According to government research, more must be done to combat unhappiness with one’s body image. By Katie Wright.
MPs on the Health and Social Care Committee of the House of Commons have warned of the hazards of a “conveyor belt” approach to cosmetic operations such as Botox and fillers and called for more to be done to combat the “extensive” impact of body image dissatisfaction on mental health.
As a new report urges reform, the chairman of the committee, Jeremy Hunt, stated, “We heard of some painful experiences, including a conveyor belt approach in which treatments were performed without question, procedures that went wrong, and the usage of unclean facilities.”
In addition, the research proposed minimal training requirements for practitioners of non-surgical cosmetic procedures, as well as a “cooling off” period between consent and the actual surgery.
Hunt continued, “In some ways, access is too simple for those who are unhappy or nervous about their body image.” They may do these procedures on the spur of the moment, without sufficient deliberation, only to discover that it did not resolve the underlying issue.
If you’re considering Botox injections to decrease wrinkles or fillers to improve your lips or face, it’s crucial to carefully weigh your alternatives and not make a snap decision.
Before undergoing a cosmetic operation, there are five things you should ask yourself, according to a body image specialist.
Why do you wish to alter your physical appearance?
Beyond ‘I want to seem younger or ‘I want larger lips,’ the first thing to consider is the true motivation behind your desire to alter your appearance.
“It all boils down to wanting to feel better about ourselves,” says Nicola Vanlint, psychotherapist, BACP-accredited therapist, and founder of NV Therapy (nvtherapy.co.uk). While there’s nothing wrong with wanting to feel better about ourselves, it’s best to view cosmetic procedures as small enhancements, not life-altering alterations.
Vanlint says, “We can’t have a mindset of strengthening what we currently have if we’re seeking happiness in something else. We must evaluate what we have.”
Are you imitating a famous person?
If your desire for fillers or Botox is motivated by the plump lips and smooth foreheads of models and performers on Instagram, you may have fallen victim to the “compare and despair” trap.
“In the social media world, it’s all about showing your best self, but we have to realize that comparing ourselves will only lead to depression,” Vanlint explains.
Due to the prevalence of filters and editing, it is difficult to determine if a depiction of a celebrity’s face is accurate. In addition, celebrities frequently have much more money to spend on aesthetic operations and access to the greatest doctors, so your end outcome may be significantly different from theirs.
Vanlint adds, “Aspiring is something distinct – it is striving to be your best self, not someone else’s.”
Are you anticipating that the operation will provide you with instant confidence?
It’s easy to assume, “If I could only modify X, Y, or Z, I’d be happy,” but in reality, this may not be the case, and you may find up desiring additional cosmetic treatments to disguise a lack of confidence.
Consider how you would react if a close friend expressed interest in dermal fillers or injections.
Vanlint says, “Ask yourself, ‘What would I say to a friend?’ rather than necessarily asking others, since then we’re seeking affirmation from others, which can be hard. Then you are enhancing your positive inner conversation.”
Could you boost your self-assurance in any other way?
Instead of succumbing to cosmetic treatments, you may wish to first attempt to strengthen your self-esteem from within.
Vanlint recounts a customer who didn’t like anything about their body: “I urged them to pick one thing they liked about themselves, and they chose a mole. So, what we worked on with that individual was for them to look at the mole every day and say, “I like this mole,” and build on that positive attitude.”
In the case of lip fillers, Vanlint recommends first experimenting with makeup to determine how you feel: “Invest in a good lip liner and try out different ways. In the conclusion, you may conclude, “I don’t feel so horrible about my lips after all.”
How would you react if something went wrong?
Even non-surgical cosmetic procedures can go awry, as stated in the government report; therefore, it is essential to understand the dangers.
And while a “cooling off” period may not be a legal requirement yet, it may be prudent to take some time following your initial consultation before scheduling a surgery.
Vanlint states, “We can make better decisions for ourselves if we receive the correct information and if we digest that information.”