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05th Mar 2024

Marian Keyes’ honesty about botox and fillers is exactly what I needed to hear

Kat O'Connor

Following Marian Keyes on Instagram is a breath of fresh air

Marian Keyes has given me more reassurance than any self-help book ever has. Following the author on Instagram is a total joy, especially if you’re a woman in Ireland.

Marian simply gets it. She understands the pressures women face, the societal expectations placed on us, and the procedures we feel the need to follow to look ‘perfect’.

Every woman deals with some form of insecurity because society has told us we must look perfect. Societal pressures trick us into thinking there’s only one way to look and that’s flawless.

The reality is, nobody looks flawless, not even Gigi Hadid or Dua Lipa. We all have our flaws and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. They don’t diminish us or make us worth any less.

There are so many things we can do to make ourselves feel better about ourselves in a world that never stops criticising us from the moment we enter the pre-teen stage.

Society wants us to look flawless, but it also wants us to be natural too. We simply cannot win so why shouldn’t we invest in beauty treatments if they’re going to make us feel better?

I often worry if getting my eyebrows done or my nails painted supports that societal pressure that has haunted us for years, but Marian Keyes has made me look at it in a brighter light.

The Irish writer recently revealed she gets botox and filler and do you know what? There’s absolutely no shame in it

Keyes explained that she felt conflicted about the beauty procedures because of the “duty” women feel to look a certain way.

“From a young age I internalized the message that, as a woman, it was my duty to be forever slender, skippy, bouncy-skinned, non-jowly, youthful. But effortlessly, if you get me.
I should not have the temerity to age. But if I did, any ‘work’ should be invisible – because as soon as the work becomes visible, the howls in favour of ‘ageing gracefully’ begin.”

The author joked that if she let herself age gracefully then she’d look like Peig Sayers.

“I tried very hard to resist the messaging that I count for nothing if I don’t look ‘right’. But that programming goes bone-deep so at 52 I tiptoed off and began getting botox.”

Keyes explained that she felt bad for getting botox because ageing is such a privilege but she also felt like she was letting other women down. Keyes said the treatments made her feel like she was “contributing to the extra pressure put on us all and was a stooge of the patriarchy”.

She isn’t ready to make that step and embrace the Peig Sayers look, but there’s no harm in that. Getting beauty treatments, whether that’s an eyebrow wax, botox or lip filler, doesn’t make you any less of a woman. If it makes you feel better then embrace it and don’t let the judgement of society stop you from doing what makes you feel comfortable in your own skin.

“One day I hope to be liberated from that thinking. That we all are. In the meantime, being honest about what I get done is the best I can do.”

I echo Marian Keyes and hope we’ll be able to feel better about ourselves at one stage in the future, but if these treatments give us a confidence boost in a world that is so critical of how we look then let’s embrace it positively.