Are you considering fillers? Here are some key details to know beforehand

An expert-approved guide on the dos and don'ts of the popular cosmetic surgery.

Are you considering fillers? Here are some key details to know beforehand

You’ve hyper-analysed 1,000+ YouTube videos of duck-lipped influencers documenting their cosmetic procedures. In fact, you’ve also exhausted every IG filter (Paris, Ciao Bella, Bold Glamour, you name it...) for that perfect glazed doughnut skin and snatched Bella Hadid’s bone structure. Finally, you’ve convinced yourself that the clinic you found in Turkey is really not that shady...or even expensive. The benefits of pretty privilege clearly outweigh the cost of procedures, right? Logic à la girl math.

Not surprising that US economist Daniel S Hamermesh argued in his book, Beauty Pays: Why Attractive People Are More Successful, that attractive people are more likely to find professional success. They’re hired sooner, offered better salaries, and get promoted easily. My generation gets this. Aarna*, 17, says, “Pretty privilege is very real. So why wouldn’t you improve your looks if you can afford it?”

Personally, I don’t want to be poked and prodded for a quick makeover anytime soon. But given the number of young celebs (and my closest friends!) going in for a quick fix, a deep dive to understand this manufactured world of beauty was calling my name. 

The pandemic taught us many things—the most important lesson being to live life to the fullest. Post-COVID, social media has boomed and the world is in the palm of our hand. People are now obsessed with self-care and wellness—the seven-step skincare routine is as habitual as brushing your teeth every morning. Everyone is in the quest to look good in order to feel good. And this is where cosmetic procedures come into play.

But here’s the catch: There are significant risks associated with cosmetic procedures for teens (you’re gagged, I know).

Your form hasn’t met your function

In a paper published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, it was found that mandibular growth (the development of your jaw, essentially) remains significant up to 20 years of age. Makes sense. Don’t we all know that one person who’s had the most insane glow-up sans the frequent visit to a dermat?

Dr Devyani Barve, plastic surgeon to your Bollywood faves, warns of the implications that cosmetic surgeries can have on those who get it when young. “Your face is evolving. So there’s a possibility that your jaw and cheeks are still developing. If surgery is performed at a stage where the base itself is not completely developed and secure, you are risking morphing the features to an extent which may not look good in the future,” she says. 

Celeb skin expert and medical head at Isya Aesthetics, Dr Kiran Sethi, says she turns away teens who come for anti-ageing treatments. “I tell them that they do not need anti-ageing treatments because their collagen is only increasing as they’re getting to the age of 25.”

You’re 20? Gen Zs look older than millennials

Gen Z-ers believe they are “ageing like milk”—they are worried about ageing faster than their previous generation. The go-to procedure to maintain a youthful appearance is fillers; dermats claim they add volume or reduce wrinkles. Yet, Dr Kiran tells Cosmo India that “when you inject younger faces, sometimes they can look slightly older”.

Kylie Jenner

Socialite and entrepreneur Kylie Jenner (26) is an apt example of this. A few months ago, the social stratosphere was blowing up dissing her puffy face when she walked the red carpet at the Jean Paul Gaultier show. Excessive use of fillers appeared to have aged her, leading the internet to proclaim her as “a beautiful 40-year-old woman”.

Shush that inner critic

The UK-based Mental Health Foundation found that more than one-third of adults feel anxious or depressed because of their body image, and one-eighth experience suicidal thoughts. 

For me, delulu is the sololu. While I would rather dance to Ariana Grande in my bedroom to convince myself that I am the baddest B alive, there is no guarantee that cosmetic procedures are the sololu either. 

Fixing what is inside is crucial. According to Dr Maitri Chand, a Delhi-based therapist, cosmetic surgeries “tend to be a temporary fix” and “take us away from accepting our bodies”. Ironically, “it can get us to feel more critical about our body and the way we look.”

Ummm…it’s giving Michael Jackson vibes

We all know that one person who has simply overdone it. “I see some people who don’t even know what they look like anymore. They can’t move their faces. They look scary,” shares Aarna*. According to Dr Maitri, when such a thing happens, people end up opting for cosmetic procedures even more. She says, “There are also those who feel a sense of addiction to procedures. Whatever things are, however things are, they (their features) are not good enough anymore.”

Take it from a girl’s girl

I am not here to shame anyone for wanting to get some work done. The pressures to look perfect are ever-present, thanks to social media. As a girl’s girl, I owe you the dos and don’ts to consider before you decide to go for that tweakment:

Shruti Hassan

When: If you are a teenager, wait!

Why: Be certain that you’re getting the procedure for the right reasons, ie, for yourself and no one else (especially not your ratty ex).

How: Find a doctor you can trust, not someone who’s trying to make a quick buck. Check out whose procedures look good and ask them for their doctor.

What: Avoid mindlessly trying the latest trendy procedure you see on social media (erm...buccal fat removal). This is your face you’re messing with, not your ex.

Where: That shady clinic in Turkey is a no.

*Names changed to protect anonymity 

This article originally appeared in Cosmopolitan India Magazine's May-June 2024 print issue.

All images: Getty Images 

Also read: 5 Reasons Why Cosmetic Surgeries Can Go Wrong and What You Can Do About It

Also read: What’s Happening to Women's Faces?