Lets Talk : Can you be a feminist and love fillers?

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How do you feel about the way you look, your face, your lines and wrinkles? Wow! Now there’s a question to get the party started! But seriously, do you give it a second thought? For years now women have been in two camps, those that are happy to grow old gracefully, embracing every laughter line as a memory of their life, and those that want to look more youthful, softer maybe, less tired. It’s then that they turn to aesthetic procedures.

However, the burning question is can you be a feminist and love fillers? The reason I ask is, would you be honest about it, would you start the conversation? If we are all about equal rights for women and becoming the next “Girl Boss” does having such procedures demoralise or empower women? Should we grow old gracefully and embrace our wonderful, powerful self and be proud of who we are, what we look like and love the face staring back at us in the mirror, or is it ok to have a little something that can smooth everything out, perhaps make us look and feel more confident?

Allergen (the makers of Botox and JUVÈDERM facial fillers) recently commissioned research among 1,500 women to reveal attitudes towards the quest for beauty and youth.

  • 88% of women agree you should be free to express your beauty any way you choose
  • 13% of women think you should strive to look youthful at all costs
  • 25% of women say they’ve had or would consider facial injectables – and of those women, 38% say they have/would keep it a secret
  • 45% of women believed you could be a feminist AND love fillers.

At a recent debate hosted by Cosmetic Executive Women and Allergen these issues were discussed. Some of the key comments included: “It’s ok to have whatever you want done. If you look nice and feel good that’s what’s great. It doesn’t matter what people think of you, its what you think of yourself”.

Personally this is a tough one for me.  I recently saw a friend that I hadn’t seen for a while and commented on how well she looked. Just rested ( I know that’s an overused term but she did) happy and “soft”. I was blown away when she told me she had just had Botox done! I was also a little shocked, I just never thought of her as being that person…but what/who is that person. However, seeing how good she looked had a huge impact on how I felt about procedures. She looked great and it was done so well..I suddenly began seeing myself differently in the mirror. I noticed my lines, my wrinkles and how sad and tired I looked. Had I always looked that way?

 I have earned Every. Single. One of my lines, believe me. I have lived a very full, happy, busy, sometimes stressful life so far and have always been proud to be me, look like me and embrace my age. There was just that sudden element of doubt…what if I had it done? Would anyone notice? Would I even mention it? Should I mention it? Am I giving in to the notion that this is how we should look?

I  have always prided myself on my honesty and transparency but this topic has certainly got me thinking. I suppose my main concern has been being taken seriously as a beauty blogger if I were to have a procedure done. I know I have commented on something like this before. When I have seen Beauty Editors have had a little tweak, I have wondered how they can advertise certain skincare products, making claims of what they can do, when their face is not down to the use of these products. Then my educated side kicks in and reminds me that having such procedures done does not stop you having an opinion, being successful, or make you any less worthy, brilliant and clever.

It’s such a huge debate that is really coming to the forefront now especially with more and more influencers on Social Media sharing what they have had done. I would love to hear your thoughts on the subject and am inviting you to join me and the THIRTY PLUS team in a live Twitter chat on behalf of Allergan this week. The chat will take place on Thursday 9th March 8-9pm on the @WeAreThirtyPlus Twitter page using the hashtags #30PlusDebate #FeministAndFillers. Please head over to the event page HERE and click going if you can join us. I would really love to hear your thoughts on this topic.

Interested in finding out more about Juvederm aesthetic treatments in general? You can discover your local reputable practitioner and clinic HERE

This post and my participation in the Twitter chat have been sponsored by Allergan, however, as always, all opinions are my own.


