real life

Alex Nation has broken a cardinal Instagram rule, and shared exactly what she's done to her face.

Recently, I made a confronting discovery.

Via a very strange sequence of events, I learned that a significant number of my acquaintances – those people who populate my Instagram and Facebook feeds, are my age, and therefore very easy to compare myself to – have been regularly getting Botox.

I felt… silly. I had no idea. It’s only in the last few months that I’ve started to look differently at the way my face scrunches when I smile, and the way my forehead creases when I’m concentrating. I hate being conscious of my own facial expressions, as though there’s something wrong with them, but when I look at any form of media, I notice that no one else’s face really looks like mine. I had started to worry it was my fault, for not moisturising properly, or not drinking enough water, or having too many feelings. So, to be honest, I was relieved when I learned about the Botox.

It wasn’t that I’d done anything wrong, it was just that other people were actively having procedures to remove their lines.

When I really thought about it, it wasn’t so much that these women had been getting injections that bothered me, but more that I had no idea. So when I looked around to gauge what was normal, I was seeing cosmetically enhanced faces, and wondering why on earth mine didn’t look like that.

That’s why a recent photo of The Bachelor’s Alex Nation made me stop mid-scroll and think.

The 27-year-old shared a photo on Tuesday night with the caption, “Yes I’ve had a little somethin’ somethin’ done to my face.”

“Yes people will have an opinion. No I’m not bothered. Why? Because I AM FEELIN’ MYSELF!!”

While I personally couldn’t see any obvious changes in Nation’s appearance in the photo, she later commented, “I did my frown, forehead and crows feet botox.”

“Then under eye filler, subtle cheek volume, and defined the chin and jawline!

“All very subtle and small doses. I’m really happy.”

A number of followers admitted they couldn’t tell what procedures Nation had undergone until they read the comments, but told the mum-of-one she looks “gorgeous”.

Perhaps it’s the subtlety of Nation’s cosmetic enhancements that makes it even more valuable for her to publicly acknowledge them. It’s likely that a significant proportion of the celebrities and influencers we see on social media have had Botox and fillers and various other procedures, and even if we never notice a huge difference, those small changes can go a long way towards widening the gap between the appearances we see in the media and our own.

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Recently, I wrote about my frustration with being gaslighted by the likes of Kendall Jenner, who seems to have an entirely different face, but vehemently denies having any work done.

 

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Earlier this year, when a follower commented on a photo of Kendall Jenner and Bella Hadid on Hadid’s Instagram, accusing them both of having cosmetic enhancements, Hadid replied: “jealousy is a cry for help that I wish I could help you with”.

It’s a particularly frustrating celebrity trend, and we’ve seen it time and time again: if your face changes, you’re meant to pretend it hasn’t.

Your lips might be triple their original size, you may have absolutely no expression lines, your body might have drastically changed, but if you deny, deny, deny, your implication is clear. The women who notice are just imagining it, and are probably just jealous.

By being transparent about her Botox and fillers, Nation broke the cardinal rule that tells women they have to be aesthetically perfect without trying. That their face has to be naturally frozen in time.

And to me, when women break the strict rules designed to make us feel alone, insecure, and doubting our own sense of reality, they do a service to us all.

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