It has become more and more acceptable to have cosmetic procedures done, both big and small. I’m not upset by this because people should be able to modify and alter their bodies as they see fit. It’s their body and how they change it doesn’t harm anyone. However, with social media, I think we are seeing some real world consequences to erasing our insecurities. Let’s discuss the benefit of accepting your insecurities, how this beast is being fed, how it affects younger girls, and we’ll end on a positive note with an encouraging message.It's time we considered the real world consequences of erasing our insecurities. Click To Tweet
Learning to accept vs. erasing
It seems like everyone these days has some sort of procedure done to modify their appearance. Whether that be lip fillers, botox, under eye filler, breast implants, butt lifts, nose jobs, tummy tucks, straightening their barely-crooked teeth, etc. Again – I want to be perfectly clear – women have the right to modify their bodies as they like. It’s their body, they have to live in it, and they can change it if they want. But I think it’s time we start considering the impact this has on young girls and considering that maybe just because we can doesn’t mean we should.
There’s a certain type of character building that takes place when you learn to accept the things of your appearance that make you insecure. When you learn to wholly love yourself*, insecurities and all, you almost become… invincible. You learn that your appearance is fairly inconsequential to the big picture of your life. You learn that literally no one cares as much as you do about your insecurities. Perhaps most importantly though, you normalize that insecurity for everyone else.
*Don’t come at me saying that I’m implying that women who get procedures done don’t love themselves. That’s not the point I’m trying to make here.
The things people are insecure about are typically normal things that we don’t have control over. How straight our teeth are, the size of our thighs, acne, stretch marks, how our bellies pudge over when we sit down, saggy breasts. These are all 100% normal, but society has sold us the lie that we must erase them in order to feel good about ourselves. So now all the top influencers have full lips, no forehead wrinkles, and fake boobs and teeth. But what does that do to younger, more impressionable minds?
Feeding the beast.
When these younger followers constantly see their role models and major influences in their lives getting these procedures done, they’re groomed to believe they need them to be done too. When every single influencer has lip fillers, they believe they need lip fillers because their lips are too thin. They feel like everyone has lip fillers and they become hyper aware of their thin lips. So in turn they also get lip fillers so they don’t have to feel those negative emotions about their thin lips anymore. Then they become one of the herd that has full lips. And so on and so forth. These young girls don’t stand a chance.
The problem is that then
- Everyone looks the same. Literally. I’ve seen tons group photos of friends where they all look the same. Same hairstyle, same full lips, glowing smiles, etc. We lose the diversity that makes us unique and special.
- Young girls are lying about their age to get procedures done. Obviously not bigger procedures such as boob jobs. But 16 and 17 year old girls are lying about their age to med spas in order to get lip fillers and other injectables.
- It becomes even harder to accept our insecurities because we have no one to normalize them for us. We feel like freaks of nature. Ya know how we fight for representation in the media of differently-abled bodies and fat bodies? It’s similar to that. These insecurities need to be represented so young girls with these insecurities can feel normal and accepted as they are.
Learning to love my saggy bewbs.
It’s no secret that a woman’s body changes after she has kids. It’s common for a mom’s boobs to…umm… deflate, especially if she nursed. Well, I’ve nursed two kids passed a year and I’ve lost 65 lbs (potentially more depending on when you’re reading this). My boobs aren’t as perky as they used to be. I’ve been saying for years that I want to get them done eventually. But I need to consider how this will impact my daughter.
If I get my breasts “fixed” – you see, it’s hard to even discuss this without using language that implies my saggy breasts are broken – I’ll just join the herd of women with fake boobs. She’ll grow up with that influence in her life. Would that influence ruin her life? No. But she may one day be in my shoes and I don’t want her to feel the pressure of getting her boobs fixed. If she has kids one day, I want her to know that her body has worked hard for those babies and that the changes that come along with it are 100% acceptable. I want her to know that she can be happy, loved, worthy, and successful with saggy breasts.
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In case you were wondering…
I know it can be hard to constantly work through the messages we receive from social media. We are bombarded with them and sometimes the messages are so sneaky we don’t even know it! Social media has curated the standard of beauty and it can be hard to not look that way. But I want to encourage you, because every feature you have that deviates from that impossible standard bonds you to others with that same feature. And every moment you exist and live your life, you help to break down that expectation.
When you have a gap in your teeth and smile wide in pictures, you give other people with a gap in their teeth the courage to do the same.
When you have stretch marks and you unapologetically show them off during summer, you give others permission to do the same.
When you have big thighs and wear shorts, others learn that having big thighs doesn’t have to stop them from wearing shorts too.
When you have a weird belly button and still wear crop tops, others see they can too.
Did you find this helpful or encouraging? If so, please share to spread the courage 😉 What are your thoughts on cosmetic procedures? Please remember to keep it respectful.