Lips are, after our eyes, the most expressive feature of our face. They are also one of the main differences between men’s and women’s faces. Men’s lips are supposed to be strong, thin, no-nonsense affairs. They are strong and hardy, plain and firm. On the other hand, a woman’s lips are supposed to be so much more.
From the standpoint of a masculine observer, a woman’s lips are supposed to be large, full, and colorful. They are supposed to move in a particular way when a woman speaks, when she eats, when she drinks. They are supposed to be moist and soft, firm yet yielding. Even in The Little Mermaid, they are part of the seduction advice given to Ariel by the crab Sebastian, who suddenly spouts parodically large lips.
Women know this, and it becomes an important part of a woman’s self image, to the point where many women will not even leave the house without lipstick, which gives luster and color to the lips.
Unfortunately, the lips are also a hugely variable part of a woman’s body. Like so many aspects of beauty, such as the cheeks or the breasts, they are largely soft tissue and consequently can suffer greatly from the effects of age.Women’s lips thin as they age, leading their faces to look old and masculine, a negative effect that is accentuated by the wrinkles that congregate around the mouth.
And then there are the women who are born with thin lips, and are constantly aware that this central feature of their face has an undesirable aspect.
Fortunately as with cheeks and breasts, a number of cosmetic surgery options exist for making a woman’s lips all that she wants them to be. The first wave of lip augmentation was inspired by collagen, a fat-derivative that, in the hands of a skilled cosmetic surgeon, could give a woman the fuller lips that she desired. Following the success of collagen, a host of other injectable fillers have hit the market, including the immensely popular hyaluronic acid derivatives like Juvederm and Restylane. These fillers are absorbed by the body at a regular rate, allowing a woman to adjust her look to perfection with follow-up treatments.
And for women who desire a more permanent solution to this problem, there are lip implants, similar to breast implants, but smaller. These have the advantage not only of being permanent, but of giving a consistent shape to the lips.