32 The Green, Firs Court
Hardingstone, Northampton, NN4 6TB

01604 702 630

Dermal Fillers and Feminism

question markCosmetic Executive Women and Allergan Debate

Is lying about your treatment is the new lying about your age?  Is secrecy around having medical aesthetic treatments the biggest betrayal of the sisterhood?

These issues were debated by a panel of industry experts in a heated debate hosted by Cosmetic Executive Women (not-for-profit organisation for women working in the aesthetics industry) and Allergan (pharmaceutical company and maker of Juvéderm® facial fillers and BOTOX wrinkle relaxing injections).

The debate explored new research into women’s attitudes towards the quest for beauty and youth; tackling controversial views that women who have cosmetic treatments to improve their appearance can be seen as ‘frivolous, or even anti-feminist’.

Research into Beauty and Feminism

  • 45% of responders believed ‘you can be a feminist and love fillers’
  • 88% agreed they ‘should be free to express their beauty in any way they choose’

Allergan’s opinion poll was based on a survey of 1,507 UK women

Video Debate:

The panel included Polly Vernon (author of Hot Feminist), Bryony Gordon (author of Mad Girl), Sarah Vine (journalist) and Alison Telfer (Aesthetic Practitioner).

Bryony Gordon (author and feminist) said:

“Feminism is all about being able to make your own choices. It’s normal to want to look good.”

Journalist Sarah Vine added:

“It’s ok to have whatever you want done, it doesn’t matter what people think of you, it’s what you think of yourself. If you look nice and feel good that’s what’s great.”

Secret Cosmetic Treatments

The panel unanimously that secrecy surrounding having cosmetic injections went against feminism.

  • 38% of women who would consider non-surgical treatments would keep it a secret
  • 47% women felt they would be judged for being vain

Aesthetic Practitioner Alison Telfer explained:

“The biggest betrayal of the sisterhood is secrecy i.e. not telling each other when you have had treatment and therefore allowing other woman to think you look that way naturally.”

Polly Vernon commented:

“What I find profoundly uncomfortable is attacking a woman who decides to have treatment, on the grounds that it is anti-feminist. Surely, a definition of feminism includes feeling empowered to age the way you want to, without criticism or judgment.”

Sarah Vine added:

“Lying about your treatment is the modern equivalent of lying about your age!”

Caroline Van Hove, Senior Vice President, International Medical Aesthetics at Allergan commented:

“In recent years the topic of feminism has generated lots of conversation. At Allergan, we want to empower women to age the way they want, so it felt like the right time to have a candid discussion about women’s desire to express their beauty in a way that is right for them. Women are united by an increasing desire to control how their looks evolve with time. This shouldn’t mean they are judged negatively – especially when 74% say they are primarily making an effort to look good for themselves, not for others,[2] which closely aligns to a feminist viewpoint.”

Caroline Neville, President of Cosmetic Executive Women concluded:

“How we choose to look, and how we choose to age is a decision each woman must make for herself. Judgement amongst women has led to an environment of fear and secrecy, and does nothing to support feminist ideals. This debate has revealed the need for women to start being open, honest, and supportive of one another’s choices.”


  1. Feminist with Fillers research, carried out Dec 2016
  2. Allergan Global Beauty Data on File 01 2016. (INT/0381/2016)
  3. Allergan press release http://www.prnewswire.co.uk/news-releases/allergan-plc-question-if-a-feminist-can-love-fillers-615794223.html
BOTOX® Injections Dermal Fillers

Mulberry House Clinic & Laser Centre

Established 2003

Mulberry House Clinic & Laser Centre has an excellent reputation in the Northampton area as an independent, doctor-led practice with over 10 years experience. Dr John Tanqueray is a former GP who can assess and diagnose skin conditions from a medical perspective before suggesting the most appropriate treatments.

A private consultation is the starting point for all patients in order to facilitate a full discussion about the desired results as well as detailed facial and skin assessment. Find out more about first consultation.

For further information or to arrange a confidential consultation, please complete our contact form, call 01604 702630 or email: info@mulberryhouseclinic.co.uk.

Article Name
Dermal Fillers and Feminism
Feminists and industry experts debate: Can you be a feminist and have cosmetic treatments? Is secrecy around BOTOX or dermal fillers treatments wrong?
Publisher Name
Mulberry House Clinic & Laser Centre