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Selena Gomez just killed comparison culture with her 'truthful and authentic' Botox comments – and we have a lot to thank her for

There's something rare about a beauty brand founder being so open

Selena Gomez in a soft jumper lying down
Melanie Macleod
Wellness Editor
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This weekend, Selena Gomez casually dropped into conversation that she's had Botox. The 31-year-old didn't think it was a big deal to share her treatment of choice, but the headlines surrounding it said she "confessed" and "admitted" to having the procedure – as if it's something she has been hiding or is ashamed of.

In reality, Selena only "admitted" to having Botox after a follower (I won't call them a fan) savagely commented telling the star to, "Remove her cheek filler," causing Taylor Swift's bestie to reply: "Hahahaha I’ve had Botox bb girl."

Selena clearly isn't ashamed of her youth-preserving treatment, and why should she be? In fact, her open, casual response made me appreciate her all the more.

Selena Gomez smiling in silver© Getty
Selena Gomez shared she's had Botox

As the founder and face of her cosmetics brand, Rare Beauty, it's important that Selena be open that it's not just her (admittedly fabulous) 'Liquid Touch Brightening Concealer' or viral 'Positive Light Liquid Luminizer' that make her look so gorgeous, but a little helping hand from aesthetic doctors.

Yes, her beauty line is one of the best out there, but Selena's realness about her injectable usage will help to reassure those of us filling our online baskets with her brand that it's not just clever lighting and incredible formulas making her look so brilliant.

If more people in the public eye were upfront about what they've had done, I feel like we'd see a lot less comparison culture.

"Being open about treatments educates and reduces dangerous feelings of comparison and inadequacy," says advanced aesthetic nurse practitioner Emma Wedgwood. "It’s normal for skin to show signs of ageing, it’s normal to have scarring and it’s normal for skin to breakout and have texture. But when we're constantly bombarded with images of celebrities with none of these things and no transparency as to why, it can cause very real feelings of self doubt and inadequacy."

 Psychotherapist Lauren Baird, who specialises in body image, agrees that celebrities being transparent is key to the public accepting themselves.

Selena Gomez smiling in green© Getty
Selena Gomez is taking the pressure off by being candid about Botox

"I understand why celebrities may be fearful of speaking out about cosmetic surgery, given the immense amount of pressure and criticism women in the spotlight receive, however being honest about the procedures they’ve had supports women to see that perfect doesn’t exist.

"Being honest shows us that these unrealistic beauty standards are impossible to meet, even by celebrities and when we hold this knowledge, it allows us to be kinder towards our own imperfections. Perhaps acknowledging that our face has wrinkles as a natural consequence of aging, rather than there being something wrong with us or that we’re aging quicker than normal," Lauren continues.

Selena Gomez smiling and walking in New York City© Getty
Selena Gomez is killing comparison culture by being open about Botox

"Celebrities being open creates a more honest account of the measures some may go to, to look wrinkle free. And it puts a halt on my own self-critic," she adds.

READ: The telling sign Selena Gomez is 'smitten' with Benny Blanco 

The power of celebrity influence

Often when a celebrity shares they've had a cosmetic treatment, doctors see the popularity of that procedure rise.

"Celebrities are leaders when it comes to setting trends," confirms Dr. Yannis Alexandrides, founder of 111 Harley St. and 111SKIN. "People look to them for inspiration in different areas, including aesthetic treatments. When a high-profile celebrity, such as Selena Gomez, is candid and open about getting Botox done, we definitely see an uprise in patient enquiries. 

"A perfect example of this occurred when Kim Kardashian shared a video of herself getting the 'vampire facial' and Potenza treatments. It spiked interest in both of these procedures in my clinic."

Emma Wedgworth, advanced aesthetic nurse practitioner and founder of Emma Wedgwood Aesthetics, agrees, adding: "There’s definitely an increase in online searches when A-listers talk about specific treatments they’ve had done. Certain celebrities create aesthetic trends in themselves, and when this becomes a thing (think: Kylie Jenner lips, Bella Hadid fox eyes, Kim Kardashian bum) we definitely see more requests in the industry, with patients using these celebrities as reference points in describing the look they’re hoping to achieve."

Of course, nobody owes us anything when it comes to sharing their tweakments of choice, but if someone is selling a skincare or makeup brand off the back of their own looks, it feels disingenuous not to be open that they've had a helping hand.

A bit like how it has to be declared if lash extensions have been used in a mascara ad or if a filter has been used on Instagram, if someone's skin is a tweakment-aided wrinkle-free canvas and they're advertising skincare… that doesn’t sit right with me.

Selena Gomez in silver smiling© Getty
Selena Gomez is 31

Lauren agrees, explaining: "When celebrities hide the work they’ve had, it perpetuates a toxic beauty standard. Whereas when they’re open about the work they’ve had, it allows us mere mortals to hold a more realistic sense of what goes on behind the scenes to look a certain way."

Selena's willingness to be real about her cosmetic treatment proves she's totally comfortable with her choice, as neuroscientist Dr. Tara Swart explained to me when we spoke about the psychology behind tweaking our appearances.

If you're considering changing something about yourself but wouldn't feel comfortable with people knowing, it could be a sign that it goes against your values, which could be problematic, Dr. Tara explains.

Selena Gomez smiling in a silver dress© Getty
Selena Gomez is the founder of Rare Beauty

"If you feel the need to hide it, I would question what's behind the decision to have the work done," she says.

Selena Gomez being so relaxed about sharing her injectable removes the shame from others and proves she feels comfortable with the world knowing.

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"Many woman hide getting tweakments from friends and family as they’re fearful of being judged, shamed or perhaps feel embarrassed that accessing this treatment is seen as vain or self-indulgent," Lauren says of the shaming culture around our personal choices. "This makes a lot of sense given how we’ve seen women in the limelight criticised for having surgery or beauty procedures.

"This shaming is harmful and is using the woman in question as a red herring, when in reality the problematic situation is the fact that women are oppressed for the way that they look. And there is a whole patriarchal culture financially benefiting from breeding these insecurities.

Selena Gomez in the campaign imagery for Rare Beauty
Selena Gomez stars in the campaign imagery for Rare Beauty

"Selena Gomez being truthful and authentic is admirable: and in doing so, when we go to comparing ourselves for not being thin enough, young enough, gorgeous enough, we can see the wider implications of their being cosmetic interventions at hand. This can take off some of that comparison pressure," Lauren concludes.

Here's hoping 2024 sees more famous faces being upfront about how they look so gorgeous.

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