Independent Student Newspaper of UW Oshkosh Campuses

The Advance-Titan

Independent Student Newspaper of UW Oshkosh Campuses

The Advance-Titan

Independent Student Newspaper of UW Oshkosh Campuses

The Advance-Titan

The ugly truth of the Botox craze

Gen-Z’s obsession with anti-aging can damage self-image
Courtesy of Oceanview – Med Spa Younger generations are much more likely to be transparent about getting cosmetic work done than older generations, according to Beverly Hills doctor Kevin Brenner.

Young people are plumping their lips with filler and freezing their nonexistent wrinkles with Botox. 

Are these facial alterations an act of confidence or a remedy for insecurities – or is our generation just afraid to age?

Being a twenty-something-year-old girl with access to social media, it’s very easy to be coaxed into a decision to improve my appearance. I’ve purchased many things on impulse that I later realized I didn’t actually need, but modifications to my face may call for more consideration. 

This Thanksgiving, my cousin showed up with a new set of lips. “The faker they look, the better,” my 18 year-old cousin told me in regards to her new pout. 

And it’s not that her lips didn’t look good, because they did – I just can’t understand why our generation has begun stressing about aging before we can legally order an alcoholic beverage. 

We’re paralyzing our faces before we’ve gotten a chance to live in them. 

Not to mention the expense and upkeep of these procedures once you’ve started them. It’s a slippery slope of wanting fuller lips, smoother skin, higher cheekbones and slimmer cheeks. 

Anyone with a medical license can administer these injections, making them easily accessible in almost any office where medicine is practiced. 

Injections have become the temporary alternative to cosmetic surgery, lasting three to nine months depending on what you have done. However, it is far more nonchalant, quicker to heal from and easier for people to conceal that they’ve had “work done” – which makes it a favored option to going under the knife. 

These temporary fixes allow people to change with the trends. Big lips may not be in next season, so thankfully your filler will have fizzled away with last season’s hype. 

Dr. Kevin Brenner, a Beverly Hills doctor, told Buzzfeed News he “sees fillers as a way to test out your options for eventual surgical intervention.” 

“On my younger patients, [Botox and fillers] are the gateway drug to surgery,” he said. “They come in and they get hooked on it, and eventually they start needing surgery because it doesn’t really have the same effect anymore, especially on the filler side. I use fillers a lot in combination with surgery, but I also use it as a bridge to surgery for different things. So it’s great for patient retention.”

Brenner’s statement alludes to the idea that eventually these fillers won’t fulfill your aesthetic desires anymore and you’ll resort to surgery for a more permanent fix. They’re merely a gateway until you’re so displeased with your appearance that you feel you must permanently alter it. 

But hey, it’s great for patient retention!

Brenner goes on to say that in regards to transparency about having work done, younger generations are far more likely to discuss and even display these changes across social media whereas older generations shy away from it. 

“My younger patients, millennials who were brought up with it, are way more open,” Brenner told Buzzfeed News. “There’s a big group of patients who are totally jazzed about me filming them, which is totally crazy to me. The older patients aren’t necessarily wanting anyone to know about it; the younger patients are more inclined to do it.” 

Thank you, social media, for making us all a little too comfortable broadcasting the ins-and-outs of our personal lives on the internet. It is equal parts fascinating as it is harmful. 

There would be no pressure for fuller lips and chiseled jawlines if we didn’t see it on social media first. In most cases, we are content with ourselves until we are convinced otherwise by social media influencers and celebrities. 

It’s not to say that enhancing your features cannot be empowering, but it is rather alarming to see that so many young people are changing their looks before they’ve given themselves a chance to grow into them. 

The idea of beauty has become this elaborate equation with one correct answer, warping the common perception of what someone (especially a woman) should look like. 

The beauty trends change with every season and every city and you’ll never be quite perfect for any environment you find yourself in. There will always be someone with the next best thing on this merry-go-round of status chasing. 

So no, you don’t look like every other photo of a touched up face on Instagram, and that’s a good thing. 

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