The Terrifying Rise Of The ‘Instagram Face’

Once upon a time, faces were distinguishable and different facial features set each person apart from one another. Now, we have the ‘Instagram face’ that basically means every millennial is beginning to look like a Kardashian-Bratz-doll-clone.

Photo Credit: Australian Skin Clinics

And once upon a time, plastic surgery was a concept reserved for the rich, the famous, or the older persons of society looking to reverse the clock a little. Yet now it appears you can achieve the face you desire with no surgery, a few needles and a couple hundred dollars.

Derma-fillers have become increasingly popular and accepted within society, and while I support the destigmatisation of any safe procedure that helps enhance self-confidence; there are some underlying concerns at bay here.

The facial features that are most desirable to society and social media at the moment are: thick, arched eyebrows, large eyes adorned with long eyelashes, and a full-pouty lip.

The look was notoriously made popular by Kardashian billionaire sibling, Kylie Jenner. The 22-year-old made lip kits and fillers a thing when she admitted to having fillers injected in her lips, then followed up with her Kylie Lip Kits in the same year.

Instagram, functioning as the middle-man whispering the Kardashian-Jenner aesthetic between users and the derma needle, has thus been the driving force of ‘Instagram face’.

The look is unattainable without injectable filler, contouring and false lashes/falsies, and many disreputable practitioners prey on this fact.

The industry itself is unregulated, with many reliable practitioners failing to ID underage clients prior to procedures, or even consultation appointments. And while there are many that still chose to undergo reliable surgery with long-standing results, the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons confirmed an increase in younger female clients seeking non-surgical fillers.

There’s some clear reasoning for this: Kylie Jenner said she uses non-surgical fillers, and what better way to test out the waters and avoid commitment than using a filler that eventually dissolves and allows you to then adjust it to your liking?

Photo Credit: Heat Magazine

Ashton Collins of Save Face told Vice: “It’s become a sort of status symbol, whereas people used to want to own designer handbags or a pair of designer shoes, the latest thing is having fillers and hair extensions. They’re perceived as one and the same.”

While many search for a quick-fix to the face they desire, many unlicensed and unregistered practitioners are and have preyed upon young women by offering them the ‘Kylie Jenner Package’ at a much lower price.

Horror stories of botched fillers, terrible bruising and swelling, eyebrow drooping and blurred vision come to the mind here. A report from Save Face stated that 934 patients complained about unregistered practitioner offering fillers in 2017-2018. 68% didn’t have a face-to-face consultation with their practitioner prior to the procedure, and 37% didn’t even know if the person conducting the procedure was qualified.

Plastic surgeon and member of the British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons told Vice that: “You see people with their lips filled, and they do shrink back down again, but then they go and do it again and again and again. Actually, we don’t know what the long-term effects are, because your tissue stretches.”

Yet, still we see women with nearly identical features flooding our social media feeds; the Instagram face now a popularised norm.

The issue here is not women adjusting their face to their own liking, it is the assumption that you are lesser-than, or ‘uglier’ if you do not look like a carbon copy of a celebrity that has the money and access to safe, licensed professionals that helped her achieve her look.

It’s hard to ignore the possibility that many younger users of Instagram see women that look a certain way and assume that they do naturally, causing harmful effects on their own mental health for not mirroring these same women.

So before you go under the needle or type ‘lip-filler’ into Google, consider the wonderful concept of individuality. Not one person looks the way that you do (except if you have a twin, or an eerily similar looking sibling/relative), is there really a need to have the same Instagram face as everyone else?

With the stigma of dermal-fillers aside and the consideration of subjectivity and personal choice; if you’re wanting to see what the hype is about, and you’re of legal age, I implore you to do your research and find a safe, professional and reliable practitioner to consult with.

What do you think of dermal-fillers and Instagram face? Let us know in the comments down below!