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The Cruel Promise of Weight Loss Techniques (And Why They’re Destined to Always Fail)

Fat removal procedures guaranteed people miraculous results. Unfortunately, they have proven to have undesirable effects.

Photo: Shutterstock/dpVUE.images

Fat removal procedures guaranteed people miraculous results. Unfortunately, they have proven to have undesirable effects. 

The notion of beauty has been inextricably linked to thinness for ages. Society fed women, especially the motto that beauty is not cheap. To conform to a more “beautiful” – or at least palatable – version by societal standards, we must treat our bodies as projects to invest in.

However, people who bought into that idea also believed they would get their money’s worth. 

Alongside the heightened trendiness of thinness within the past two years, social media assisted in popularizing a slew of medical procedures marketed as fat eliminators. However, assurances of flawless transformations proved void for many, leaving them to experience adverse effects instead.   

Ozempic is one weight loss technique that has had poor results. Photo: Shutterstock/myskin

Ozempic caused adverse side effects

The first reports of unexpected results came from Ozempic, the purportedly “miracle [weight loss] drug” that spread across social media after news of multiple celebrities employing it to shed fat. The prompt attention and consumption of the drug depleted doctor’s offices’ supply and prevented people with diabetes from accessing the medicine. 

People discovered the cost of jumping on the bandwagon of medical trends, but only after it was too late. Months after the peak of Ozempic’s popularity, several users of the injectable admitted suffering from “Ozempic face,” reported the New York Times. Essentially, weight loss engendered by the drug accelerates the “facial clock” and subdues one’s youthfulness.  

“For many patients, it’s like suddenly winning a lottery Mega Millions. But then they realize there’s a tax that comes with it — the loss of fat in the face — so it may not be quite the windfall they imagined,” Dr. Oren Tepper, a plastic surgeon, told the New York Times.

The price of rushing to try popularized medical procedures is literal too. Plastic surgery to reverse the effects of “Ozempic face” costs tens of thousands of dollars.

Buccal fat removal triggered similar results.

Furthermore, around the time of the “Ozempic face” reports came revelations of the backfire of another widespread social media-induced trend – buccal fat removal. 

It is “a cosmetic surgical procedure in which excess fat from the buccal fat pads, which are located deep in the cheeks under the buccinator muscle, is removed,” Hardik Doshi told The Cut

Increased fatphobia in society created a disdain for cherubic cheeks. Everyone from Broadway star Lea Michelle to Barney, the beloved purple dinosaur pursued a “snatched jawline” reminiscent of Bella Hadid.

Unfortunately, this procedure also caused the appearance of facial aging, creating a sunken hollow effect rather than the chiseled cheekbone aesthetic they sought. 

Once again, people hoping for a “quick fix” for their bodies pursued a trend despite its limited research, unaware that fat has the potential to be one’s best friend as they age. 

Many women got buccal fat removal to attain a “tighter” jawline. Photo: Shutterstock/BLACKDAY

Cool Sculpting is the latest flawed medical procedure

Moreover, the New York Times recently disclosed disturbing information about the effects of Cool Sculpting. The procedure promised painless fat removal but left many permanently deformed. The targeted areas of fat cells grew hard, similar to Legos, reported the New York Times. People experiencing horrific results described how they wished they could undo their decision.  

The pharmaceutical company Allergan Aesthetics described the occurrence as a rare phenomenon, with a 1 in 3,000 chance of happening. However, a 2017 report from a group of doctors proved the side effect was less sparse than the company claimed and was closer to every 1 in 100 cases. 

The limited transparency of the Cool Sculpting company is emblematic of one of the main issues revealing itself in this new age of plastic surgery. Many people are not inclined to decipher inaccurate labeling to filter out misinformation about these trendy procedures. With techniques like buccal fat removal, many were eager to look a certain way or instill greater self-confidence. However, they did not consider the repercussions of their decision. Companies lure people to capitulate to a beauty standard, and often, they are the only ones who benefit from these individuals’ awry choices in the form of profits. 

Written By

Journalism and Sociology Major at NYU Swiftie

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