Do Fillers Make You Fake?

We explore the wider implications of the explosive Love Island row

By Holly Carver

‘Fake’ is a word often thrown around when describing a woman’s appearance. Does anyone remember the show Snog Marry Avoid, for example, which focused on giving girls ‘makeunders’?

The desire for women to be ‘natural beauties’ came to a head in a recent episode of Love Island in which male islander Hugo noted that his biggest turn off in a girl was if she had ‘fake looks’. Causing a huge upset with the female contestants, who had just admitted to their individual cosmetic procedures, he was branded as ignorant, with the girls claiming that men don’t understand the reasons as to why they would get procedures done.

This begs the question, is the word ‘fake’ ever appropriate for the description of anyone who has altered and enhanced their looks?

Aesthetic practitioner Dr Sophie Shotter says, “I believe it is not one individual’s right to cast judgement on the appearance of others. Each of us have a right to choose how we look and what treatments we do or don’t have.”

However, she does acknowledge that there are issues with some aesthetic treatment outcomes, explaining that there are instances of people being overfilled or overtreated, which can cause results to look unnatural. This occurs after a small minority of procedures, she assures. Dr Shotter says, “Of course I have concerns about this trend of overdone filler in particular, not only because it can cause functional and health problems for the individuals having the treatments, but because it misrepresents the industry I love being a part of.”

She emphasises that when performed by a highly trained and experienced registered medical professional, aesthetic treatments can give you natural-looking results and may not even be noticeable to friends or family. She says, “Treatments such as dermal fillers and botulinum toxin are a great option for many people, and in most cases, people look refreshed and their features balanced and harmonised, rather than looking ‘fake’.”

She concludes that if potential patients choose their practitioner wisely, they will be treated based on what is most suitable for their individual features, and will avoid looking unnatural. “I believe it is a practitioner’s right to refuse to treat someone if they think that treatment isn’t right for an individual and will make them look unnatural. I hope with time we may see less of these ‘fake’ treatment outcomes and challenge perceptions of what injectable treatments are and what they can achieve.”

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