lifestyle

Megan Gale & Charlotte Dawson: 'Stop Surgery Shaming us'

Last week, Sydney cosmetic surgeon Dr Mariusz Gajewski – also known as ‘Dr Maz’ – produced a list of those he believed to be Australia’s 10 Most Botoxed celebrities. Sophie Monk and Shane Warne topped the list – but also included were media personalities Charlotte Dawson and Megan Gale.

Dawson and Gale both hit back on social media at the weekend.

Gale wrote an angry and impassioned string of tweets, defending herself from the accusation she’d had Botox:

Dr Maz

I cannot tell you enough @DoctorMariusz how offensive I find your claims & so called “suspicions” to be. I have NEVER indulged in any kind of injectable or plastic surgery…I’m 100% natural & as a beauty brand ambassador for me, it’s essential that I remain so.

You have absolutely no right to insinuate anything to the contrary @DoctorMariusz unless you have factual evidence to support these comments. In truth @DoctorMariusz I find it damaging to my brand & I liken this article to bullying as you are literally picking people to bits.

Next time, if you feel the need to use celebrities to promote yourself, do not include me @DoctorMariusz as it does not pertain to me. Thanks.

At the same time, Dawson shared a segment of Mariusz’s writing on Instagram, and commented, “Can’t quite believe anyone would even consider going to this guy!?!!! Wowsers!”

On another photo she wrote, “So this ‘doctor’ describes my dermal filler as a ‘pig face’ look? I don’t use dermal filler! What a shonk!” This was the passage from the article she shared with her followers:

Gajewski’s writing on Dawson’s plastic surgery.

On Monday, Dr Gajewski  wrote again about the plastic surgery procedures he believed Dawson to have had. See below:

Dr Mariusz Gajewski writes in Women’s Day about Dawson’s “pig eye”.

Dawson shared the picture on Instagram, and defended herself, saying, “This Dr won’t quit! Now he’s in Woman’s Day calling me “pig eye” the after shot was taken at the Nickelodeon Kids awards only a few weeks after I was released from hospital & was 8 kilos heavier from medication.”

Megan Gale

Dawson also defended Gale, writing, “Having known Megs for many years she is 100% Botox free so we might stop with the surgery shaming now.”

She replied to one of Gale’s comments, “… I am somewhat bewildered @dailytelegraph would publish this during their anti-bullying campaign? Seems odd.”

Dr Gajewski  contacted Dawson after this tweet, writing to her, “Charlotte, I apologise unreservedly for offending you. That was not my intention,”

She replied, “Maybe apologise to those you ‘suspect’ have procedures, whose honesty about such things are vital to their reputations.”

Since publishing his list, Gajewski has been unavailable for comment.

Dawson has in the past talked candidly about lipsosuction, botox injections, having an eye lift and breast implants. Gale has never spoken of such things.

Note: the rest of this article in no way refers to Megan or Charlotte. Instead it is a much broader look at the issue of surgery shaming.

Fat shaming famous women is nothing new. But the new thing appears to be surgery shaming with endless gossip magazine articles debating and deriding celebrities who have ‘gone too far’. In it’s own crude, cruel and sometimes inaccurate way, has this become the clumsy way we’re trying to make cultural sense of the rapidly changing face of female beauty?

Ashley Judd

Last year, actress Ashely Judd experience a particularly brutal episode of Surgery Shaming. After appearing in a TV interview to promote a film, she instantly sparked widespread speculation and ridicule for her ‘puffy face’.

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Magazines, entertainment programs, websites and blogs all over the world ran photos of Judd, claiming she’d ‘overdone the filler’ and wondering ‘what on earth happened to her face?’

The actress responded with a stinging attack of her own in an opinion piece she wrote for The Daily Beast, where she criticised the way it had become fair game to mock and persecute famous women for allegedly having cosmetic surgery procedures; aka Surgery Shaming:

“…Why was a puffy face cause for such a conversation in the first place?”, she wrote. “How, and why, did people participate? If not in the conversation about me, in parallel ones about women in your sphere? What is the gloating about? What is the condemnation about? What is the self-righteous alleged “all knowing” stance of the media about?”

She claimed the practice of Surgery Shaming was a  misogynist one. “Who makes the fantastic leap from being sick, or gaining some weight over the winter, to a conclusion of plastic surgery? Our culture, that’s who.  The insanity has to stop, because as focused on me as it appears to have been, it is about all girls and women.  It affects each and every one of us, in multiple and nefarious ways: our self-image, how we show up in our relationships and at work, our sense of our worth, value, and potential as human beings.”

While she made some valid points in her article, there were many who felt it was disengenuous not to acknowledge the elephant in the room: the fact that the use of Botox, fillers, other injectibles and more invasive forms of cosmetic surgery is rampant in Hollywood. An epidemic.

The public has eyes. We can see when faces don’t move. We can see when lips appear to inflate overnight, when noses magically shrink, when eyes change shape or when decades vanish from a face from one awards ceremony to the next. And putting that down to weight gain or illness? Judd aside, how is it that so many female celebrities are able to stay size 0 everywhere but their lips, and cheeks?

Not to suggest any woman should be shamed for how she looks. But should we continue to swallow the denials of women who so obviously appear to have had work? Because the result of that, of course, is that the baseline of female beauty imperceptibly shifts to something that is entirely unnatural and impossible to replicate or emulate without needles and scalpels.

Back in March this year, when writer and broadcaster Jessica Rowe from Weekend Sunrise admitted to using Botox, the 42-year-old said,“I’ve come clean because I’m sick of women beating each other up over what they decide to do with their faces.” She wrote:

The botox chat is worth getting into as many women feel under enough pressure to look a particular way without having some glossy, impossibly glamorous starlet tell them the secret is sunblock, having plenty of sleep, practicing yoga and drinking 10 litres of activated coconut water a day.

Shaming is certainly never the answer.

But with the number of western women choosing to alter their faces with injectibles or surgery, is there a bigger conversation to be had here? Like why we’re so desperate to slow the ageing process in the first place? Or whether it’s a good thing that so many seem to be marching toward the exact same beauty ideal of big lips, puffy cheeks and frozen foreheads?

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