I was absentmindedly flipping through the massive October issue of InStyle magazine over the weekend when I paused on a page in the “Beauty At Any Age” section. Titled, “Pucker Up! Secrets To Full, Smooth Lips,” the page included recommendations for skincare products and lip gloss for women of different ages. Pretty standard fashion magazine fodder. But down at the bottom of the page was something that wasn’t so standard: recommendations for plastic surgery procedures. “Lusting after lush, pillowy lips and a dramatically smoother smile?” the text read. “All it may take is a few quick shots.”
I immediately bristled at the mention of plastic surgery options in my fashion magazine for the same reason I was so repulsed by the idea of a plastic surgery fashion show at New York Fashion Week — I think fashion and beauty should be about adorning your body, not physically altering it. It seems careless and dangerous for fashion magazines to advocate plastic surgery to achieve a beauty ideal instead of showing you different ways to adorn and accentuate the body you have. The way these injectable fillers were so casually mentioned alongside Neutrogena lipgloss also bothered me. While these procedures might not carry the same risks as breast implants or liposuction, going to a doctor for lip injections is a much more serious decision than strolling into Walgreens and picking up a tube of tinted chapstick, and should be presented as such.
On the other hand, fashion magazines are filled with implicit and explicit messages about all the ways our bodies are wrong and how to use clothes and makeup to “correct” our physical flaws. Many of the models and cover girls have had some kind of surgical procedure to alter their looks. As much as I loathe this aspect of the fashion world, in this respect InStyle‘s choice to include surgical procedures in their beauty section could be seen as a refreshingly honest move. The fact is, if you truly want to change the shape of your lips, no lip balm/gloss combo is going to give you your desired results. I’m dreading the day liposuction clinics are listed next to Spanx in articles about how to look slimmer in pants, but maybe the fashion magazine formula could use a harsh dose of reality?
Obviously, when it comes to fashion, makeup, or plastic surgery, whatever you want to do with your body is your choice, but what role should fashion magazines play in influencing those choices? Do you think InStyle was right to include injectables in their beauty section? Sound off in the comments!