Now that Kylie Jenner’s a mother her world doesn’t just revolve around her beauty empire. With the addition of baby Stormi in her life, Kylie has made some big changes. Most notably: no more lip fillers. As the news broke that Kylie stopped getting lip injections, I started thinking about her journey with injectables and other non-invasive procedures, and the effect it’s had on the rest of us common folk.
After doing some research I learned that as we get older we lose the fat in our face that keeps us looking young and healthy. So, a quick injection of Botox or fillers is really all you need for a younger looking face, eliminating the demand for face lifts which are far more painful, expensive, and permanent. It’s really no wonder these procedures have become so popular in the age of social media, where appearance is crucial. But have we totally screwed ourselves? Did our infatuation with plump lips and wrinkle-less foreheads set a new and unfair standard?
To get you caught up, Botox is a Botulinum toxin used to diminish fine lines and wrinkles by paralyzing the underlying muscles. The most common locations for Botox injections are the forehead, between the eyes, and beside the eyes to reduce the appearance of crow’s feet. The average cost of Botox in just one area of your face is about $450, and the treatment will last for 4-6 months.
Next, we have fillers which are injectable substances like Restalyne and Juvederm (which are hyaluronic acids) that plump up our faces in areas such as the cheeks, under eyes, and most notoriously the lips. A lip injection will run you anywhere from $500 to $2,000 and will last 10-16 months. There are some permanent fillers out there but it’s best to first try the temporary option to see how you like the results.
Now that you have the facts, let’s talk about why everyone seems to either love or hate these face-altering procedures. Kylie Jenner has famously had her lips filled since 2015 when she was only 17-years-old. With the help of her new plump pout, Kylie was able to create a billion-dollar brand and sell tons of her popular lip kits. The extra matte liquid lipsticks seemed to pair perfectly with large, overdrawn, and possibly over-injected lips. Before we knew it almost every beauty Youtuber and Instagram model was on the lip filler train, which is where this trend became a bit more controversial. It’s hard to discount the idea these girls were paying to alter their faces for clicks and likes, but regardless of their motives, it was still their choice.
Another critique of this trend is the effect it could have on young girls. Throughout my awkward teen years, I had plenty of insecurities, but at least my iPod mini wasn’t showing me a constant feed of Facetuned models and teen billionaires flaunting their perfect faces. I can only imagine the pressure this puts on young girls today, and I hope with this new era of feminism, body acceptance will be more widely celebrated.
I finally overcame my judgment of these procedures when I realized I make choices about my own face and body that others may not agree with. My struggle with acne and hyperpigmentation has caused me to spend a lot of money on all sorts of expensive products and treatments. I don’t see this as a symptom of vanity, but rather an innocuous attempt to make my face look how I want it to look. Acne and hyperpigmentation are normal skin conditions, but so are crow’s feet and forehead wrinkles, so spending time and money to fix them doesn’t necessarily make anyone superficial or vain. You can call me superficial and vain for other reasons, like how I can’t pass a mirror without checking myself out, so let me have this one!
In Amy Poehler’s hilarious book “Yes Please!” she repeats a phrase to remind herself that choices made by other women are personal, and frankly none of her damn business. She says, “That is the motto women should constantly repeat over and over again. ‘Good for her! Not for me.’” So, if someone wants a little Botox here and some Juvederm there, who am I to judge?
I’m not a betting woman, but I’m certain that Kylie’s decision to return to her natural lips will spark a new craze. Trends will come and go, but the impact of how you perceive yourself will stay with you. It’s important to do what you want but try to do it in moderation. If you can’t stand the sight of your crow’s feet or need a little more volume in your lower lip, go ahead. Good for you, and maybe even me…in the future.