The Blog BellaMUMMA Chats to Dr Josh Wall About His Career, Feminism and Empowerment
bellaMUMMA.com is a comprehensive beauty, wellness and women’s interest website that explores and presents the latest news and key professionals in the evolving industry of beauty, including cosmetic medicine.
For its recent Q&A feature with our very own Dr Josh, bellaMUMMA discusses beauty standards, feminism and the burgeoning landscape of the cosmetic industry, as well as the story and motivation behind Dr Josh’s career as a leading Cosmetic Doctor.
“The cosmetics industry is one of the fastest growing in Australia. With preventative and corrective procedures so normalised, openly discussing having had ‘work done’ is no longer a social taboo. Cosmetic surgeries and treatments have experienced skyrocketing demand of more than 700% in the last 20 years, and over six million procedures are performed in Australia each year.” – bellaMUMMA
What was it that sparked your interest in the cosmetics industry?
I’ve always had a big interest in anatomy. I loved learning about the human body, and initially was in medical school, on track to become a heart surgeon. I realised while there, though, that plastics was a field where I could study the anatomy of the entire body, and ultimately that interested me more.
I first started working in reconstruction, which had a small focus on cosmetic enhancement, but I loved being in surgery, and I loved seeing the confidence you could restore to someone with just a short procedure, using a small amount of medical product, a bit of skill and some creativity.
Of course, you’re creating a physical change, but it was the mental change I found the most striking. You could have something that had been bothering you your whole life, something that really affected your confidence and self esteem, and in one quick ten minute procedure that insecurity could be completely eradicated.
I know how it feels to be on the other side of it – I had been unhappy with my teeth my entire life, and about three years ago I got veneers done and it was honestly the best thing I ever did. Something that bothered me every day turned into something I never thought about again.
What are your thoughts on the view that cosmetic enhancements are anti-feminism?
Cosmetics is about empowering someone to be confident, and it has nothing to do with gender at all. We’re not pushing any ideal of feminism – if you come in, I’m going to ask you what your goal is, and I will work with your wants. People ask me all the time “What do I need?” but I can’t answer that because really, you don’t need anything. No one does. Cosmetic enhancements are a want, not a need.
“Don’t let anyone tell you what you should do – especially men, and at the end of the day you have freedom of choice and you should do whatever makes you happy. You’re not alone in insecurities, everyone has them at some point, but you’ll find yourself eventually.” – Dr Josh
Do you feel unrealistic beauty standards are perpetuated by the patriarchy, or that the mass opinion of what physical attributes constitute ‘beautiful’ are geared towards the male gaze?
This is an interesting question. I think that women are far harder on each other and themselves than men ever would be. Most guys aren’t going to notice little changes.
If you mean in terms of the way things are advertised, yes to a degree, but generally women are coming in and getting things done for themselves. It’s actually quite common straight after a break up, not necessarily to impress the opposite sex but to make themselves feel better and more confident.
Listening to a podcast recently, one thing I heard three girls talking about was how they’d never “been rejected by a guy, ever” so I think a lot of women are not really concerned about what guys think.
There’s some component of it out there, but our industry is a little exempt as we’re not advertising on TV, we’re not really allowed to advertise at all, so in a nice way patients are a little bit protected from all that.