You’re scrolling on TikTok like you do — and have been for 45 minutes. You’ve been watching a dozen makeup tutorials, Love Island throwbacks and videos of cats doing very feline things when you stumble across a video of Kendall Jenner.
But it’s not a clip of Keeping Up With The Kardashians or even Kendall modeling on a runway. It shows her face being analyzed by a surgeon. You watch as a doctor tells you what surgery she has or hasn’t had. They will tell you that she has lip fillers, botox, and a “secret” nose job (aka rhinoplasty).
Click through to the doctor’s page and suddenly you’ve entered a world of celebrity plastic surgery videos. Over the past few months, a spate of these videos have popped up on my For You page. The hashtag #plasticsurgery has 13.3 billion views while the hashtag #celebrityface has 1.6 billion views.
As I typed, “Did Kendall Jenner have plastic surgery?” Hundreds of videos popped up in my search bar. Some by cosmetics professionals, others by regular users, all picking their face apart. It’s no surprise that these videos mostly analyze women. Celebs like Ariana Grande, Selena Gomez, Khloe Kardashian, and Zendaya also have daily facial exams.
Even teenagers like Stranger Things’ Millie Bobby Brown, 18, are under scrutiny on TikTok — though a detailed blog about her face “could be just her growing up” and better makeup allows.
Why are these clips so popular? It could be that celebrities often don’t disclose the work they’ve done — leaving their fans guessing.
When supermodel Bella Hadid, 25, shared that she had a nose job when she was 14, few were surprised. We’d seen the “before and after” pictures and knew she had the money to pay for the surgery, so people weren’t shocked when they heard the confirmation.
However, speculation about a celebrity’s face is often just that: speculation.
Earlier this year, pop star Doja Cat publicly called out YouTuber Lorry Hillmade for making a video claiming the singer had nose surgery. Hillmade has undergone plastic surgery herself and uses her site to dissect celebrities’ faces to see if they’ve worked too.
But Doja Cat wasn’t happy about it and took to Instagram Live to say so. “I’m upset because there are lies about me,” the singer said.
dr Tunc Tiryaki, a plastic surgeon at the Cadogan Clinic in London, doesn’t believe the videos are the cause of the problem. Instead, he points the finger at those in the public who aren’t honest about the work they’ve done.
“I would say the problem is more with celebrities who, for example, have liposuction but claim to get those results from dieting,” he says. “Or celebrities who’ve had a facelift but say they’ve had a thread lift – [which is] similar to a facelift but less invasive and cheaper.”
It’s a way, he says, that celebrities are fueling a major false expectation, one that can lead their followers to compare themselves to someone of much greater means whose face is the result of thousands of pounds’ worth of surgery – rather than more affordable tweaks , good makeup or basic genetics.
“Second, these videos undermine the accurate results of surgeries, especially surgical procedures,” he says. “People come to me expecting huge results because a celebrity lied about what procedure they had.”
This is dangerous, says Dr. Tiryaki, especially when it comes to fillers and botox as there is no age limit for these non-surgical procedures nor is the industry properly regulated.
“Filler complication rates skyrocket,” he says. “This is partly because it’s easy to perform and fillers can be performed not just by dermatologists and plastic surgeons — by anyone.”
Many of these videos were created by my beauty doctors, but even a surgeon can’t tell you if a celebrity has had a treatment unless the professional did it themselves, says Dr. Tiryaki, who warns against trusting these opinions. “I think thorough research is needed because it’s difficult to fight against false information,” he says.
And while there is an audience for these videos, people will continue to churn them out. So why is the general public enjoying these videos so much?
Many comments below the line emphasize the relief some people feel when they discover their favorite celebrity had a bit of filler. “So I’m not ugly, I’m just poor,” writes one user. Given the online world and its facade of sophistication, perhaps these sites serve a purpose by highlighting why we shouldn’t compare ourselves to celebrities.
Federica Rosso, a clinical psychologist at the mental health organization Therapethical, believes the content is popular because it can make people feel better — even if that effect is short-lived.
“People might think that perfection per se doesn’t exist. Even if they see themselves as “not perfect” in the mirror, they realize that an attractive celebrity did it [the same] at some point and underwent surgery,” she says.
“It creates an escape route from their awful feeling, which is actually a coping mechanism.”
However, it can also encourage people to do work that may not be in the best interest of their health or their finances. “The problem with these videos is that they reinforce a narrative that says we could achieve similar results if only we were willing to put ourselves under the knife,” says Rosso.
“We may wonder if our faces are ugly or unattractive, or if there are parts of our bodies that need fixing. This can lead us down a dangerous path of body dysmorphia and eating disorders, both of which lead people down an unhealthy path toward self-harm and suicide.”
These videos can also be triggering for the celebrities who feature them, making them very self-critical about their looks, whether they have had surgery or not.
“Seeing yourself on sites like this can be like a slap in the face,” says Rosso. “They’re constantly reminded of their mistakes and mistakes, even if they’re not real.”
And that’s nothing new. Dirty Dancing star Jennifer Grey, 62, has spoken openly about the nose job she had following the success of this film, which not only ruined her career but became the dominating narrative of her life.
Meanwhile, in 2016, Renée Zellwegger responded to claims that she had eye surgery with an open letter in HuffPost entitled We Can Do Better.
“It’s no secret that historically a woman’s worth has been measured by her looks,” wrote Zellwegger, now 52. “The double standards used to belittle our posts remain and are perpetuated by the negative conversations that.” enter our consciousness every day as flippant entertainment.”
She added, “The resulting message is problematic for younger generations and impressionable minds, and undoubtedly triggers myriad follow-up issues around conformity, prejudice, equality, self-acceptance, bullying and health.”
So should we keep clicking on these videos? The answer certainly lies in being honest with yourself about why you’re looking at them. Yes, they can serve as a reminder that the enhanced and filtered faces we see online every day are not real.
However, let’s all remember that the people behind it are very much.
https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/should-we-be-analysing-female-celebrities-faces_uk_62c44686e4b014f50a372f0f Why Are We All So Obsessed With Celebrity Plastic Surgery?