Having her fill, esthetically
Horror stories about the dangers of cosmetic surgery and other esthetic intervention procedures are numerous. It’s hard to know who to trust when it comes to the promises of looking younger and more beautiful, whether it is surgery or other esthetic enhancement.
Despite risks, people still want to find ways to look their best.
University of Indonesia social psychologist Hamdi Muluk said the trend to cosmetic enhancement procedures was particularly necessary among people in the public eye – such as entertainers – with an emphasis placed on appearance. Esthetic enhancement would be a confidence booster.
Housewife Maria Magdalena is a fan of fillers – injections that, like their name suggests, fill out smile lines, bags under the eyes, cheek folds and creases or make lips fuller – and a major reason is that she believes they are safer because they are made from natural components.
“Fillers are unlike chemical silicone women usually take for breasts augmentation. I was surprised to find out that they contain hyaluronic acid, and it actually exists in our bodies,” the 29-year-old said.
The acid functions to minimize risks of allergic and sensitive reactions of the skin.
She was encouraged to get filler injections to brighten her cheeks and disguise her dark spots.
“My doctor told me that fillers could disguise my freckles. Knowing their natural content, I didn’t have any more doubts,” she said, smiling.
Melly Wibowo also believes in fillers, saying she gathered information from the Internet, friends and several anti-aging doctors.
“The fact it’s chemical free is a huge relief for me. I can realize my dream of having fuller lips,” she said.
She had long dreamed of improving the shape of her thin upper lip, but was deterred by the potential risks from surgery or chemicals used in procedures.
“My husband did not let me undergo surgery, and I was too afraid. Filler injections also were not an option because I assumed they contained many chemical elements,” she said.
But the research changed her concept of fillers injection. After the injections, she is pleased to have what she considers perfect cupid-wing-shaped lips.
The temporary duration of the fillers also appealed to her.
“The effect lasts only for six months. When it runs out, the injected part returns to its normal shape, as if they had never been injected,” she said.
Jakarta-based aesthetician and anti-aging specialist Dr. Olivia Ong espouses the natural qualities of fillers. “It’s very natural, close to the hyaluronic acid that humans naturally have inside their body,” she said.
Fillers might be considered best for people in their 30s, whose skin has started to lose the bloom of youth, but Dr. Ong also advocates them for younger people.
“The 30-somethings start to have less hyaluronic acid so that it is normal for them to get injections. However, people in their 20s can also have the same treatment to maintain the acid content in their body,” she said.
Olivia warned that modern unhealthy lifestyles take their toll on the skin.
“We sometimes cannot avoid eating junk food, job stress or simply city pollution. Therefore, fillers injections are relatively essential for young people,” she said.
“Early fillers injection can help those in their 20s prolong their fresh look, amid all things unhealthy. Like a rose, they will continue blooming.”
Apart from cosmetic enhancement, fillers also are a help for scar tissue.
“Normally it leaves scars on the victims. The injection can eliminate scars so that the victims can possibly have more confidence,” she said.
Olivia, whose clients include local celebrities, disagrees with the use of fillers among pregnant or breastfeeding women.
“It’s supposed to be OK. But if something bad happens, the public would always blame the doctor. Plus, during pregnancy and the post-natal period, women shouldn’t think about their looks. They should think more of their babies,” she said.