Beauty backs social media regulations on cosmetic procedure content

By Becky Bargh | Published: 17-May-2019

The 'Rich Girl Face' trend emulating the likes of Kendall and Kylie Jenner, supermodel Bella Hadid and Love Island's Olivia Attwood has taken off with younger consumers

The beauty business is backing an age limit to be put on social media content from celebrities and influencers that endorse cosmetic procedures.

British law firm Cosmetics Surgery Solicitors, in partnership with Save Face a register for non-surgical practitioners, has launched a petition urging the UK government to make Instagram to introduce a 21-year-old age restriction on promotional content from verified accounts.

The announcement comes just after a nationwide survey found 74% of the public backed an age limit on this type of content on social media.

The petition currently has 133 signatures.

Michael Saul, a partner at Cosmetics Surgery Solicitors, said he hopes the petition will stress the dangers this content can have on “young and vulnerable” people who follow influencers.

He said these “unsuitable images” are falling on “an impressionable audience”.

“Photos and videos on social media that glamorise looks such as the 'Rich Girl Face’ trend - marked by extremely full lips and shiny skin - has ushered a new standard of beauty that places excessive pressure on followers to undergo expensive procedures such as Botox, dermal fillers and chemical peels in order to achieve the same appearance.

“This pressure can lead to many mental health side effects, including depression, anxiety, low self esteem, body dysmorphia and eating disorders in both men and women.”

Kylie Jenner is one celebrity well known for the 'Rich Girl Face' // Getty Images

Kylie Jenner is one celebrity well known for the 'Rich Girl Face' // Getty Images

Earlier this year, Instagram banned self-harm images from its platform after mounting pressure from the UK government.

Today, nearly all social media sites have an age restriction of 13 years old in the EU.

However, YouTube account holders have to be 18 or over, but a 13-year-old can sign up with a parent’s permission.

Child protection charity NSPCC found that one in five parents think there are no age requirements for social media.

“Age restriction need to reflect the content and conduct possible on each site and be crystal clear to parents and their younger users,” said its Head of Online Safety, Claire Lilley.

She added: “Platforms need to work harder to protect children and young people, building in child safety to the design of each site.”

Cosmetics Business has reached out to Instagram for comment.

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