Pucker Up

Tiffany Persaud, Features & Lifestyle Editor

My personal mantra is to remain as natural-looking as possible. Let’s be honest, the blow-up doll features are popular but it’s not appealing. Don’t mind me though, if you want that look, go for it! However, I believe those who get enhancements should set personal limits just to lower health risks. Injecting, lasering and quite literally morphing your body can increase your chances of life-threatening ailments.  

“You shouldn’t want to look like someone you’re not,” they say. Well, if you’re a die-hard Kim Kardashian fan, you are bound to get a bit influenced. I have her book “Selfish” displayed in my room because not only does it give me confidence, but it gives me a sense of belonging since Eurocentric women have been the beauty standard for centuries. Moreover, I feel proud that a woman who shares similar characteristics as me is a household name. 

According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, Americans received more than two and a half million filler injections in 2018. In 2018, on my 18th birthday I got my first syringe of lip filler and have never since looked back. Why? Because I obviously wanted to have plumper lips like Kim K. Seeing the results was a euphoric experience. Now at 21, I continue to get touch-ups of lip filler every few months since fillers like Botox, Juvéderm, Versa and Restylane are temporary. My advice for anyone interested in trying filler is to find a doctor that is reputable, even if it’s a little pricier — it’s not worth looking botched or causing harm to the very sensitive veins in your lip.  

In September 2020 I began laser hair removal and completed it last month, exactly one year later. This was another decision that has given me a boost of self-esteem, especially when I wear bikinis.  

It is common for white women or white-looking women, to want “exotic” features – tan skin like South Asians, fuller lips like African Americans, and structured face-shapes like Middle-Easterns. This signals the irony of racism because minority groups’ appearances are the ones most fetishized. 

My esthetics journey has only begun. We have yet to see what the future holds for plastic surgery and other beauty treatments. I’m sure procedures would be practically pain-free by the mid-century but cost more since technology would also advance. 

Even though I was and still am under the influence of what celebrities like Kim Kardashian look like, I am very happy with my cosmetic enhancements. Fillers did not change what truly matters inside my heart or head. The choice of how you want to look is yours only to make, just don’t judge anyone if they don’t apply your ideals of beauty to themselves. I will continue to preach that message of supporting what women do, even if you don’t participate in it, is feminism.