The growth of social media celebrities such as the Kardashian Klan, video vixens Lira Galore, Miracle Watts and Bernice Saunders have not only seen a rise in their cakes, but a raise in girls and women seeking body enhancement procedures and products.
Booty workout regimes are big business from how to get bigger butt vlogs on YouTube, to tailored exercise regimes and celebrity product endorsements, they are everywhere.
It’s not that these products are necessarily damaging to your health as most claim to contain natural ingredients such as Gluteboost that uses Maca Root in its Butt Enhancer pills and Pure Leef that uses Sarsasogenin in its Butt Plumping Creams. It is the overall effect on young womens’ psychological and emotional well-being that can be potentially damaging.
Research suggests that there has been a rise in the number of young girls being diagnosed with body-dysmorphia. The National Health Service (NHS) defines Body dysmorphia:
“An anxiety disorder that causes a person to have a distorted view of how they look and to spend a lot of time worrying about their appearance”
There are many causes of BDD one being sufferers seeking perfection as a result of comparing their appearance with other people.
Take for example Sarah Ashcroft’s, owner of a hugely successful fashion blog “That Pommie Girl”, recent collaboration with Transform cosmetic surgery Transform. In the promotional video Sarah, who has an online following of over 590K on Instagram and 34K on Twitter, enthusiastically discuss her new boobs having undergone a breast enlargement augmentation stating:
“I never really looked at any part of my body past my neck because it wasn’t something I liked”. “I feel like a new person, from having nothing to then looking at yourself with boobs… to come away from it feeling 10 times more confident than you were I think is just an amazing feeling”
Following the broadcasting of the featured campaign, The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) received complaints that the ad was irresponsible and harmful to many of Sarah’s following who are young women under the age of 18. The complaint said the advert exploited young women’s body confidence insecurities by implying that breast enhancement surgery would make them more confident and popular.
In their response, Transform stated “there is no inference in the advert that her [Sarah’s] popularity is linked to her breast size”. Also stating that they were surprised the complaint had been upheld as the advert had been pre-approved by the ASA.
For me the banning of the advert throws up a double edged sword as yes, on the one hand we all would be ignorant to ignore the fact that Sarah has a huge following across various social media platforms, some of whom adherently follow and copy her beauty, fashion and lifestyle tips. And so the banning of the advert may potentially prevent some of her followers from rushing into having an enhancement procedure.
However, on the other hand, Sarah clearly stated that she underwent cosmetic surgery for her, no one else, in order to improve her own body confidence. She never states that her breasts have made her more popular. As a woman and an advocate of women’s rights: how a woman flaunts, modifies or uses her body is her choice. It would be self-seeking for ASA to assume that taking drastic steps such as banning the advert, even though Sarah’s surgery story is still available on Transform’s website, would prevent young women undergoing plastic surgery if that were indeed their informed choice.
I asked Media Personality and Social Media Influencer Imani “Ginny” Evans’, who has 19k followers on Instagram, for her opinion on the banning of the advert, she said:
“I think she [Sarah Ashcroft] should be entitled to do whatever she wants to her body without judgment, just as the rest of us women should. If getting surgery made her a happier and more confident person, then she should be able to share her story without receiving negativity”.
I agree with Imani, as what Sarah has done is what most public figures fail to do and that is be honest with their loyal fans about the enhancements procedures they have undergone.