FDA: Trade Your Double Chin for Nerve Damage!

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!

headshot movie
Photo by Doug Spearman

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20 thoughts on “FDA: Trade Your Double Chin for Nerve Damage!

  1. I read that! OMG! That sounds so frightening!!
    I wish I knew how to post a pic, but don’t see an option. (I’m on my phone & that may be why)

  2. Sounds like an SNL spoof of a drug commercial. “You can find your happiness again today with Drugusall! (Side effects may include crippling depression, homicidal inclinations, sudden uncontrollable bouts of minor suffocation, and occasional spontaneous combustion.) Drugusall! Find your happy place!”

      1. It just means “under the chin.” “Chin” in Latin is “mento”; “under” is “sub”; so “submental” means under the chin just as “subcutaneous” means “under the skin” or “sublingual” means “under the tongue.”

        Sorry, can’t help it, I’m a Latin teacher.

        1. Ah! Now I get that. Thanks, Elizabeth.

          The rest of it is still seriously messed up, but at least I have learned something new.

        2. Thanks! I like learning new things. Well, things that are actually correct, that is.

          I don’t like learning new things that are ridiculous, like how the “paleo” diet is so wonderful, because we’ll be sooooo healthy if we eat like people who would already be dead by my age, so why should I even bother, and why is this even a THING?!

          Language? I love learning about language.

    1. Hilda rocks! I’ve seen oodles of her pics, and I always love them.

      Although, I do have to admit that one picture always makes me want to say, “Put the longjohns ON, woman, and get some socks! No wonder you’re cold.” But she looks fantastic.

  3. I’m still trying to learn to love my double chin, but the one actual problem with it is that the chin strap on my bike helmet feels like it is choking me.

    Not sure how to post a pic either, drag and drop isn’t working today.

  4. OMGee! Yes, please sign me up immediately for cell death treatment. I am oh so keen to have 300 needles injected into my wobbly jowls over 6 visits that at any moment could start, indiscriminately destroying cells (holy crap!) or cause what sounds like a nice way of saying significant facial paralisys – I would totally pay thousands of dollars to get a droopy mouth and swallowing problem. Nothing sexier on a date than drooling in your lentil soup!

    1. Well, I guess if you’re too drooly to eat, you’ll lose weight, right? What a diet aid!

      I’m just wondering what sort of painful existences the people had who were willing to take that chance, already, and participated in the studies.

      1. Ooh you’re totally right. They should definitely put that on the martketing hahaha.
        Very true. Unfortunately it is probably people that haven’t been brought up to love themselves and their body or people that were bullied into believing there was something wrong with them.

  5. Shiiiiitttt. They had to do surgery on my neck to get at some cancerous lymph nodes, and as a byproduct my double chin is gone. I’ll pick that over the treatment described above!

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