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.
For quite some time I've wanted to become less reliant on my iPhone, and I was confident I would be just fine without a phone. That being said, I wasn't willing to give my phone up voluntarily for a little personal challenge, so the Universe decided to kill my iPhone X: it fell out of my pocket and the whole thing smashed and bent to the point where I was fascinated by how poorly the new iPhones are built. I also learned something.
1. I rediscovered ancient forms of communication.
That's right. It turns out I don't even need an iPhone to call, text, or FaceTime people. I can just do that from my MacBook or iPad. I might not be able to reach people who don't have iPhones, but that's alright with me. I don't know that many people anyways, and certainly even fewer people without iPhones, if any at all.
2. Without my phone, I all of a sudden had all this extra time on my hands.
I was literally sitting there staring into the wall wondering what the hell to do. I mean, there's only so much Alexa can do to keep you entertained, and I'm not the kind of person who can watch TV for more than 30 minutes without getting bored. So with the 'Screen Time'-feature I realized I spent an astonishing 6+ hours a day playing mobile games.
I found a quick solution: I started playing The Sims, Sim City, and Grand Theft Auto on my MacBook again. This way time flew, and before I knew it, I finally had my replacement phone.
3. New habits.
Getting around town without a phone is nearly impossible. I don't have a working wristwatch - I thought those were decorative. I don't care for an Apple Watch (what a stupid thing), and I don't feel like opening up my laptop on the train to see what time it is. So I just kind of tried to cope without knowing what time it was, and also without GPS, and without the ability to reach anybody outside of a free WiFi zone (anywhere in L.A.) - I was kind of clueless, but happily so.
I could feel my anxiety and blood pressure go down a little bit. It's nice to not be reachable.
And now that I have my phone back, I try to limit the time I spend using it as much as possible. I mean, I'm on my laptop right now, and I know that I can blog directly from my phone, it's probably easier too, but I just really like a good old keyboard with the 'Do Not Disturb'-function turned on, because fuck notifications (they're mostly reminders I ignore for infinity).
Earlier today, after a four hour long meeting in Santa Monica, I went to Eataly at the new Westfield in Century City for a business meeting / cocktails with lovely Louise from Hollywood Hot - we brought our own hot sauce. I like how my hand looks so huge that it actually has its own stainless steel stand.
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.
It’s so easy when everything is good. I live for the good times. The good laughs. The happy days. My husband. My family. My friends.
But sometimes... it’s not that easy. I’m conflicted in many ways. If life in L.A. is a marathon, life back in Norway is like a relaxing stay at a 5-star resort.
It’s hard coming to terms with my life choices sometimes. But I always followed my dreams. I haven’t had many dreams about the future lately, but I’ve always known I’ll end up wherever I belong. As cliché as it may sound, I do believe everything happens for a reason, and that we always have a choice, no matter what the situation is.
I feel like I’ve neglected myself totally. I’ve stopped caring about how I look. How I dress. Whether I have had my fillers and Botox or not. It’s more like a day to day survival instinct kind of thing. I don’t know how healthy this is, but I’m still alive, and I never really thought I’d still be here at 25.
I’m at a loss for words when it comes to getting myself back to my normal self. I’m starving myself to the point of exhaustion just to have an OK body, and if I sleep for more than 3 hours it feels like a victory.
Still, I want to keep going. I just don’t know how. Maybe it’ll come to me. Maybe it won’t. My past is so scary that I spend half of my energy suppressing the memories. And the future is so uncertain that it scares the shit out of me. And it seems like the present is just absent.
I wish life had a manual. #stayingpositive
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!
I woke up bright eyed and bushy tailed at 3 am today. I couldn't find my phone, and Alexa wasn't responding, so I actually had to find my computer to figure out what time it was. By the time I figured out how early it was, I had already gotten up from bed, and applied a facial and an eye mask. So I went into the drawing room, got comfy on the sofa, and started watching this nature/animal documentary on Amazon.
