For decades, aesthetic treatments have been taboo – conducted behind closed doors, in secret, and without discussion with friends or family. Treatments were once considered the worst-kept secret of the rich and famous that everyone turned a blind eye to.
Thankfully, those days are gone. In their place, social media has ushered in a new age of open and honest conversation, support and transparency. As a result, potential patients can seek support from their families without fear of judgement they might have received a decade ago.
After years of debate around transparency in social media – particularly in relation to body image – many people now use platforms like Instagram and TikTok to document their honest day-to-day life rather than the polished highlights reel of days gone by. For example, it was only a few months ago that a trend swept through the Met Gala guest list that encouraged A-listers to share photos of their support team and details of the treatments that they’d received.
This new wave of transparency may have swept through the Met Gala crowd, but it’s become a part of celebrities’ everyday lives. Instead of A-listers sneaking around and hoping that the paparazzi didn’t catch them revealing their treatments, the modern celebrity/influencer breaks the story themselves, controls the narrative and gives people a chance to ask questions and discuss openly.
While celebrities are still subject to articles about the procedures that they’ve had, the tone of writing is much less judgemental. Articles about celebrities seeking treatments like liposuction or botox have become more of a conversation than the writer simply announcing the latest scoop.
One thing that may surprise some people is the age that some celebrities start seeking treatments. Cardi B was just 26 when she opened up on stage about having liposuction. The singer spoke about how the pressure of being in the spotlight had made her more conscious of her body. Between having a newborn baby and touring, the artist said that she found it hard to work out enough to achieve her desired look and instead turned to liposuction.
While some celebrities have spoken candidly about how they turned to cosmetic procedures to help them feel more confident, others have turned to the comfort of making jokes to announce the news. Chrissy Teigen has long been an internet favourite, using her platform to speak honestly about her battle with postpartum depression, trolls and body image. In an interview with Byrdie, Teigen laughed as she said, “everything about me is fake apart from my cheeks”.
She went on to explain that she isn’t shy when talking about cosmetic procedures that she’s had, including liposuction to remove the fat from her underarms that had made her self-conscious for years. She said that, while the procedures weren’t necessary, they gave her more confidence and made her happy.
The last two years have made everyone consider how they present themselves to the world, both on and offline. Pre-pandemic, there was already an emerging trend toward radical transparency and people taking control of their own narrative.
Andrew Jacono, the plastic surgeon who performed Marc Jacobs’ facelift, said, “Covid magnified the trend of people opening up because it gave them time to reflect”. Marc Jacobs is yet another in the long line of celebrities who chose to be completely transparent about the work that they had undergone.
Millennials were the first generation to be born into a world of hyper-connectivity, and as they’ve navigated growing up in the social media age, they’ve also redefined the rules. Alongside the stereotypical avo-toast and selfies, there’s an honest conversation around mental health, life challenges and body positivity.
As millennials get to an age that they might consider accessing treatments, they’re rewriting the rulebook yet again and sharing their experience of things like cosmetic procedures along the way.
Aesthetic treatments are not the big deal that it once was. Tweakments have become increasingly popular over the last decade – it’s even possible to get dermal fillers in your lunch break before heading back to work for the afternoon. It’s almost expected that celebrities will have work done, and they’re not judged for it – rather celebrated for their brutal honesty, whether they choose to age naturally or seek assistance.
In the post-pandemic world, owning your choices and being proud of your decisions are more important than what you’ve chosen to do. You don’t need to announce that you’re undergoing treatment on social media, but you also don’t need to hide it anymore. Share your journey online, keep discussions with friends and family or keep it entirely to yourself.
Do what makes you feel happy and comfortable in your own skin. In the new age of honesty, transparency and mental health, judgement is no longer a factor in accessing the support that you feel you need.
If you want to talk about treatments and feel confident in your skin, book a free consultation with Dr Comins at Hans Place, who specialises in minimally invasive treatments designed to help you feel your best self.