Welcome to the beauty empathy era
From New Age Bimboism to the compassionate convo around Bella Hadid’s nose job regret, our faces are no longer up for neggy discussion
Image: Jackson Bowley
Text: Jane Macfarlane, Brand Creative Director
Do you remember where you were when the news broke that Bella Hadid admitted her nose job? Probably not lol, but you might remember the conversation around it. The internet had a meltdown, but the shock was not over the fact that Bella had a nose job, rather that she was speaking about it publicly (toVogue, no less), after years of swerving rhinoplasty rumours. TBH, we all worked out ages ago that she’d had work done – her glow-up had been analysed by everyone, from TikTok trolls excavating her baby pics to plastic surgeons giving their professional takes. The nose job was not breaking news, but her public acknowledgement of it definitely was – and our collective reaction reflected a shift towards a more empathetic understanding of how beauty standards shape our decisions.
Here’s why the convo mattered:
- Being open about getting work done is a new concept – admitting to procedures can make you super vulnerable to criticism, especially when you're high profile.
- Bella didn’t just confirm she'd had work done on her nose, she also spoke about how and why she regretted it, saying she wished she’d kept the nose of her ancestors. The conversation that followed prioritised the story behind Bella’s decision, over the result itself.
- Her admittance sparked conversations about societal pressures to conform to Eurocentric beauty standards, surgery shame and whether or not our faces are up for public debate or not.
Alongside some scepticism, there was a vibe of understanding why Bella felt compelled to reshape her nose, as well as an acknowledgement of her right to love, hate or amend her appearance – an emerging attitude we coin beauty empathy.