My darling mother is now entering into her middle years. She’s doing well though, she takes care of herself. She keeps fit with lots of jogging and yoga – you’d actually probably pick her to be in her late thirties not her early fifties. Lately however, she’s been experimenting with cosmetic treatments. 

I guess those detox smoothies and superfood salads weren’t enough. Her skin is visibly aging — crow’s feet, fine lines, all the inevitable signs of a long and fulfilling life. I was disconcerted at first by her ambition to change her face. She’s an attractive woman and I believed women shouldn’t succumb to social ideals of what it means to be beautiful. However, after she got her dermal fillers near Melbourne CBD I started to change my mind.

Like many people who are opposed to cosmetic treatments, I must’ve had the image in my mind of a celebrity’s face gone wrong. You know, puffy face, stretched out eyes, lips like frankfurt’s attached to the face. But actually, Mum’s anti wrinkle injections looked pretty good. They were natural, you’d never be able to tell that she had any work done, except of course that she looked slightly younger and better. Then I saw the impact it had on herself esteem. She was glowing. And that’s when I changed my mind about the whole beauty industry.

Now I’m thinking of making a documentary about Melbourne’s beauty scene, the good and the bad. I want to depict a balanced portrayal of the pitfalls and benefits of having beauty treatments, especially as a woman. I’ll be investigating local clinics that do treatments like dermal fillers, lip enhancements, cheek augmentation and laser hair removal.  Melbourne city is literally brimming with such services — so there’s obviously a huge market for it. My preliminary study, interviewing people on the street, showed that most women have had at least something done, whether that be permanent hair removal or some kind of non surgical face lift. Pretty interesting stuff worthy of further documentation.