Are freezers and fillers a thing of the past?
In both Scandinavia and California lip injections, fillers and freezers have been 'the hottest thing' for more than a decade. Starting in the early 2000s, getting your lips plumped with Restylane and eliminating facial expressions with Botox or other freezers became mainstream. A lot of people resorted to this, rather than more expensive and invasive treatments such as a surgical face lift, or something as ridiculous as lip implants, all in the pursuit of remaining forever young and beautiful.
When I was 16 I had a blog with about 100,000 daily readers back in Norway, and I had a myriad of different sponsors, for everything from cosmetics to clothing to alcoholic beverages. At 16 I signed contracts with several 'injection centers' on Oslo's affluent Westside, as well as a partnership with one of the major pharmaceutical firms who produce some of the most common fillers and freezers, conveniently headquartered in Scandinavia.
I was 16 and was thrilled that I was able to get free lip injections in exchange for a brief mention in one of my blog posts. I was young, and didn't really consider the consequences of promoting a beauty standard that basically tells young people that they aren't beautiful the way they are, and that they should fix all their imperfections by having injections or even plastic surgery.
I am so sorry for having contributed to this ridiculous marketing scheme. I was young and dumb, but that's never an excuse for making people feel like they are not good enough.
I am now 25, and haven't had anything done to my face for at least 2 years now. I try to stay current with news back in Norway, and read most of the major newspapers on a daily basis.
It turns out that the bloggers, or so-called 'influencers', are now promoting plastic surgery to have the injections they promoted for so many years (and made millions of dollars on doing so) surgically removed, another great way to make money, and further interfere with the self-esteem of young people who are just trying to figure out life, and have no need for further body dysmorphia issues. The beauty standards that the fashion and cosmetics industries are promoting is already way too much pressure for already insecure teenagers.
This is absolutely ridiculous, and it seems like the people of Norway agree for the most part. The Nordic nation of 5 million people and the largest sovereign wealth fund in the world, is now considering banning all marketing of plastic surgery, including injections such as Botox and Restylane. I think that's a logical move, considering the link between anxiety, depression, body dysmorphia and the pressure from these so-called influencers to have everything fixed, not to mention the increasing costs for the national health insurance program.
There's even this ridiculous blogger who looks like a plumped-up Barbie doll, who keeps writing about her struggles with body dysmorphia and all her complexes that she fixes with surgery -- she had her tit implants removed to seemingly counter all the criticism the media gave her, and then she went on to tattoo the back of her ears in order to get a more 'natural looking hairline'. For the record, her hairline was just fine, and this seems like another half-assed attempt at gaining some credibility.
I haven't even mentioned the hype about butt-implants and how Scandinavian 'influencers' are paid huge sums by sub-par plastic surgery clinics in countries like Turkey, to promote butt & tit-implant surgery for a fraction of the price in Norway or other wealthy countries with good government regulations in the healthcare industry. I am just waiting for these influencers to start promoting removal of butt implants so youngsters can start 'feeling good about themselves the way they look naturally', except for the butt implant, and then the removal of it, not to mention the millions of dollars in revenue ticking into the bank accounts of the young bloggers promoting these surgeries.
In my opinion, these influencers should be liable for the increased costs and pressure on the public health system, either via a special 'influencer'-tax, or a major class action lawsuit.
I think the debate going on in Norway right now regarding the ridiculous power these uneducated Barbie dolls have over young people, and the lasting impact it has on the health of the nation - body dysmorphia, eating disorders, anxiety disorders and depression just keeps rising, especially among the target audience of these plastic-fantastic so-called influencers.
Stop reading their blogs, and you'll take away their power.
It also turns out that injections that were supposedly temporary, like lip injections and botox, are not so temporary after all, so of course the influencers have to keep cashing their six-figure checks for promoting plastic surgery, so they're also promoting clinics who specialize in removing old lip injections. I am not kidding, this is what the world has come to.
I had lip injections 1-2 times a year between age 16 and 23, and the last time I went in to have my lips done by our 'family plastic surgeon' Dr. Rand Rusher in Beverly Hills (known from the TV show 'Pretty Hurts'), I learned that I have so much Restylane etc. build-up in my lips, that my lips will never go back to natural.
I am lucky to only have seen the best doctors, so my lips look natural and are still full and plump and sexy, but I might have to start getting them corrected if the fillers disintegrate in the wrong way. I don't want to go around looking like Jocelyn Wildenstein (the Cat Woman), but hopefully it won't come to that.
I hope we can start an informed debate here in California and the rest of the United States regarding the unregulated marketing of injections and plastic surgery, and start regulating the industry to protect young people from even higher rates of body dysmorphia, eating disorders, anxiety disorders and depression.
