Critiques of Toni Braxton’s Face Highlight an Issue Many With Chronic Illness Know

Medications, weight fluctuations and side effects can all have an impact on your physical appearance when you have a chronic illness. Sometimes, unfortunately, this can cause others to speculate about why your appearance has changed, as singer Toni Braxton has recently experienced.

Braxton, who was diagnosed with lupus in 2008, posted a photo of herself sitting in a car earlier this month with the caption, “Vibes.” Fans commented on the photo, pointing out that her nose looked different and asking if she had more plastic surgery. (Braxton said she had rhinoplasty in 1993.)

“she definitely got another job done.. I did sum [sic] investigation and looked at alot of her promo pics from s&c and there is definitely a difference frm then up til this pic.. she still looks good either way but she didn’t need to do anything” said @shawdemacius.

“Leave your nose alone Toni, not to be offensive… You’re gorgeous. You don’t have to do anymore..” said @goals_n_guapp.

“Did she get work done on her face? Specifically nose job?” said @prettybrowngyrl.

Vibes ♥️

A post shared by Toni Braxton (@tonibraxton) on

While Braxton herself hasn’t yet responded to the rumors, her sister, Towanda Braxton, told TMZ today that because of lupus, Toni had been on and off steroids and isn’t allowed to have any synthetic substances in her body.

Toni has lupus. So when you’re on lupus, you take steroids. And with the steroids it fluctuates your weight. Sometimes she has to be on steroids, sometimes she has to be off steroids. So it fluctuates the weight. And because she has lupus she can’t have anything foreign in her body. So Toni can’t get Botox, she can’t get any of that because it’s synthetic. Anything synthetic can make her sick.

In response to the people criticizing her sister, Towanda said people should do their research.

“They should research different diseases. Because lupus is no joke. It’s almost like having a flu 24 hours a day all the time. The worst flu you’ve ever had in your life,” she said.

In 2016, Braxton told Black Doctor that her lupus symptoms are primarily  “internal” and affect her heart, as opposed to affecting things like her skin or hair. Earlier this year, she revealed she her lupus caused a throat issue that almost made her stop singing.

“I was definitely scared about that. I was sitting there thinking, ‘I’m going to retire, I don’t want to do this,’ and my gift was being taken from me. For me, it was a spiritual reminder of, ‘How dare I discard my gift?’” she told Ebony. “I was really depressed for a while, and it just hit me that I was about to throw away my blessing. It wasn’t a good thing, but I’m choosing to find the silver lining in it.”

Braxton isn’t the only chronically ill celebrity to be criticized for their appearance. Sarah Hyland also experienced rumors about plastic surgery after her appearance changed due to her illness. Last year, Life & Style magazine published an article claiming she had plastic surgery, though Hyland responded that her face was altered by “life-saving medication.”

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