From the 'Real Life Ken Doll', who has had surgery to remove multiple ribs in order to achieve a smaller waist, to influencers such as Molly Mae admitting they took it too far with facial fillers, the beauty industry now offers a wealth of cosmetic surgery and treatments.
According to the General Dental Council figures, illegal teeth whitening increased by 26% last year. This is through the use of unqualified practitioners conducting teeth whitening and many at home teeth whitening kits containing dangerous chemicals. The British Dental Association (BDA) recommends that the safest way to obtain whiter teeth is to see a qualified professional. But with many influencers promoting at home teeth whitening kits, the draw of pearly whites at an affordable price is too good to resist for many, despite the dangers attached.
Normalising cosmetic practices often leads to people putting their bodies at risk in order to achieve results at a more affordable price
Instagram has a lot to answer for when considering why these teeth whitening products have gained popularity. With users such as Khloe Kardashian promoting teeth whitening products by hi-smile to her 104 million followers, it is clear why followers who aspire to look like her may want to buy beauty products she promotes. There is an argument that now celebrities and influencers have to disclose when their content is an advert, we are less likely to buy into the product they are promoting as the sceptics among us will assume Khloe didn't actually use hi-smile.
However, through the masses of influencers now gaining popularity on Instagram, from Love Island stars to up-and-coming models and fashion bloggers, our society has normalised cosmetic procedures. There are countless videos on YouTube where women share their boob job experience, and many influencers are paid to post their experience with chemical facials and teeth whitening on their Instagram stories - we cannot escape the fact we are obsessed with learning about how we can better ourselves physically. Through being exposed to media that promotes cosmetic procedures, we are normalising this practice which often leads to people putting their bodies at risk in order to achieve results at a more affordable price.
It would take a lot to alter our culture of longing to look our best, but as this is our reality we need to highlight the importance of safety when undergoing these practices
There is nothing wrong with undergoing a cosmetic procedure - if it will genuinely make you happier and you are doing it only for yourself, I don't see any issue with it. Nonetheless, it is important to note that a cosmetic procedure should be seen as an investment as rushing to get the most affordable treatment may put your body in danger. It would take a lot to alter our culture of longing to look our best, but as this is our reality we need to highlight the importance of safety when undergoing these practices.