The desire to look good rather than feel good is now a phenomenon taking over the digital generation. Peer pressure and social cues dictate an aesthetic to a face. The feeling of looking just as great as your favourite influencer or celebrity is clinically unhealthy, medical experts say.
The dailymailuk estimates that a staggering 41000 procedures were performed on underage kids during 2020.
Social media inevitably promotes content towards the unsuspecting younger generation. In the name of inexplicably viral trends and unhealthy tips and tricks, this generation of digital gurus can easily hijack a naive teenager’s perspective.
Here is where regulations and their lack thereof is playing a crucial role. The deep chasm created by unregulated procedures drives many of the pop-up clinics and practitioners across the country.
Medically approved professionals like Dr. Nyla Raja from Cheshire London have been vocal on the lack of a system that safeguards the public against botched surgeries.
She says there is zero accountability in this multi-million-pound industry. “A medical expert’s years of tuition and struggle are now comparable to a 2-week course on non-surgical treatments”.
The sad state of politics behind this can be seen across the years in the parliament, while one MP after the other proposes regulations and fails to pass the house. This issue is evident from a 2017 article by the independent and the lack of action taken to mitigate the crisis. The Nuffield Council inquiry in 2017 had strongly reinforced the findings of the 2013 Keogh report on cosmetic procedures. The Government-commissioned review by Sir Bruce Keogh made several recommendations in 2013, including a register of everyone providing surgical or non-surgical cosmetic treatments. We are now seeing the effects of these reports as predicted. The crisis is finally on us.
A brief but hopefully bright light at the end of the tunnel appeared on September 5th. When Nadine Dorries, a health ministry MP from Bedfordshire, tweeted an article she wrote for the dailymailuk. “Children are being scarred by a craze for an ‘Instagram Face’.
She writes, “It is not right that children can be so exposed, particularly if they use some of the cowboys who operate in the industry. No child needs cosmetic procedures unless for medical reasons. Their physical and mental development is not complete. Quite rightly, there is widespread concern that young people do not know enough about the decisions they are making, about the risks they bring.”
She goes on to promise a stunning regulation. “That is why from October 1st the Government is making it illegal to carry out such procedures for cosmetic purposes on under-18s in England”.
On asking for further comments from an expert in the non-invasive cosmetics industry, Dr. Nyla Raja was quite happy with the new policy change. She said, “MP Nadine Dorries is exactly the sort of lawmaker we need right now. Policy changes like these should be applauded, for their swift and decisive implementation.”
She insists the public thoroughly research the procedures as well as the practitioners. Dr Nyla Raja is very clear about the need for an awareness campaign to set up regulations that safeguard the interests of the unsuspecting public.
MP Nadine Dorrie’s tweet the other week is now a clear indication. The fight for regulation is ready to take off. It has to act as an eye-opener for the digital generation, to know that they are not alone in this fight. The ban on cosmetic surgeries for kids can be a wake-up call for the General Public. An insta face is simply a heavily distorted mirror.