Please feel free to share your thoughts on this subject in the comments section below. I welcome an open debate free of personal attacks and coarse language.
I haven't really had the chance to relax and detoxify from the social events of the holidays, we've just been going going going, to every single event we've been invited to, usually three or four a week.
I've had such a great time meeting new people and getting out of my comfort zone, attending events all over town. I'm trying to embrace and appreciate life a little more, and getting out of the house, dressing up, and meeting people from all over the world is the perfect way to do it!
But enough is enough, my husband and I have decided to take a week or two off from events and other social obligations, so we can recharge our batteries before the Easter/Passover parties begin.
Here are a few photos from the past week - enjoy!
We went shopping for fabulous cocktail attire at the Westfield in Culver City. That mall is so huge that it's almost scary, it's like an airport. I think we'll stick to the Westfield in our neighborhood, in Century City. I've kind of started enjoying going to the mall again. Everybody's online shopping anyways, so we basically have the entire place to ourselves - meaning better service, and cooler deals.
And even though this picture is from January, I felt like it had to be included. It was at our good friend Lara's daughter's Bat Mitzvah - the first Jewish celebration I had ever attended. Look at these gorgeous and super happy people! I'm blessed to live a life filled with the best of friends and so much laughter and love. We always find a way to have fun.
And I'll end this story with the mandatory bathroom selfie. I'm wearing John Varvatos, Calvin Klein and Penguin. Penguin has the cutest little 3-in-1 packs of bow ties, lapel pins, and pocket squares, for just $60. They literally had one in every color imaginable, I feel like building up my bow tie collection again.
I love that every new day brings new experiences. Remembering that some days are good, some days are bad, and some days are just meh, is just a fact of life. Perhaps we just need a little reminder now and then. But these ups and downs are all part of this adventurous journey that we call life, and I believe that we have more power over it than we might realize.
Today has been a surreal day, in a very good way. I got up very early and worked with my husband at our salon, and after about five hours there, I went to work for one of my favorite clients at her home in Bel Air, and we ended up going back to the salon in Beverly Hills together -- the gorgeous woman needed her hair done. And there's no better hairstylist than my husband in this town!
I've been meaning to decorate the salon for Halloween since like October 1st, but that's just not happened yet. So I went to a liquor store across the street from the salon to buy candy for our clients.
Almost all their candy was from Eastern Europe, and since I'm not fluent in Slavic, I ended up buying a bag full of what I am pretty sure was Snickers and Reese's Pieces with a Polish ingredient list. Lol.
They had lollipops though, and who doesn't like lollipops? I'm so not a candy person, but I can always lick on a lollipop.
We both just got home, and right now we're having a glass of wine while we're doing our thang. I've put on Beyoncé, and while Hubby is making jewelry, I'm writing this.
He just dropped a giant diamond ring in my wine glass, and I'm not sure whether to drink it or just pour myself a new one. For some reason I feel like diamonds should have antibacterial properties, but I guess that's just being blissfully ignorant.
I can't wait to share photos of our brand new patio and living room. We've been working on it for a couple of months now, and it's so lovely that I just hate leaving home, and coming home is like a wow-experience, every single time. I've been thinking about doing AirBnB in one of our spare guest suites, it would be a wonderful way to meet people from all over the world, but we're still a little too skeptical to make the final decision. Anyone with experiences to share?
I love you all, thank you for all your support and kind words of encouragement. It feels good to know that there are people out there who care for me, and I want to let you know that the feelings are mutual.
Even in the darkest of moments, speaking our truth can be the most effective step towards healing. I'm living proof... moving on to the next great thing!
I would like to finish by saying Fuck Photoshop. Body dysmorphia, eating disorders, anxiety, and depression are all on the rise. Flawlessness comes from within, and not via an app. This is me, too lazy to try to edit myself to look like someone I'm not. Embracing how we actually look, rather than trying to edit ourselves out of proportion might not make the world a better place, but perhaps we'll feel a little bit better about ourselves, without drugs or therapy. From now on I won't post any photoshopped pictures, it's just a matter of principle.
In the past few weeks I've written 14 blog posts that I've just, well, not published. It's not that I don't want my word out there, I think it's more about me getting more comfortable in my own skin, and doing what's good for me and my loved ones, rather than just writing for the purpose of writing. I'm still not sure what the purpose of this post is, but whatever, I've enjoyed creating it!
This is my first lottery ticket ever. We almost won $190 billion, but we didn't, so whatever... The point is, I'm being adventurous and trying new things that I've always steered away from. Um, technically it was my husband who got this at the gas station, but I still consider myself adventurous due to the fact that I actually checked whether or not we won $190 billion. Which we didn't... lol.
