Plastic surgery trends like anything else. As fashion changes, so, too, does our “look,” including looks that are achieved by surgical and non-surgical means. What is it exactly that defines trends? Is it Hollywood, the behemoth of social media, or even friends and family?
Board certified plastic surgeons Dr. Richard Restifo of Connecticut and Dr. Chet Mays of Kentucky have seen trends come and go throughout their careers as surgeons. Below they share some of what they’ve seen and how they help guide their patients to what is safe, effective, and great for them.
From Carmen Electra to Kylie Jenner
Anyone older than the age of young adults have more than likely been witness to changes in trends. For example, just 15 years ago large breast augmentations were in. Stars like Carmen Electra set the tone of what the look was, and many patients followed in their footsteps. Even in such a short period of time, the trend has changed to follow the new generation of stars.
“They used to bring me pictures of Carmen Electra,” shares Dr. Restifo. “Now they bring me pictures of Kylie Jenner! They want to look like whoever the ‘it’ starlet is of the year.”
The problem with plastic surgery is that trends are more difficult to switch between. “It’s a little different from, say, fashion or home decorating, in that you can’t really change your breast implants as often as you change your wardrobe,” continues Restifo. “But it’s the same thing; it’s whatever is in vogue.”
The deeper society progresses into the 21st century, the easier it is for trends to arise and build momentum. Social media in particular has opened the doors to a new breed of internet personalities and celebrities whose posts contribute mightily to trends.
“Trends are very easy to follow,” explains Dr. Mays. “You go on social media today and you follow the people with the most followers because they’re entertaining. They’re doing what we consider trendy, and that’s OK if you’re following fashion or music. But when you’re talking about your body – changes you want to make yourself – it’s very difficult to allow ourselves as plastic surgeons to go down that pathway.”
Dr. Mays reiterates that bouncing between trends when it comes to body augmentation and enhancement is much more serious and difficult than changing out your clothes. This factor makes it very important for patients to seek out expert surgeons who remain physicians first – patient safety is at the forefront of the minds of board certified plastic surgeons. The best will not perform procedures simply because they’re asked, but will first verify that it is something that is safe and reasonable.
Trends Come and Go Faster with the Internet
Dr. Mays suggests that trends nowadays flip and flop even faster than before, thanks in large part to the internet and social media. One such example is voluptuous lips, a trend began by the puffy lips of young Kylie Jenner. Within the span of a few years, the trend ramped up, peaked, and now seems to be on the decline. This could be due almost entirely with the whims of a handful of people. In this instance, Miss Jenner’s changing look, perhaps inadvertently, altered the trend.
“Trends come and go. For all those people who liked Kylie Jenner lips, her lips are gone,” shares Mays. “I haven’t seen an increase in people coming in to take our their lip fillers, even though I’ve had people come in and say they want Kylie Jenner’s lips. They haven’t come back to me to have those fillers go. That was a trend that came and a trend that went, if you follow certain celebrities.”
Great Surgeons Do What’s Safe and Reasonable
No matter the trend, board certified plastic surgeons are concerned about their patients’ safety first. “I think it’s very very important as board certified plastic surgeons that we walk our patients down the pathways that are safe and ethical, and do what their bodies will allow us to do based on their anatomy,” shares Mays.
The other thing with trends – they are very pointed. Kylie’s big lips, for example. The truth of the matter is, beauty has a wide range. Patients are all unique and finding a great look for them is likewise unique. “I think that there’s a fairly wide range of what looks good,” explains Restifo. “We need to keep in mind that it’s the patient’s aesthetic goals we’re striving for, not our own. As long as we’re doing something that’s safe and reasonable, I think we can follow whatever the trend is.”