From 2007 to 2011, I was the senior online editor at NewBeauty magazine. It's a beauty magazine—duh—but it separated itself from other consumer beauty publications by being a straightforward source of information about medical approaches to beauty: plastic surgery, dermatology, cosmetic dentistry, etc.
Other than a greater understanding of how cosmetic procedures work, if I took anything away from my time there, it was the belief that an individual's approach to beauty and their body is personal, and as private as they want it to be. Just like you don't have to answer to anyone about your decision to wear lipstick, you don't have to answer to anyone about your decision to get breast implants if that's something you want to do. And even though, as someone who's candid to a fault, I prefer honesty, you don't owe anyone any answers about whether or not you've gotten "work" done.
And yet, I've had mixed emotions about this whole Kylie Jenner lip hullabaloo. Prior to her confession earlier this week that she has, in fact, been getting lip injections, I, like many, was already sure she'd gotten them. It was entirely her right to lie about how her lips got so plump—being in the public eye is not the same as being under oath—and yet, I found myself getting annoyed with the lack of admission up to this point.
"I haven't had plastic surgery. I've never been under the knife," she told Grazia just last month. And technically, that's true. Injections aren't surgery, and she admits to dancing around the truth in that way in the Keeping Up With The Kardashians preview everyone's been talking about. "People flashback to pictures of me when I was 12 and say 'Kylie's so different,' but how can I look the same from 12 to 18?"
But that's just it. She's not 18. Won't be until August. And her lips have been noticeably fuller since sometime in the second half of 2013, when she would have been 16.
It's illegal for a doctor to perform lip injections on someone under 18 without a parent's consent, unless emancipated (which Kylie is not). So, it's reasonable to come to the conclusion that one of her parents has been continually signing off on letting their teenage daughter get a very grownup procedure.
And I think that's what annoys me about this whole thing. Even though their parenting decisions, much like any adult's cosmetic decisions, are personal and private as long as the child isn't being harmed, I'm not sure I feel OK about a child saying, I'm insecure about this physical feature, and a parent responding with, OK, let's "fix" it instead of trying to accept it during these tough adolescent years, and let's "fix" it in a way other children who admire you have no access to, while lying by omission about how your appearance has drastically changed.
I have zero problems with lip injections. I totally want to try them myself, and I think I'm finally going to soon, and it's my personal choice to be open and honest about that. But I'm 36. I can vote. I can run for President. I don't have to ask my mother and father for permission to medically experiment with my appearance, and I'm glad, because they'd probably say no, even now.
I'm glad Kylie was honest about the lip injections, even though she didn't have to be. But the fact that at least one of her parents said yes to them at such a young age leaves a bad taste in my mouth.
- Do you think people should always be honest about what procedures they've had done?
- Have you ever lied about something beauty-related?
- What else are you thinking about this week?