I can tell you one crazy thing, though! This might come as a shock to you all (or not), but I've never been into sports, and while I always cheered for my hometown's soccer team Molde Fotballklubb (MFK), it took me like a decade just to learn the rules of soccer, which is a game with fairly simple rules compared to all the American sports, like baseball and whatever else is out there. I'm clueless when it comes to basically any sport, I just know that whichever team has the most points win. And then they advance into more prestigious leagues, I guess...?
Our amazing botox/fillers-lady Elizabeth of Rand Rusher in Beverly Hills stopped by to get her hair as fiery hot as herself. Our clients are just the most amazing people, from all walks of life, all corners of the Earth, and it's just a whole big love fest. I'm sporting the kick ass vegan leather apron I got my husband for use at work, in an attempt to reduce the amount of new clothes we have to buy. One day at the salon = at least one forever-stained outfit, but not any more! Yay for brainpower.
However, 10 years ago I went to my first Dodgers game. I was like 14 and still living in Norway, just visiting L.A. for a language travel.
I didn't understand what the hell the players were doing on the field, and the free food was really the most exciting thing about it. Now that I actually live in Los Angeles, and the Dodgers are playing games like all the time, I'm kinda secretly hoping for the Dodgers to fail so I don't have to deal with the insane traffic that every game brings. A trip that would've taken me 20 minutes on the freeway can take 2 hours when the Dodgers are playing. No likey.
I'm also kind of cheering for the Dodgers, and want them to win the World Series or whatever it's called, because that would be cool. Wow, I'm really wordy this morning!
I guess this could be considered the first thing I've ever put in writing about sports. Even in college when I was writing for the university newspaper, and was asked to report on sports stories, I just came up with some excuse so I wouldn't have to put myself through all that.
As usual, life is a trip, with the good and the bad and everything in between. The weather is amazing (yes, I love you California), and today we're going shopping in Venice. My husband is so excited about it that he's literally been talking about what new outfits to get for a week now, so when he gets home in an hour, I'm gonna surprise him with a giftcard to his favorite store, and take him straight there.
I'm hoping for a beautiful rest of the day, gosh, I only slept two hours last night... But most of all I want to thank each and every one of you for reading all this nonsense, and even giving me feedback. Wow!
The sleep survey I published a little while ago here, (still time to complete it - please do), is almost at 100 respondents, and I can't wait to write a piece about healthy sleep habits, and reveal the huge differences between Americans and Europeans in sleep habits. So stay tuned for more!
In 2016 we moved from Toluca Lake to the Westside, five minutes away from the beach in Santa Monica. It seems like I spent less time at the beach when I moved closer to it... I never stopped enjoying life here in sunny California though!
And then I realized 'Auntie Mame' is my favorite movie of all time, and I found Rosalind's star in Hollywood. Playing tourist in your hometown might be fun, but if you live in L.A., you should know better than to ever go to Hollywood -- it's scary, dirty, filthy and full of annoying tourists and people dressed up as Star Wars characters.
Is it just me, or is that lady in the background giving me the stink eye? I know she's got her shades on, but I can still feel it. She's probably jealous of my lukewarm prosecco served in a stemless plastic cup, while she's sipping to water with a plastic straw. I mean, if there's a plastic straw mafia out there, feel free to use this photo.
The rest of 2016/2017/2018 consists of more than 50,000 photos. So I'll leave you with this one from RIGHT NOW, happy Thursday!
Our dear friend and client Lisa Waltz, actress and Westside activist (Pick Pico!) is getting her hair done at our salon right now. This fabulous lady was the ordaining priestess at our wedding. And I got that sexy leather apron for my husband last weekend -- doesn't he look great?
Have an amazing weekend, world!
Our dear friends Mary Jane & Cate + MJ's son Christopher, took us out for a fabulous vegan dinner with lovely cocktails at Gratitude on Canon Drive in Beverly Hills tonight.
The company was amazing. The food was beyond. The drinks were great. The service was impeccable.
And Chris brought a few "Fuck Trump!"-buttons from San Francisco for us to wear.
Well, more like a collection of three dozen different "Fuck Trump!"-buttons.
I chose the one with the rainbow flag, and Phil took the one with the middle finger.
Take your pick, right?
God, I miss San Francisco, how liberal it is, and everything about it except the weather. It really reminds me of Oslo.
What a fun evening!
I really needed to get out and be with people I love, sharing a meal, meaningful conversations, and lots of laughs and an overall amazing mood and a great vibe. Good therapy for the soul.
Thank you so much my dear friends.
