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Due to unimaginable global popularity, with billions of users daily, Facebook and Instagram in-particular have the immense power of super-refined targeted advertising.
A recent petition has been created by SAVE FACE to ‘protect children from being targeted by images promoting cosmetic procedures on Instagram’. This petition aims to put pressure on the UK government to require Instagram to do more to protect young people from having unfiltered access to content from ‘influencers’ (people with high follower numbers paid by brands to feature their products on their platforms) and celebrities. The content published by these popular figures can in some cases undermine self-esteem in teenagers and stimulate interest in procedures that are unlikely to be suitable for them and carry risks.

This is a welcome move for the integrity of the medical aesthetics industry and establishments such as FACEmed where we continuously invest in only the highest quality medical grade products, accredited training and gold standard patient care. The rise of non-medically trained individuals such as beauty therapists offering low-cost treatments such as lip and cheek fillers, only serves to feed the ideas of vulnerable teenagers that they can ‘cure’ their insecurities and look like their favourite influencer or celebrity. The ‘normalisation’ of having treatment to physically alter appearance is flooding the media devices of youth today and there is seemingly no way to stop it.

The message to parents, guardians and young people is clear; education is key, educate yourself and your children about the risks associated with aesthetic treatment in young people and have an open mindset. Young people today are over-exposed to filtered and edited content that parents themselves have never experienced in their own childhood. Awareness of the issue is paramount and encouraging conversations about topics such as ‘instagram versus reality’ can help to cultivate a safe space at home for honest talk about appearance insecurities and confidence issues.

At FACEmed we pride ourselves on ethical practice and follow the best practice guidelines set out by organisations such as SAVE FACE – the approved register of accredited practitioners. With the unprecedented rise in young people seeking treatment, all too often in clinic, these patients are diverted from having inappropriate treatment based on our ethical values and the patient’s unrealistic expectations.

Click here to sign the petition.