The FDA has approved a new injectable that might destroy the fat cells in people’s double chins. Of course, sometimes it doesn’t work, and if it gets injected in the wrong place it will indiscriminately destroy cells. Also, it can involve up to 6 treatments, each with up to 50 injections – so you know that’s gonna be happy fun time.
At least this isn’t another thing that can kill us outright. but of course you know that there are going to be side effects. First of all, it was only tested in “two clinical trials which enrolled 1,022 adult participants.” The “common” side effects include swelling, bruising, pain, numbness, redness and areas of hardness in the treatment area. Holy shit, where do I sign up? BUT WAIT! There’s more…Kybella can cause “nerve injury in the jaw that can cause an uneven smile or facial muscle weakness, and trouble swallowing”. So there’s that. Also, it costs thousands of dollars so, yay, because who doesn’t have an extra few thousand dollars just hanging out waiting to be spent on a painful procedure. (And the study subjects were only given a 12 week follow up, so they’re just assuming the treatment will stick after that.) Also “68.2% of subjects responded to Kybella based on a composite of validated physician and patient measurements” the other 31.8% would have spent thousands of dollars, had hundreds of injections, and risked serious side effects for absolutely nothing.
I don’t blame or judge the people who choose to get this procedure, underpants rule and all. But I’m fed up with a world where we can’t accept and celebrate the diversity of chins, and where some social benefits can be obtained by spending thousands of dollars to get hundreds of injections to make our chins a little smaller, risking a number of unpleasant side effects on the way.
But the most annoying information to come from this is: “Subjects also reported improvement in the emotional impact of submental fat when asked how happy, bothered, self-conscious, embarrassed, old and overweight they felt following treatment in relation to the amount of their submental fat.” I hope the fact that losing a couple of ounces of chin fat makes people feel somehow “less overweight,” helps people to see what a meaningless construct “overweight” is.
But the larger issue is what’s happening here: they help create a world where we are convinced to feel bothered, self-conscious, and embarrassed about the shape of our [insert body part here], and where being old and/or fat are bad things, and then they create expensive treatments to “solve” these “problems” that they helped create.
As my friend CJ puts it, this amounts to taking our self-esteem, cheapening it, and selling it back at a profit. We are allowed to buy into this system, but we are not required to buy into it. We have the option to skip the injections and just love and appreciate our chins as they are (and while we’re at it the rest of our bodies if we want) and to fight for a world where people – and especially women – don’t have to spend a huge amount of time, money, and energy – not to mention pain and dangerous side effects – just to feel good about ourselves.
I’m rocking my double chin! If you are too, feel free to leave a picture in the comments!
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