All of a sudden it's close to 5 am, and going back to sleep isn't really an alternative at this point. Once I go to sleep it takes me eight hours to wake up. According to my phone I went to sleep around 7 pm last night. I know yesterday was quite stressful -- family drama, dealing with insurance companies, work, and on top of that taking the car into the shop, and filling out a bunch of forms for the beloved bureaucracy of Norway. After doing laundry, a grueling migraine confined me to bed, and somehow I managed to stay asleep for eight hours.
Right now my biggest dilemma is whether to make coffee and put on the morning news on KTLA, or to continue watching this "Wildest Islands"-animal documentary. My husband is sound asleep, and we don't start work till 11 am, so I guess I might as well go back to sleep. The only problem about going back to sleep is that my husband usually wakes up when I come back into bed, and vice versa. It's like a little curse that we joke about. Whenever he gets up from bed, I wake up, and whenever I am ready to fall asleep, he wakes up.
Guess I'd better stick to my British narrated wildlife docu, have a little drink, and wait till the sun gets up before I do anything else, like another facial or something.
Please take 30 seconds to complete this anonymous survey:
Survey results will be published and discussed once 100 people have completed it.
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 :*
Life is so full of surprises. Both good and bad. But how do you deal with the bad, without losing your cool?
When I wake up in the morning, I sometimes think to myself "well, what's next?", and then the phone rings... You know how this goes.
This summer we have lost family members, friends, and pets, a sad and tough process for anyone to experience. Up until this summer I didn't really have much experience dealing with this sort of thing, but I've learned a thing or two while this has been going on.
First of all, I think it's important to set aside enough time to grieve, and process the loss. Light a candle, light some sage, pray, talk to someone you trust, or do whatever it is that you do to get in touch with your spiritual side. However, there's not always enough time in the day to sit down and process.
Life and work still happens while you're processing the loss of a loved one, or another traumatic event, and that's where proper and timely communication comes in handy. I had to delay a few important work-related tasks while this was all going on, but luckily I was met with understanding, and was given the time I needed in order to move on.
I know that it is not always that simple. Sometimes you just can't put life on hold, even though you feel like you need to. The stakes might be too high. You don't want to fail that class, or lose your job, because you are going through something stressful.
So what do you do? There's actually an app for that. I think I would dare to say that it can help you master life, while actually dealing with your trauma at the same time.
I've used the app 'Pacifica for Stress & Anxiety' for almost a year now, and it lets me log my feelings, my general mood, and I can also track health habits, like sleep and caffeine intake. When I open the app and log my general mood, I also get the option to do a 'daily exercise', like a five minute guided meditation, a journal entry, or browsing through inspiring and uplifting quotes to add to my hope board.
I usually spend anywhere from 1 minute to 10 minutes on this app daily. My favorite feature is how customizable everything is, especially the tracking of health habits. It has given me great insight in my own health habits, and also motivated me to make changes where needed.
Another feature I like, is that the app lets you send detailed reports to your health professional. I have not used this feature, but I have spoken to others who have. You simply choose what information you want to share with your health care provider, locate your health care provider on a list, or simply put in their email address. Your doctor or therapist might already be accessible on the app, and can work with you through the tools available.
Pacifica has truly reduced both my stress and anxiety, gradually over time, and I hope it might help you when you're dealing with a stressful situation.
It's available on the App Store and Google Play.
FYI, I decided to purchase a lifetime subscription of the full version of the app, but the app is amazing without the premium features, so you won't have to spend a cent trying it out. If you want to try the full access version, their pricing is $8.99/month, $53.99/year, $199.99/lifetime.
Please note that I am not a health care professional, and I would advise you to consult a doctor before making any decisions regarding your health.
I am not affiliated with Pacifica, Apple, Google, or any other company or brand name mentioned in this article, and have not received any financial incentives for publishing it. I am simply sharing my personal experience with this product.
I'm Lars, born and raised in Norway, living the dream in California.