Barbie’s Made a Comeback— But Barbie Plastic Surgery Shouldn’t !

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It’s important to acknowledge that the Barbie doll, with its historically unrealistic proportions, has been criticized for promoting a harmful beauty ideal. The emphasis on an extremely slender and unattainable body type can contribute to body image issues and even eating disorders, especially among young individuals who may look up to Barbie as a role model.

While it’s positive that Mattel introduced more diverse Barbie dolls in 2016 to reflect a broader range of body types, the existence of plastic surgery trends inspired by the doll’s appearance is concerning. The pursuit of looking like Barbie can lead to risky and extreme procedures, as exemplified by the individuals you mentioned who underwent numerous surgeries to achieve a “Barbie” aesthetic.

Invasive plastic surgery procedures carry inherent risks, such as infection, scarring, and complications from anaesthesia. Additionally, the psychological toll of seeking to alter one’s appearance drastically to resemble a fictional character can be significant. Plastic surgeons play a crucial role in ensuring that patients’ motivations are healthy and realistic. It is essential for them to conduct thorough consultations, including assessing the patient’s mental health, to identify any potential underlying issues or unrealistic expectations.

As a society, it’s essential to promote body positivity and encourage individuals to embrace their unique appearances rather than seeking to conform to a single, idealized standard of beauty. Encouraging a diverse range of representations in the media, toys, and other cultural artifacts can help shift beauty standards toward inclusivity and acceptance. Moreover, fostering discussions about body image and self-acceptance can contribute to a healthier outlook on appearance and reduce the prevalence of extreme plastic surgery trends inspired by unrealistic ideals like the “Barbie look.”

Barbie’s Nose

You may recognize the Barbie nose from Instagram—there’s a wide range of influencers sporting the buttonlike sniffer.

Dr Ayham Al-Ayoubi, a facial plastic surgeon at The London Medical and Aesthetic Clinic in London, explains “The goal of standard rhinoplasty is to maintain or improve nasal breathing and enhance the external appearance of the nose while keeping in harmony with the rest of the facial features not so with a Barbie nose, which creates a short, upturned nose with a significantly reduced bridge”.

In performing a Barbie nose, the surgeon needs to remove a fair amount of cartilage, as when too much cartilage is removed, the structure of the nose is weakened—which can lead to breathing difficulties, collapse, and a poor cosmetic result.

Because the Barbie nose is very small, it also won’t suit the majority of faces, creating an imbalanced look. When this nose is placed onto a face that has bolder features, such as large eyes or full lips, the face may look like a jigsaw that does not quite fit. However, for those hoping to replicate Barbie’s face on their own, that may be the goal—so while it may not look strange to them, it may give off the “uncanny valley” effect to others.

Barbie’s Breasts

Barbie’s known for her lean curves; breast augmentation and liposuction are common procedures for anyone looking for Barbie’s shape (or a more enhanced shape, period—they’re two of the most prevalent plastic surgeries out there).

These procedures are largely safe when performed by a skilled plastic surgeon provider, but if a patient wants a more extreme look for their Barbie plastic surgery, there are risks, as very large implants can result in “bottoming out,” which means the implant lies at the bottom of the breast, stretching the skin and even shifting the nipple to sit too high on the breast. The higher ratio of implant to breast tissue puts you at increased risk of these complications over time.

Barbie’s Waist

It’s rib removal, another curve-creating procedure, that makes for greater risk in the landscape of Barbie plastic surgery. It’s not a common procedure, nevertheless, it’s performed by making two incisions on either side of the spine and removing the lower ribs; while the lower two pairs of ribs “float” and are not connected to the sternum, they still help protect vital organs, including the liver and spleen. Likelihood of complications increases the more ribs that are removed, and generally speaking, any form of rib removal could lead to a collapsed lung.

Ken Doll Plastic Surgery

It’s important to recognize that plastic surgery, whether inspired by Barbie or Ken dolls, should be approached with caution and careful consideration. Any surgical procedure comes with potential risks, and it’s crucial to consult with a qualified and experienced surgeon before making any decisions.

Regarding Ken doll-inspired plastic surgeries for men, some common procedures include:

Implants for biceps, shoulders, and pecs: These implants are solid and have a risk of shifting, causing nerve damage, or creating asymmetry if not performed by a skilled provider.

Jawline enhancement with implants: Chin implants are more popular and generally considered safer, but mandible angle implants can be prone to movement and displacement due to jaw muscle movement.

Orthognathic surgery (genioplasty): This involves cutting and repositioning the jawbone to create a stronger chin and jaw appearance. It is a permanent procedure with a more painful and lengthy recovery period.

Injectables dermal fillers: A temporary method to enhance the jawline and chin, using fillers to achieve a more defined look. This option lasts from six months to a year and can be adjusted to achieve the desired result.

It’s important to remember that plastic surgery should not be taken lightly, and individuals should have realistic expectations about the outcomes. Additionally, all procedures carry risks and potential complications, so it’s essential to choose a reputable and experienced surgeon to minimize these risks.

Regarding the “mewing” technique, as mentioned, it is an at-home method popularized on social media for bulking up the masseter muscle, potentially creating a more defined jawline. However, it’s crucial to be cautious about following unproven methods, especially those that haven’t been clinically proven. Always consult with a healthcare professional for safe and reliable guidance.

Overall, anyone considering plastic surgery should thoroughly research the procedures, understand the potential risks and benefits, and consult with a qualified healthcare provider to make informed decisions about their appearance and well-being.

Barbie Makeovers: an unfortunate reflection of society’s values!

We need to acknowledge various important points related to plastic surgery, patient consultations, and societal influences on beauty standards.

Tailoring plastic surgery to individual patients, as plastic surgery should be approached with a focus on meeting the unique needs and goals of each patient. It’s not about trying to conform to a specific standard of beauty but rather enhancing one’s natural features and proportions.

Inspiration from Barbie and art is totally wrong, as plastic surgeons never draw inspiration from such art and models.

The mental health component in consultations is very crucial. It is essential for surgeons to identify body dysmorphia and understand the primary motivations behind a patient’s desire for aesthetic surgery. This ensures that the patient’s expectations and motivations are healthy and realistic.

The best results from plastic surgery come when it enhances a patient’s natural beauty and creates balanced, classically beautiful proportions rather than radically altering their appearance.

We need to acknowledge that the perception of beauty changes over time, and Barbie’s evolution is an example of how beauty ideals can shift. Emphasizing different body types and shapes in Barbie dolls can help young girls accept and appreciate their own bodies.

No one can deny the societal influence on beauty ideals and the passage acknowledges that Barbie reflects society’s desires for certain physical attributes, such as height, thinness, athletic body, shapely breasts, defined waistline, sculpted jaw, and small nose. These societal ideals can play a significant role in influencing individual perceptions of beauty.

Dr Ayham Al-Ayoubi explains that we could emphasize the importance of understanding and considering individual motivations and mental health in plastic surgery consultations. It also important to highlight the significance of embracing diverse beauty standards and being mindful of how societal expectations can impact body image perceptions. Ultimately, the goal of plastic surgery should be to enhance natural beauty and achieve balanced proportions, rather than conforming to an unrealistic or standardized idea of perfection.

LMA Clinic