One of reality TV star Kylie Jenner’s most notable features has been her lips. Despite long-term speculation that the 20-year-old had been receiving lip injections for years, it wasn’t until 2015 that she finally admitted to having fillers implanted.
Jenner confessed to having temporary lip fillers on both “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” and her own spin-off show, “Life of Kylie.”
“I was 15 and I was insecure about my lips,” said Jenner during an episode of her spin-off show. “I have really small lips. And it was like one of my first kisses and a guy was like, ‘I didn’t think you would be a very good kisser because you have such small lips.’ But I took that really hard.
“Just when a guy you like says that, I don’t know, it just really affected me. I just didn’t feel desirable or pretty.”
In a recent Instagram post, however, fans started noticing her lips looked smaller than usual. After one fan commented that she looked like “the old Kylie,” Jenner said she had gotten rid of her lip fillers for good, returning her lips to their natural size.
Although the decision might seem insignificant, it has the potential to send a positive message to the young, predominately female fanbase Jenner has established: You don’t have to change yourself to be popular or pretty.
The fact that mass media — from magazines to social media — impacts perceptions of body confidence has been well-established over the years, and fans of Jenner have no doubt sought to emulate her appearance. In 2015, for example, the popular “Kylie Jenner Challenge” resulted in teenage girls putting themselves in physical danger in order to achieve plumper lips.
People will go to great lengths to obtain the “ideal” beauty features, and so, in choosing to remove her lip fillers permanently, Jenner is sending a new message regarding how beauty can appear.
Jenner previously expressed reservations about being open about receiving lip fillers. In a 2016 cover story with Complex, she said: “I didn’t want people to think that you had to get your lips done to feel good about yourself. But they thought it was crazier that I was lying about it because it was so obvious.”
As of the present, Jenner seems committed to that message, reaffirming that people should feel comfortable embracing their natural features.
It’s good for young women to see celebrities they admire reject the idea that people need to modify themselves to be more attractive, and Jenner is setting a positive example.
Considering her large fan following (Jenner’s Instagram alone currently has more than 110 million followers), a lot of people are bearing witness to her rejection of beauty standards.
Hopefully, in the wake of Jenner’s decision, more celebrities will encourage their fans to embrace their natural appearances with pride instead of embarrassment.