- xo, Lars
BTW, check out my Snap story @larstangen :*
I'm switching gears to a very upbeat and exciting venture. My husband's best friend Nancy McKeon is officially on Dancing With The Stars, and was the only star chosen for the big reveal this morning.
As I am a good friend of hers, I have taken on the role as her Personal Assistant here in Los Angeles.
Future posts will be in English, and my focus is on Nancy McKeon, Phil Ackerman, and the entertainment industry. Please note that if you have anything personal you want to talk to me about -- feel free to send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for all the support! Tusen takk for all støtten! Time for a career change...!
My husband Phil Ackerman does her hair, and here's a little clip of them on set in the middle of the night. Check out my Instagram @larstangenackerman for more updates.
Nancy backstage with Val. Check out my Instagram @larstangenackerman for more updates.
For the past few weeks I've been laying lower than I usually do online. After the newspaper article in VG, people from various stages of my past have contacted me, some just to say "hi", while others are expressing their support. There have of course been the odd threat and some unsupportive messages, but I've come to learn that being hated just comes with the territory.
I have juggled several job interviews and job tryouts while this has been going on, all the while working at our Beverly Hills salon whenever I have time.
Still, I feel unfulfilled – in a way I'm not sure I'm able to even understand myself. Am I trying hard enough? What about all those 'wasted' years of self-pity and trauma therapy? All in the past now, phew.
I don't feel like I need a break in any way, nor do I regret any life choices I have made. I guess being fresh out of college comes with both joy and pride, and a fear of the uncertain. I wonder where I will be in 5 years. I guess I'll just have to wait and see.
I have some great things in the works right now, both together with my husband and by myself. Just to mention one thing; we're launching our first jewelry line together.
I am aware that nothing about the future is absolutely certain, but I can't help feeling excited and hopeful, grateful and motivated about my own future. It feels really great not to be so anxious all the time, and to feel the creativity oozing from my veins. I guess I must be doing something right.
After sharing my story in VG, I can finally say that the past is in the past, and exciting adventures await me in the near-future.
I've been super busy this past week, and I love it. The salon has never been busier, and we keep getting new clients that are just the loveliest people a salon owner could dream of.
Cheers to that.
It's basically been work work work every day, except for yesterday which we both took off, and even though I had planned brunch at Abbot Kinney, and shopping in Santa Monica, I slept for 18 hours straight, and woke up super late -- which of course was super confusing.
I think my type of insomnia should get its own name. The Lars sleeping bug. Or something.
This morning I took my husband in to work, and went to the market. Filled up the shopping cart with fruits, berries, nuts, and champagne. I'm doing my own little tasting right now, I mean, it might be 10:45 AM in California, but I was born in Norway, so it's always 9 hours later there. Excuses excuses excuses...
Also I'm building up the courage to go back to this semi-sketchy IPL laser place in Westwood in a couple of hours. I went there with a friend a couple of months ago, and was persuaded to purchase six sessions of IPL hair removal. I only have a couple of sessions left, and since American Express wouldn't refund me, I'm gonna get the full treatment, regardless of their unprofessionalism.
The first thing they told me when I went to my first laser session was that I could use a facelift! They also gave me a coupon for 50% off said facelift.
I mean, I am 25 years old, my skin is not that bad, and even suggesting to someone who has not even asked about plastic surgery, that they are in dire need of a facelift, is one of the rudest things I have experienced. Damn. I gave them a piece of my mind and they backed off. I hope they don't do that to someone with lower self esteem than I have -- being told you need a facelift at 25 wouldn't exactly encourage a healthy self esteem and confidence in ones own body.
I have no respect for anyone who practices and encourages body shaming on that level. It might've been okay in 1995, but it's just so far from acceptable behavior that I am wondering if this should be reported to a state agency or something? I want to believe that California has some sort of agency that would crack down on that, but I'm guessing not.
Pride month is here again, and I didn't realize LA Pride was tonight, well, not until now at least. I got weekend passes for me and my husband, and we're gonna shake it to Icona Pop and Tove Lo and really just celebrate our freedom.
Thank you to everyone who fought for our right to get married. But we have to keep defending our civil rights, and the best way to do so is by throwing one helluva love fest!
I feel like gay rights are almost mainstream now, and most people don't really give a shit about your sexuality, identity, or orientation. Still, the far right is on the rise, and we might just not be next on their list, we're already on their list.
Tonight I'm gonna dance and celebrate life in honor of those who were killed in Orlando in 2016. I was at LA Pride when the Pulse attack happened. What a tragedy. #neverforget
Support your local pride festival, get tickets, and go party!
Stay safe tonight WeHo.
I'm Lars, born and raised in Norway, living the dream in California.