  1. Anonymous
    March 6, 2017 / 2:00 pm

    Hi Sharon it's Terry here and I wrote a long wordy reply to this which I have just lost to the ether. I'm so cross. I will reply again, I just need to remember all the "intelligent witty" things I said in the first place *cough* xxx

    • Back To You Beauty
      March 8, 2017 / 11:18 am

      Hahahaha, thank you x

  2. Anonymous
    March 6, 2017 / 6:49 pm

    Sharon when I was younger I felt much like you and wore my (few at the time) wrinkles almost Iike a badge of honour. But the older I get the more depressing I find the passage of time and whilst I have no issue with laughter lines and crinkly eyes, it's a different story when looking in the mirror and I don't recognise the old woman looking back. I would like to look like myself, if that makes sense. I personally have no desire for the full works, but my eye bags and sagging jowels, make me look really ill and tired. The fact I am ill and tired is of no consequence lol.As for the feminist argument. Most of the (third wave) feminism I witness these days comes from keyboard warriors who spend their time pointing the finger and judging their "sisters" for whatever infraction they feel upset by at that particular time. Normally when they are bored attacking men.For the most part they are too young to feel the pain of passing age. They haven't walked in my shoes! What's more during the seventies I was on the front line. I was in the streets fighting for equal pay and respect in the workplace. Back then we actually got to our feet and protested. We got things done without feeling the need to drag others down.So I dare them. I just dare them to tell me I'm not a decent enough feminist because I want to look my best. Feminism is about female rights and I demand the right to do whatever the heck I with my own body. Surely thats what it's all about?Terry xxxx

  3. Anonymous
    March 6, 2017 / 9:24 pm

    First off I would like to say how much I always enjoy your blogs: articulate, well thought out and often thought provoking, with this article being no exception. And Sharon, I have never met you but as an avid fan and follower of all your blogs you need to wash your mouth out for saying you look ‘noticed my lines, my wrinkles and how sad and tired you look’……………… you are inspiring and look gorgeous. Your photos are always honest and you should be proud.So now to this Q: feminism means different things to different people and it can often be twisted and become quite divisive, negative or combative in a modern media obsessed politically correct world.I tend to think of feminism as having opened up more choices to women: thanks to the battles of previous generations we have more options available to us in all aspects of life choices – I for one was able to be the only girl on my degree course of almost 120 boys at University, a choice that was not available to my mother’s generation.So of course this also means I feel we should have the choice to do what is within our means to feel better about ourselves, but within OUR OWN personal boundaries or principles – and not be criticized, vilified or bullied by other people. Be that a fancy cream, a filler or even surgery. I have friends who have had surgery or non-invasive procedures and other friends who are adamant they never will – does it make me think any less of either group ……. absolutely not. As a feminist I respect and embrace everyone’s individuality and life choices – but here’s the rub : those who I do not respect and find are hypocrites are people, particularly celebrities, people in the public eye or in the media, who obviously have these sorts of procedures done (and often far more radical surgery) but deny and simply credit their diet or their genes. Many people behind the scenes often say that 90% of women in particular on our tv screens or mags have such things done but deny everything – in my mind THEY are the ones causing insecurities and false hope to girls, and women, everywhere, who are led to believe in a false idea of what women really look like as we age, setting some up for a lifetime of lack of self-esteem or even self-loathing as they find they do not ‘look like their idols’.In an ideal world people would all be full of enough self-confidence to not be arsed what a tv presenter or movie star looks like, or if they look younger or better in their eyes – but we are in danger of bringing up young girls who have an unattainable image of youth, and who relate their own self-worth to simply their looks, not their personality, their intelligence, or their kindness or inner beauty. In summary beauty is all encompassing and should be all inclusive. Feminists before us have fought for us to have choices. So by all means if something bothers you and you can fix it , do it …………….. BUT be honest about doing it. And yes I believe you can do that and still be a feminist. Rant over.Celia David xxxxx

  4. Anonymous
    March 6, 2017 / 10:43 pm

    Hi Sharon . I always thought that a feminist was someone who wanted equality for women. Someone who wanted equal pay, votes for women and education for girls. Someone who wanted equal opportunities for women around the world.Personally I don't plan on having any procedures but I have no objection to either men or women having fillers. I plan to take care of my skin the best way that I can. I will buy the best products that I can afford and will try to be the best version of me that I can. We all deserve to be happy and that means different things to different people. Its not up to me to tell others what to do with their time and their money. Live and let live is my motto.

