I see hundreds of photographs of myself every week and since upgrading my camera last year, every one of my 43 years is there, written all over my face in glorious technicolour. I've mentioned when I've reviewed beauty products that I don't mind the fine lines around my eyes. The euphemistically-named laughter lines are a reflection of the happiness I feel; but I'm rather less enamoured with the other signs of ageing. The deeper nasolabial creases, the sagging jowels and the dreaded turkey neck, (I do wish there was a kinder description). My fringe does a fine job of concealing the fine lines on my forehead but what about the rest? Good skincare products, a healthy diet and plenty of sleep and water will improve the appearance, tone and texture of my skin, but I'm realistic enough to know that these signs of ageing can't be reversed without something more.
But would I take that next step and choose aesthetic enhancement? Do I want to erase the life that shows on my face?
I don't think I do, (though I'd never say never), because here's the thing. I've never felt happier or more confident in my appearance than I do right now and this is undoubtedly because I'm very happy on the inside. I'm healthy, strong, fulfilled and loved and this is evident not only in my demeanour and my behaviour, but on my face. I feel happy, so I look happy. It hasn't gone unnoticed and is frequently commented upon by those that read my blog and by those that know me. How one feels on the inside is definitely reflected on the outside and I'm not the only one that thinks so. I asked several friends for their thoughts on Botox and fillers. Just as I did in the opening paragraph when I pointed out the signs of ageing on my face, every single one of them also pointed out one or more age-related changes they perceive on their own faces. Interestingly and without exception, regardless of their thoughts on aesthetic procedures, every single one of them said it's about the way they feel. If they feel good, they look good and if they look good, they feel good. It seems that (perceived) beauty is so much more than skin deep. It's much more about feeling confident than it is about the quest for eternal youth and this leads me on to the question around which this blog post is based.
Can you really be a feminist and love fillers? Should it matter at all if women choose to embrace aesthetic enhancements as a way to feel more confident?
I don't know the dictionary definition of feminism but for me it's about being myself and celebrating my femininity without external pressure, without apology and without justification. It's about freedom of choice. I choose to enhance my appearance with make-up, with highlights and with flattering clothing. I have no plans to take the aesthetic enhancement route, but to those that do, good on you. If it makes you feel better about yourself then what's wrong with that? So my answer to the question is a resounding yes! In my opinion, of course a woman can be a feminist and love fillers. Women, (and men for that matter), should be free to choose any means they wish of feeling more confident about themselves.
- 88% of women agree you should be free to express your beauty any way you choose.
- 13% of women think you should strive to look youthful at all costs.
- 25% of women say they've had or would consider facial injectables and of those women, 38% say they have/would keep it a secret.
- 45% of women believe you can be a feminist and love fillers.
These issues and more were discussed at a recent event hosted by Cosmetic Executive and Allergan, where the panel participated in a fascinating discussion around the perception of ageing and the changing attitudes to aesthetic procedures. Some key comments included:
"It's ok to have whatever you want done, it doesn't matter what people think of you, it's what you think of yourself. if you look nice and feel good, that's what's great."
"Lying about your treatment is the modern equivalent of lying about your age!"
"What I find profoundly uncomfortable is attacking a woman who decides to have treatment on the grounds that it is anti-feminist. Surely a definition of feminism includes feeling empowered to age the way you want to, without criticism or judgement,"
The last quote resonates very strongly with me. We as women should be empowered to age however we choose to and should respect each others' choices even if they differ to our own. My good blogging friend and fellow member of The Over 40 Collective, Nikki, Midlife Chic (in the middle of the photo below), agrees: "I'm with Meryl Streep and think you earn your face over the years, so I'm against aesthetic procedures for myself but not for others."
I believe we shouldn't pass judgement, rather, we should be support each other's choices. This underpins the ethos we share in The Over 40 Collective where we have no worries about laughter lines either!
|The Over 40 Collective, Photograph by Rachel V.|
Along with some other bloggers, I shall be taking part in a Thirty Plus Twitter chat on Thursday 9th March at 8pm when we will be discussing this topic further. If you wish to take part, and everyone is most welcome, head over to the Facebook page for more information. The Twitter handle is @WeAreThirtyPlus and we will be using the hashtags #30PlusDebate and #FeministAndFillers. I really hope you'll come along and join the debate.
Love Lizzy x
Disclosure: *I have been compensated by Allergan for writing this blog post and for participating in the upcoming Twitter chat on Thursday 9th March.
I'm linking up with:
Brilliant Blog Posts/The Saturday Share
Please follow on Instagram and Facebook for more of What Lizzy Loves.
|Sign up to my newsletter and receive an exclusive discount for Lizzy O every month|