Life moves fast, and so do our expectations. It’s totally normal now to go in for treatment like Botox and dermal fillers – just a few years ago it was seen as something a bit exotic and viewed as a procedure that only the super-rich could afford!
Not only has it come down in price, but it’s become something that we don’t even question anymore. It’s just like using fake tan to get a sun-kissed glow in the depths of winter, or using teeth-whitening strips to perfect that smile.
In this piece, we wanted to look at how this trend for Botox and fillers became the norm, and think about how it has shaped our society. What do we now consider beautiful? What are we prepared to go through to get the “right” look? Perhaps most important of all, how does it affect our mental health?
Botox vs Fillers – how do they compare?
Before we go further, let’s get clear on what these treatments actually involve.
- They’re both classed as “non-surgical procedures” because although they involve very fine needles, they’re not in the same league as operations like nose shaping or breast implants.
- The effects of Botox and fillers are temporary; you don’t need long recovery periods before you can go about your day-to-day life.
- You won’t experience much pain when you’re actually having them done.
- Botox smooths out the wrinkles in your face and fillers have a plumping effect. They have slightly different uses and can be applied to different areas of the face depending on where exactly you want to target.
If you’re thinking of trying either Botox or fillers and you’re not sure, this guide helps you work out which one is best for you. Of course, all professionals will provide a thorough consultation before performing any injections, but being clued up before you go in means you’ll know what to expect.
Kardashians and Jenners – celebrities lead the way
So how did we go from thinking that Botox and fillers were a little unusual, or only for the super-rich, to thinking that they were totally normal? In other words, how did they become so popular?
The answer has to be that it’s happened through celebrity culture, right? The funny thing is that if you look back through history, you’ll see that this has all happened before….
Back in the day, our great-grandparents and great-great-grandparents used to love to read about the aristocracy. The equivalent of Heat magazine back in the 1920s covered all the gossip of the London Season – the best parties, the most eligible bachelors, the most beautiful debutantes (the young upper-class women who were presented to the Queen at court). Everyone went mad for the latest looks and beauty trends that were being sported by the Duchesses and Baronesses!
Now, things are no different. It’s just that in our democratic society, instead of following the aristocracy, we follow the modern-day version: the celebs. We love the likes of the Kardashians and the Jenners and want to follow their example in achieving a luxury lifestyle and a beautiful look.
Of course, a major part of this is the TV shows that give us a look at celebrities’ everyday lives. But then there are also the magazines that report on it (as they always did), and something quite new, too: social media.
Where else could you find hundreds of selfies and OOTDs to offer such inspiration and influence?
Instagram and Influence
If you’ve ever watched a Derren Brown TV show, you’ll know about the power of influence! He’s the intense magician who gets people to do the most unbelievable things using a blend of illusion, real hypnosis, and subconscious influence.
Derren shows us how much we are influenced by the things we see around us on a daily basis without even realising it. At a subconscious level, we are responding to trends, images, eye-catching branding – everything we take in from morning till night has some effect on what we think is hot and what we think is not!
As the internet and internet culture in general has progressed, the way we communicate has changed. With social media platforms such as Instagram and Twitter, we now get regular doses of all our favourite people, often several times a day.
This doesn’t mean we just blindly follow them, of course not – we can still think for ourselves and make our own decisions! But what it does mean is that we look to their example, like emulating the coolest people in school, always keen to see what they’re wearing and to take a leaf or two out of their fashion books.
How do Botox and fillers affect society’s outlook on beauty and life?
So how do Botox and fillers now affect our general outlook? Are they a good influence? What have they done to our attitudes?
Well, a really important topic today is mental health. You’ll often hear people talking about it, both in the media and in everyday conversation – going on a retreat is now a big thing. It’s refreshing to hear and, although it might sound surprising, it actually fits really well with the trend for Botox and fillers.
If you think about it, the whole idea of Botox and fillers is to look like the best version of yourself that you can be, right? It’s not like the really extreme cosmetic surgery that seeks to profoundly change what you look like, and, in some cases, to even make you look like a different person.
With Botox and fillers, you’re effectively saying – I like the way I look and I just want to tweak it a little to look like a slightly younger, healthier version of me. You’re saying:
- I go to the gym to get a healthy body
- I do things like yoga, meditation and mindfulness exercises to keep my mind healthy and fight off the stress of everyday living
- So why not tweak things a little with Botox and fillers to keep myself looking my best?
Lessons learned from fashion mistakes
Society’s focus on mental health today harmonises perfectly with Botox and fillers by helping us to keep a balanced perspective and to not become too extreme with our beauty concerns.
We’ve been through the 1990s – the era of super-skinny models leading to eating disorders in young women and excessive concern over body image. We won’t make those mistakes again. We now celebrate the diversity of the human form, with all shapes and sizes recognised as beautiful in their own unique ways.
We are, of course, still concerned about our nutrition – but in the right way now, balancing what we eat and drink to fuel a healthy body and a healthy mind.
Society and the fashion and beauty industries have learnt so many lessons over the last couple of decades, and the rising popularity of Botox and fillers is wonderful to see. These are the sorts of treatments that show how far we’ve come. They offer a temporary, non-surgical way for us to be the best versions of ourselves that we can be on the outside, without trying to change who we are on the inside or fuelling unhealthy obsessions.