  5. Lauren C
    March 7, 2017 / 2:33 pm

    Feminism isn't about burning bras, or wearing tweed skirts, it's about being treated as socially, professionally, and intellectually equal. It's about being afforded the right to choose any pathway you desire. It is most definitely not being told what is wrong with how you choose to live your life. The entire point of feminism is making choices that you want to make and not having someone, anyone, frowning at you because of them. It is about your own free will to do with your body what you want to, whether it be cosmetic surgery, less invasive procedures, topless photos, or absolutely nothing. The essence of being a feminist is personal choice and personal control.

  6. Anonymous
    March 7, 2017 / 2:43 pm

    Well I'll start off by saying my Dad was born with one arm ! So we were brought up to accept that "" not being perfect can be perfect "" 💕 My Mom has had Cosmetic Surgery 3 times on her face leaving her looking like a startled cat . But if surgery gives you confidence then go for it 💗 xxx

  7. Anonymous
    March 7, 2017 / 2:48 pm

    Sharon I have always found your blogs informative and honest and as a retired analyst I look at the ingredients in these so called wonder creams and think WHAT!!! I am of the generation who used soap and water, block mascara which used to go everywhere not just on my lashes and two ponds products to moisturise and cleanse . The amount of products available now are mind boggling and makes me wonder if at times we are taking things too far with all these products, and it costs a fortune too. I was always told to buy and use the best I could afford which I do but it also means that I pare down my routine to the best basics. I dont like the idea of injecting fillers into my skin (partly because I dont like needles) . People in life who know love and respect me accept me as I am or can leave but mind the door on the way out. Feminism was a bye word in the 60's when I was at university after being told by a male teacher that girls dont do chemistry and physics or play football all three of which I did by the way, but if was doing that job i should be paid for that job male or female . It was an accident of nature that I was born female but God gave me a brain to think with and think with it I will not what a male thinks I should think that to me is my take on that subject. So if you want fillers botox etc do it !! it is your choice.PS will you also show me how to do that smoky eye pretty pleaseSue Glass

  8. Anonymous
    March 8, 2017 / 12:18 pm

    I'm not liking the ageing process at all. I feel well but my skin tells a verydifferent story. I think each to their own and if fillers/botox makes a difference to how a woman feels, then surely it is more empowering for her to have confidence and be able to face the world than not. Go for it, I most certainly will and I will be offering a two finger salute to anybody who thinks it's their business to tell me otherwise!

  9. Anonymous
    March 8, 2017 / 2:35 pm

    Hi Sharon,Right here goes hopefully I won't lose it today ha ha….You ve definately given some food for thought there. Whilst I'm not there on the wanting to get something done there's nothing to say I wouldn't in the future. I think we judge people far too much in the world in general but if something makes you happy and feel better about yourself then it's really your choice. I don't think you should feel you have to disclose treatments and procedures unless you feel comfortable doing so….I m not a fan of the over the top procedures where you look at someone and just know but again if it made that person a happier version of themselves then who are we to judge….I think the industry has come on so much so that we can make enhancements but with a more natural realistic effect. I'm all for making yourself feel better and I guess the way we do this is different for us all. Thanks Francesca ☺ x

  10. Anne-Marie Mason
    March 12, 2017 / 1:10 am

    Hi, I think feminism is about feeling free to do whatever you feel is right for you without having to apologise for it. So, if fillers/surgery makes someone feel happy then that is up to them, for some it's just an extension of the make up mask we've all been conditioned is ok to wear. The haters will comment no matter what, if someone doesn't have surgery they'll say they need it but then if someone has surgery then they come down on them for it. Sadly though, I do think it matters when your face/body is part of your job. People are reluctant to believe in products when the person advertising them has had any type of work done, even if it is on a different body part to the product they are selling. It's such a complicated, cynical world that we live in now isn't it? People should just be able to be who ever they are. xxx

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