A CORK hair salon owner and social media influencer is calling out trolls for shaming cosmetic surgery patients after enduring serious online abuse that included accusations of body dysmorphia.
David Babington, who owns the Ugly Duckling hair salon in Doneraile and has more than 13,000 followers on his Material Boy Instagram page, said he has been shocked by messages from people criticising his transparency around the cosmetic procedures he underwent.
The messages, he confessed, have been quite abusive. Rather than hit back, the entrepreneur and influencer opted to block them from his page and rise above the bullying.
Over the past 10 years, the Cork man has been open about having everything from lip and cheek fillers to non-surgical rhinoplasty.
“When I was younger I fell down the stairs,” he said when explaining his reasons behind non-surgical rhinoplasty.
“I got six months out of it as these things do wear off. I started getting cosmetic procedures done 10 years ago. It was a year before my wedding which I wanted to look really good for.”
David believes that people are hesitant to admit to cosmetic procedures because of the judgment they face.
“I have been called a freak and accused of body dysmorphia,” he said. “I’ve been told that there must be something lacking in me that I need to inject all these things into my face. This has only ever happened online. To my face, people are always complimentary.
"When you’re putting yourself out there certain people feel they have the right to bash you. It comes with the territory. However, I’m still seeing a lot of shame attached to cosmetic surgery.
"I’ve had clients whose eyebrows have remained perfectly still as they told me that they never had any work done. A huge percentage of my clients have got it done but those that do nearly whisper it because they don’t want anyone knowing. It’s still very much a secret among women in Cork.”
The salon owner advised people to carry out their research ahead of any planned treatment.
Recalling one experience he said: “I had this thing called a vampire facial done that involves drawing blood from your arm, separating platelets and transferring them to your face. I saw Kim Kardashian had got it done so I decided to try it out. However, nothing could have prepared me for how traumatic it was going to be.”
Nonetheless, David has no regrets about his other cosmetic procedures.
“Other people lower their voice when they talk about botox but I’m loud and proud. I don’t see any shame in it. People get their roots done when they need to have a top-up and I don’t see this as any different.”