 per syringe.
As with any treatment or surgical procedure, there's also the risk of getting botched results. There are groups on Facebook comprised of people sharing their horror stories of cosmetic treatments. "Botched Fillers & Hyaluribdase Damage Support Group" has over 8,000 members, while "Botched Botox and Flawed Fillers" boasts 25,000.
Fillers Can Migrate
Filler migration is exactly what it sounds like: Filler intentionally injected in one area moves or migrates to another location. We see this a lot in women who received multiple injections to their lips. Take Kylie Jenner, for example:
The causes of filler migration can vary. Sometimes, it's due to incorrect dosages. Different fillers also have different properties, so some are more prone to migration depending on their viscosity. "Every aesthetic injector has an arsenal of products with different composition properties and viscosities to use, and it is imperative they know what products to use and where to use them," board-certified facial plastic surgeon Jason Diamond tells Allure.
Dissolving Your Fillers Can Be a Nightmare
There’s good news and there's bad news if your filler migrates. The good news is that you can dissolve it – the bad news is that dissolving them can make you look older. Fillers are dissolved through injections of an enzyme called hyaluronidase, which breaks down HA. According to Dazed Digital, a woman from one of the Facebook groups described how her lips looked smaller and appeared more wrinkled after getting her fillers dissolved.
“I feel very depressed,” she confessed. “Knowing that I’ll never get my old lips back is heartbreaking, especially because when you get lip fillers done, you get reassured [by injectors] that if you don’t like the outcome you can always get them dissolved and they will look the same as before. In order to get rid of the lip wrinkles, I’m going to have to get them redone, which means I am now dependent on getting lip filler. One small decision that I made to get my lips filled has now ruined my life. I keep on looking back at my old pictures and wishing I just had my old lips back.” Luckily, this doesn't happen to everyone who opts to dissolve their fillers, and the results often leave you looking better and more natural.
Fillers Can Stick Around for a Long Time
There's another issue, though. Not everyone who received fillers might get them dissolved because they are supposed to be temporary and should dissolve naturally after 6-24 months – but reports state otherwise. One woman from the UK named Alice Hart-Davis got an MRI scan and found that her fillers of 20 years had migrated all over her face. "From my research, particularly in the mid-face and around the eyes, filler seems to last a lot longer than we initially expected," aesthetic radiologist Dr. Mobin Master told The Daily Mail.
Fillers Can Make You Look Abnormal
Last week, I wrote about the “stink face” appearance in women who received numerous cosmetic treatments. When I asked doctors what was causing this strange appearance, their theory pointed to fillers. You can read about that here.
Besides abnormal results like the dreaded pillow and stink face, fillers might actually make you look older. I won't name anyone out of respect, but some influencers in their early 20s receive Botox and fillers, and they leave their audience stunned when they reveal their age. Some of you might be asking, "How could Botox and fillers make you look older when it's supposed to do the opposite?" Well, the women who received these treatments, at least in the past several decades, were typically more mature. It's normal for us to see women over 40 with a frozen and filled look, so when we see that same appearance in others, we might automatically assume they're older.
Pursuing the Instagram-filtered look often comes with pitfalls. Thanks to social media, we're witnessing women reevaluating their decisions regarding certain cosmetic procedures and enhancements, both financially and emotionally. In my opinion, a lot of young women who get them don't need them and are operating largely from insecurity. While society tells us we're allowed to alter our faces however we wish, we need to find balance in the beauty culture and dissuade some of them from making decisions they might regret.
Evie deserves to be heard. Support our cause and help women reclaim their femininity by subscribing today.