beauty

“God forbid we admit to having work done.” Angie Kent on Australia’s fascination with women's faces.

You may have heard about Angie Kent’s '$26,000 face'. Over the weekend, a News Corp magazine featured the former Bachelorette on their cover, with the headline: “Why it costs $26,740 a year to look like this.”

From her injectables to her hair to her teeth, every beauty-related expense of the star was laid out as a litany of luxury beyond the capacity of near all - bar the beauties of television land. 

But as Angie Kent made clear following the magazine’s publication, her decision to have Botox isn’t what she wants her followers to focus on. Not even close. 

“I don't even know where that figure came from. Not once did I ever say 'Hey, I have spent $26,000 to look like this,'” Kent tells Mamamia. “I don't even look like that on the average day, if ever. Anyone can look like a 'cover girl' with the right sensational glam squad. It is all smoke and mirrors to scrub up that well.”

Kent says she has chosen to spend money on cosmetic work for a simple reason: “Because I want to.

“I have my insecurities just like everyone else. I have struggled with acne since I was 11 years old, which left me with scarring. I also have pigment issues due to other health issues. I am a huge supporter in doing what makes you feel best for you.”

And that’s the message she will bellow from the hilltops: “You do you.”

“We have unrealistic beauty standards for people - especially people in the limelight - but there is also quite a taboo around cosmetic surgery or 'work'. It's like we are all meant to look like we have had work done, but god forbid that we admit to it.

“All I can be is honest and transparent and stand in my truth and I feel that's exactly what I have done in the past and will continue to do.”

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Australia’s fascination with her face began last year, she explains. 

“Ever since I became The Bachelorette, the discussion surrounding my ‘forever changing face’ has been a big one. I went from the carefree funny girl who sits on her couch and has a laugh, to someone who must really care what people think of how she looks, simply due to a title for a television show...

“In actual fact I have had the same work for five years now.”

Fans of Kent have come to know her for her honesty just as they have her humour - it’s why watchers of Gogglebox Australia fell in love with her back in 2015, and how she has emerged as one of the most successful exports of the reality television industry. 

Part of her reason for being so open about her cosmetic work is to help de-stigmatise it - so that other women don’t receive the same shame she has been on the receiving end of. 

“I think the more we normalise it and don't shy away from admitting that we have had tweaks here and there, the less pressure people will feel to hide it or see it as a bad thing. Do you feel terrible when you get your hair done? No. Why should you?”

Watch: Mamamia interviews Angie Kent. Post continues below. 


Video via Mamamia.
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Ultimately, Kent says, what people choose to do to their faces and bodies comes down to individual preference and you shouldn’t receive judgement for doing what makes you happy. 

“Doing what makes you feel most beautiful may be different to what makes someone else feel beautiful,” the reality star reflects. 

“There is truly nothing more beautiful than a person owning their sh*t and being entirely honest about who they are and what they want and embracing their insecurities and imperfections. If looking after myself within and without, however I see fit, is wrong, then baby I don’t want to be right.”

And whilst everyone’s talking about Kent’s looks, she says her primary focus will always be on who she is inside. 

“I do know that if I am putting too much emphasis on how I look or I’m letting outsiders' opinions affect my mental health and the way I look at myself, then that's when I know I need to reel myself back in and continue doing work within… I have worked so hard to bring myself back to what feels like 'the real me' again. I lost myself for a while there this year, and if you know that feeling, you know it is bloody dreadful.”

By seeing her therapist and naturopath, the television personality says she’s been able to get her “mental health back on track”.

“That's the real work that makes me shine from the inside out and what makes me my best self for my personal life and in my career.”

Listen: Mamamia Out Loud discusses the politics of a $30,000 face. Post continues below. 

For most of her teenage years and into her adult life, Kent has suffered from an eating disorder on and off. She knows the pain of insecurity, and the healing power of ‘internal work’.

“Those years of suffering with my body has now led me to educate myself so much on the importance of my mental and physical health and how better to treat my little temple. These physical scars on my face are my little badges of honour from the pain and suffering I have been through. Every little scar tells a tale. And the battles within have helped mould me into the person I am today.”

Kent hopes her message hasn’t been lost because of Australia’s fascination with her face. 

“I hope that my honesty, transparency and what my heart has to offer is the most beautiful thing about me.”

Feature image: Instagram/@angiekent_


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