"No Lip Fillers for teens" warns leading cosmetic expert
Updated: Feb 11
Once upon a time, cosmetic procedures were the exclusive domain of wealthy, older women. But the selfie-centric, celebrity-obsessed world we live in has turned the tables neatly on that status quo as more and more young women consider procedures in a bid to try and change their looks.
While this may be great news for practitioners in the industry, there are several worrying trends evident here, not least of which is the fact that the age profile is getting younger and younger with girls as young as 15 now looking for #lipfillers to get “the Kylie” effect!
"The Kylie” refers of course to Kylie Jenner who is often, perhaps unfairly, demonised for her influence on teenagers. Kylie (aged 20) has become the number one most viewed person on Snapchat and has over 30 million followers on Instagram, putting her in the top 10 most followed personalities. Despite her youth, she has crafted her face and body into a brand intended for social media consumption with a constant barrage of air-brushed photos on Instagram (she has been having lip fillers since she was 17).
However, it has to be pointed out that 21st century girls have grown up reading about celebrities having Botox and fillers and now find it completely acceptable. In this age of instant gratification, they take it for granted that if they want plumped up lips, they can have them and see no reason to wait. Of course, social media has been a driving force in this trend. For teenage girls these days, Instagram is a way of life, as is the compulsion to record everything they do - they want to look perfect while they’re doing it.
As we all know, the teenage years are when we are at our most vulnerable, suffering from negative body image and driven by the need to fit in, to look like everybody else, to belong and be accepted - take note of the current caterpillar eyebrow trend which is part of the facial uniform of teenage girls across Ireland! Unfortunately, the constant drip-feed of perfect airbrushed celebrity photos through media such as Instagram means that young girls are striving to achieve an unattainable level of facial and bodily beauty. As somebody once said “you will never look like the girl in the magazine, the girl in the magazine doesn’t even look like the girl in the magazine”!
Ita Murphy, Managing Director of The Otto Clinic comments that “there’s a lot of young girls being treated and that, in my opinion, is totally inappropriate. We ourselves have turned away teenagers in the past because we strongly believe that lip fillers should not be administered before the age of 21 at the very earliest, even though girls can legally get treatments done at the age of 18. However, there are practitioners out there who will take their money. But it’s important for young girls to know that their faces have not finished developing at 16, 17 and 18 years of age, so it’s better not to do anything that alters your features until you’re in your 20’s at the earliest”.
Ita further comments that “some clinics offer cheap deals which are attractive to young girls but beware because cheap deals often mean sub-standard fillers and/or badly administered treatments which can cause nasty side effects with long-term consequences”. Remember Leslie Ash?
Ultimately however, young girls need to value themselves for who they are and not what they look like whilst realising that no amount of procedures will fix their lives!