Please read with caution as the following content may be distressing, triggering and is unsuitable for under 18s.
A clip was recently brought to my attention of a 22-year-old reality celebrity who appeared to engage in self-injection with lip filler. In one hand she held the camera and the other she held a syringe. She called out as she struggled with fear of needles before she accidentally jabbed herself.
It was evident she was not alone in the online clip as she sought reassurance from the people in the room. She attracted a large scale audience who watched her series of snapchat clips where she later declared ‘I did not do it’.
A comment read…..’Wow! What is wrong with these girls?’
I think it is important to address this comment to raise awareness and understanding of this issue.
The clip clearly displays the Lip filler brand and care is taken to ensure it is noticeable throughout. Advertising in this way is deemed irresponsible at best and question ethical advertising standards. It is dangerous to assume all Aesthetic companies and practitioners uphold the same standards of advertising and as an unfortunate and catastrophic result of this, professional responsibilities and client experience do deviate drastically.
Snapchat is predominately used by a younger female demographic. Some may regard this as a predatory tactic and exploiting vulnerabilities of adolescent populations as you learn to adjust to a changing body. This could, therefore, be a highly susceptible time for the viewer which can bring about body shaming and the development of a negative body image. The wealth of Research on Body Dysmorphic Disorder shows us that diagnosis of this mental illness is most common during adolescence which further implicates this exposure for viewers.
Those that engage in self-injection without a public profile may too share a deep-rooted fear in needles and also put a great importance on their appearance and the way they look. This may be driven by vulnerability to social and cultural expectations which guides and fuels the value of the aesthetic industry which was last valued at $53.3 billion for its services and products.
Self-injection has been used for many years in a valid medical prescription for managing chronic illness and IVF for example. Subjecting yourself to injections in this way will be guided by medical professionals encompassing needle safety and disposal. Cosmetic Self-injection, on the other hand, is overriding aesthetic professionals and poses phenomenal risks which include skin infection, stroke, blindness, loss of skin, collapse veins, puncture marks, ulceration, scar tissue, and malformation. This, of course, can bring about unwanted health issues and further be problematic for potential product recall as side-effects are not reported appropriately.
One way in which reputable aesthetic retailers attempt to control and inhibit the general population having access to their products is by ensuring the buyer has professional medical status prior to purchase. However, desperation is a prominent feature of some self-injectors. Self-injectors have begged pharmaceutical retailers to loosen their restrictions to allow them access to some branded products despite them not having a medical licence. As a consequence, the use of DIY fillers is on this rise with users blending their own DIY mixes derived from cooking oil to reach the desired effect.
With the comments displayed on the many online features of self-injection, it may be easy to speculate that someone who self-injects may be doing so out of vanity, low IQ, and lacking common sense. However, this stigma of self-injection is unhelpful at best.
Given the prolific risks and distress associated with many that have shared their self-injection journey, it may be worthwhile to consider self-injection in the self-injury cluster. Self-injury indicates an intentional act to cause harm to oneself.
Self-injection is on the increase and is not limited to just filler and Botox. Anabolic Steroid use is also harmful and brings about additional risks. Whilst you may proclaim ‘That’s disgusting’ ‘What is wrong with them’ the actuality of both physical and psychological suffering for the injector must not be overlooked and enabling access to specialist mental health support is fundamental.
If you would like to benefit from wellness support you can contact www.klnik.com.
If you are worried about someone you know or would like further support you can alternatively access information at www.bddfoundation.org/
Written by Kimberley Personal Wellness Trainer @KLNIK Wilmslow.