I religiously watched the Kardashian empire expand and I'm sadly watching its demise...all under the bracket of reality TV. I watched young Kylie grow from the youngest of endless siblings, to a confident teen...and then came the rebellion against structured education & I knew the end was nigh. Without spending too much time dissecting her life (because quite honestly I know nothing about it other than what's broadcast for our entertainment), I wanted to shed light on the mystery that is "The Kylie Jenner lip".
Anyone remember MTV Celebrity Deathmatch? The playdo caricatures of celebs were pitted against one another in a wrestling ring to the death. I dug this up because I remember the Angelina Jolie match, where she used her oversized lips to battle her opponent. Back then, it was comical to see a non-BME lady with such voluptuous puckers! Fast forward a few years, and she's the envy of her peers...yet no beauty endorsement or makeup line was tossed her way. Why? Because her looks were uncharacteristic to her ethnic origin, and there's no space on the beauty scene for a unique look. This is evidenced to this day with the likes of Nicole Scherzinger's asian themed Herbal Essences ads (apart from JaiHo, she's never declared any such Asian decent) to Yonce's controversial L'oreal ads with the distinctly chiselled European features to appeal to a wider market thanks to that ever confusing platinum barnet of hers.
Contemporary beauty picks aspects of each race to create this unattainable end product. From the golden Mediterranean skin, the full voluptuous African lips and hips, the feline Central Asian eyes, to the chiselled European bone structure. A culmination of all these looks would make for an image destined for "Botched", as its undeniably impossible to have it all. Yet, here we are, watching from the sidelines as Caucasian impressionable individuals vie for thick lips and hips the "natural way" via suction cups and OTT squat challenges. As I scrolled past endless oversized duck lips (red-rimmed with the pain of post-suction of a glass cup or other unimaginable implement) on my Instagram feed #KylieJennerChallenge, my heart numbed at the reality of the overly image conscious society we live in. This lip evolution process is clearly dangerous as I've observed some 'victims' (as thats how I see them) sustained severe bruising (which required layers of makeup to conceal), and complained about the discomfort they felt making full use of their lips for hours after. Numerous Doctors have already weighed in on the possible permanent disfigurement caused by DIY lip-plumping, yet the #KylieJennerChallenge persists.
I've seen some disturbing images of young teens in the plight to look like their favourite reality TV star, use shot glasses to achieve her plump lips, and watched it crack under pressure causing severe injuries and requiring medical attention. All in the sake of a beauty trend? I find the idea of early image modification disturbing, but its being propagated on all social platforms from numerous youtubers choosing to go under the knife to mainstream media figures opting for plastic surgery after years of declaring body confidence. I am against the inevitable effect this is having on the younger generation who are blindly following their idols, making uninformed decisions that could
negatively alter their looks forever. This has to stop!
"There is...beauty in imperfection" Conrad Hall