Celebrities are known for setting some of the most iconic beauty trends in pop culture. Though there is nothing wrong with gaining inspiration from people you admire, society tends to construct beauty standards based on the appearances of our favorite celebrities. This tendency, coupled with the popularity of the selfie, or self-portrait, can lead many, especially teens, to feel insecure about their looks and attempt to enhance them.
For some teens who did not know of such cheap and safe alternatives, the #KylieJennerChallenge that trended in 2015 was a dangerous DIY attempt at self-enhancement. The technique, which involves sucking on the opening of a shot glass until the lips swell, left many teens with painful bruises, infection, and loss of sensation in the lips. Kylie Jenner spoke out against the trend on Twitter back in 2015, encouraging those who go to such a length to change their appearance to be themselves.
However, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), a record number of 27,449 lip implant procedures were performed in 2015; this is a 48 percent increase in both male and female patients since 2000. David H. Song, MD, president of the ASPS, commented on the role of selfie culture in lip procedure increases by saying that because of how often we see images of ourselves on social media, we are more aware of our lips.
For teens considering lip injections, products that contain substances similar to hyaluronic acid are the safest injectable dermal fillers. Although allergic reaction is unlikely, as hyaluronic acid (HA) is naturally present in the body, those who are allergic to lidocaine should tell their doctor before treatment. Temporary side effects of hyaluronic acid fillers include bleeding, swelling, bruising, and redness/tenderness at injection sites. More serious side effects may include infection, asymmetry, scarring, or stiffening that can last longer than temporary effects, but can be treated with safe home remedies or ice packs.
Fat injections and implants are other ways to plump lips but have greater risks of side effects, along with the fact that the permanent results of implants may not be for everyone. HA injections last around six months, so individuals must continue to come back for treatment if they want to maintain the results. Each session can cost between $500 to $2000, so continued visits for treatment can be pricey.
Besides injections, there are plenty of inexpensive and risk-free cosmetic tricks and tips for achieving plump lips.
- Lining lips: Slightly tracing the perimeter of the lips with a lip pencil, preferably with a neutral shade for a more realistic look, can create a fuller look.
- Lip gloss placement: A small concentration of gloss at the center of the upper and lower lip can manipulate light, making the lips look larger.
- Balm infused with Hyaluronic Acid: This balm works to plump lips without the injection.
It’s clear that many people opted to change their physical appearance permanently or temporarily over the years. Though there is nothing wrong with self-improvement, teens should reflect on why they want to change themselves and if such changes will truly make them happy in the long run.
By Tiana Headley