THERE might be an ocean between them now, but Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton are united over one issue: both have strenuously denied having any tweakments.
Yet before and after pictures of Kate are being used to sell Botox – while snaps of Meghan are flogging women £500 facial fillers.
A snap of Kate at Wimbledon in 2012 with visible soft lines was posted alongside a picture of the Duchess with strikingly smooth skin in 2016.
The caption reads: “In the left image, from 2012, Kate Middleton’s crows feet, forehead wrinkles, and undereye hollows have aged her face. In the right image, taken more recently in 2016, her wrinkles are gone, her complexion is smooth, and she looks like a more radiant and gorgeous version of herself.”
The post then goes on to claim the reason for Kate’s apparent transformation is Botox and fillers.
The firm also claims: “Everybody can look like a radiant princess, it just takes hard work and preparation. #Botox #fillers.”
This is one of hundreds of clinics that shamelessly post ‘before-and-after’ photos of famous faces and claim their features are enhanced.
The Duchess of Sussex has also been heavily used in filler adverts.
Shots of Meghan were featured in a 2017 Instagram post from @capeaesthetics, a South-African clinic, with a claim that she’d had a “subtle” nose-job, as well as Botox injections and lip filler.
These adverts – which are of course not sanctioned by the royals – are seductive to the millions of fans who would like to look like the beautiful Duchess.
It means women, like Xochytl Greer, 36, are forking out thousands to get fillers in a bid to look more like the royals.
The mum-of-three from Texas, went under the knife last year, spending £19k on fillers under the eyes, lip filler, jawline filler and Botox in her quest to look like Meghan.
The duchess wannabe said: “I don’t think I look identical to Meghan Markle, but I do see our similarities a lot more now, my nose definitely resembles hers more closely.”
And the mum has even claimed her daughter now shouts “mummy, mummy” whenever seeing pictures of Meghan.
It’s not just the royals who are being taken advantage of by greedy aesthetics clinics — Cheryl, Sofia Ritchie and Bella Hadid have also been touted as cosmetic surgery success stories.
While these adverts imply that getting a celebrity glow is simply a few pinpricks away, this week, Fabulous’ Had Our Fill campaign has laid bare the terrible risks women are taking.
We’re calling for Instagram and Facebook to crack down on rogue practitioners to stop children being flogged injectables. We also want a minimum age limit of 18 for filler to be introduced.
Rogue practitioners selling fillers to kids
This year has seen a quadrupling in the number of teens reporting botched cases to Save Face, an organisation which promotes safe cosmetic practices.
Unscrupulous clinics tap into young people’s obsession with celebrities, implying that having a shot of Botox or jab of filler is the way to get their look — despite many of them never having been anywhere near a needle or knife.
Instagram offers the ideal platform for filler companies to target prospective young customers because the site is used by 72 per cent of 13-17-year-olds and 64 per cent of 18-29-year-olds worldwide.
On top of this, the lack of regulation within the industry means rogue practitioners often pose as trained professionals to lure clients in with cheap prices — something particularly appealing to teens.
Many of these clinics use hashtags to promote their supposed before and after images.
There are 3.3million Instagram posts hashtagged with either “fillers”, “dermalfillers” or “lipinjections”, showing the true scale of the issue.
All users have to do is search for one of these terms and they will be bombarded with so-called images of celebrities’ before-and-after procedures — with no way of telling if they are real or not.
Last year, three Instagram adverts for cosmetic fillers were banned for misleading consumers and suggesting celebrities had used the treatments.
The ASA has warned clinics not to suggest celebrities had used their products if they hadn’t.
But these practises are now rife across the cosmetic clinic industry.
Photos of British celebrities, like Michelle Keegan, are routinely used to promote cosmetic procedures on Instagram, clearly without their consent.
In other instances, images of celebrities with small or average sized lips are mocked on Instagram
FILLERS BY NUMBERS
£2.75 billion – estimated value of UK’s non-surgical cosmetic industry
59% – 13 to 24 year olds see lip fillers as routine as getting a haircut or manicure
68% – young people say friends have had fillers
160 – different types of dermal filler available for use in Europe, compared to only 10 in the US where they have tighter regulations
1,617 – complaints received by Save Face last year regarding unregistered practitioners
1.2 million – posts for #lipfillers on Instagram
3.9 million – Google searches for ‘lip fillers’ in UK last year
40% – 13 to 19 year olds say images on social media cause them to worry about body image
Adele, Ariana Grande, Emilia Clarke and Cheryl Cole have all had their pictures used by clinics and wholesale companies.
Posts will highlight the celebrities’ “perfect pout” or “amazing” jawline as an apparent incentive to undergo a procedure.
“Wanna copy her look? DM us! #fillers” @kanvas_cosmetics, a company located in Stafford, wrote in a post with a photo of Ariana Grande.
Often the pictures are taken from the women’s own personal social media accounts.
HAD OUR FILL CAMPAIGN
BRITAIN’S Botox and filler addiction is fuelling a £2.75billion industry.
The wrinkle-busting and skin plumping treatments account for 9 out of 10 cosmetic procedures.
50% of women and 40% of men aged 18 to 34 want to plump up their pouts and tweak their faces.
Fillers are totally unregulated and incredibly you don’t need to have ANY qualifications to buy and inject them.
83% of fillers are performed by people with no medical training, often in unsanitary environments – with devastating results.
Women have been left with rotting tissue, needing lip amputations, lumps and even blinded by botched jobs.
Despite the dangers, there is no legal age limit for dermal filler, which is why Fabulous has launched Had Our Fill, a campaign to:
- Make fillers illegal for under 18s
- Crackdown on social media sites plugging fillers
- Establish a government register to accredit all practitioners
We’re working in conjunction with Save Face and are backed by the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH), British Association of Plastic Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons (BAPRAS) and British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS).
We want anyone considering a non-surgical cosmetic treatment to be well-informed to make a safe decision.
We’ve Had Our Fill of rogue traders and sham clinics – have you?
THE HASHTAGS ON EVERYONE’S LIPS
Images allegedly depicting before and after photos of celebrities are collated on Instagram using a variety of hashtags such as #fillers, #dermalfillers, and #lipinjections, the investigation found.
There are more than 3.3million Instagram posts using one of those three hashtags currently on the platform, with #fillers being used in nearly 1.7million posts. Other hashtags such as #jawfillers, #nosefillers, and #cheekfillers, are used to collect examples of specific filler-related procedures. There are nearly 45,000 posts on Instagram using one of these specific hashtags.
Many of the posts using these hashtags featured graphic videos of women being injected with fillers, with their swollen and sometimes bleeding lips used as an example of a successful procedure.
Instagram does not allow the promotion of pharmaceutical products on its platform. While Botox is a prescription-only medication in the UK, you can get hold of dermal fillers without a prescription.
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There is no evidence to suggest that the members of the royal family or any of the other celebrities mentioned here have had the alleged procedures.
But until the industry is better regulated, and social media sites like Instagram ban such posts, young women will continue to be taken in by these fake images and made to feel having “tweakments” is essential.