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For celebrities, being in the public eye is a major aspect of their profession. The public may even believe their private life is newsworthy. Their daily whereabouts make for sensational headlines on tabloid covers. And their looks are always up for debate. Photos of a famed A-lister go viral on social media. Fans are quick to notice that something is a bit off. Are those lip fillers? Botox? God forbid, buccal fat removal? The internet is dying to know.
It's a common occurrence that no celebrity is exempt from, even those who claim they've never gotten any kind of work done. Zendaya continues to find herself at the center of plastic surgery rumors, so much so that plastic surgeons have also weighed in on the issue. Same with Olivia Rodrigo. Now, it's Jennifer Lawrence who's fueled an online frenzy over her appearance.
Amid Paris Fashion Week, photos of the "No Hard Feelings" star attending Dior's Spring/Summer 2024 show made rounds across social media. Lawrence donned a chic white collared shirt and black skirt outfit, which wasn't all that interesting to fans and trolls alike. It was her face that caught their attention instead.
"Did she do that thing where it literally makes your eyes open wider? I forgot what it's called. Idk, there's something somehow different," commented one user over on Reddit. Similarly, another wrote, "Ugh . . . everyone is just becoming yassified versions of themselves these days, I hate it. She had such cute eyes without having them done."
Others conducted their own deep dives on the photos, claiming that Lawrence had done more than just a possible upper blepharoplasty. "Lips, jawline, brow lift, eyes are less hooded maybe?" said one sharp-eyed sleuth, while another said, "Everyone gets the same cheek jaw and lip fillers and they end up looking eerily alike. Like [I]nstagram face, but more like filler face."
Celebrities undergoing plastic surgery isn't anything new. After all, beauty standards within Hollywood are strict and may affect bankability. Women, in particular, are expected to look youthful, even after surpassing their 20s and 30s. Visible signs of aging, be it wrinkles or fine lines, are vilified. Saggy skin is oh-so repulsive. So is healthy weight gain. It's no secret that those within the industry face immense pressures to maintain a certain look.
Yet, seeing the aftermath of any kind of cosmetic procedure still comes as a major shock to the public. And it raises the question: Should celebrities have to disclose if they got plastic surgery?
The answer is complicated because it's not a simple "yes" or "no." Plastic surgery has its fair share of problems. And it seems like those issues have only been intensified by social media. In an increasingly digital era, social media makes it possible for users to create and showcase a warped version of their reality. That means even the most unattainable beauty standards can be made attainable. Smooth skin, free of any blemishes or flaws, along with razor-sharp jawlines, slim cheeks and pouty, plump lips are prevalent. Cinched waists with an accentuated derrière (a.k.a. the BBL bubble) are even a standard body type shared amongst celebrities, influencers and Instagram models.
Few of those features, however, are real. At least not completely. They're made possible thanks to a combination of cosmetic procedures and digital editing tools, like the infamous Facetune and Photoshop. Social media doesn't make that clear to its users though. There are no disclaimers under photos that've been heavily edited. There are no features that expose what specific procedures someone underwent to attain the body that they have. All of that information is kept a mystery.
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What we consume online can affect our perception of ourselves, which ultimately impacts our mental health. When people are comparing their own bodies to the modified bodies of celebrities and models, it opens the door for a slew of negative consequences. It's why so many people have criticized the Kardashians for continuously lying about undergoing plastic surgery. For years, the Kardashians have capitalized off of their looks, successfully launching beauty products and a wellness tea brand to desperate girls and women attempting to achieve their idols' looks. Take for example Kylie Jenner's own cosmetics company Kylie Cosmetics, which originally began as Kylie Lip Kits. In 2015, Jenner made a name for herself selling liquid lipstick and lip liner sets, claiming they were the secret behind her oversized pout. The Kardashians also endorsed Fit/Flat Tummy Tea, saying the detox beverage (which is basically a laxative in disguise) helped them achieve their slim figures. And they promoted a waist trainer fitness regime, which of course is how they achieved their natural, hourglass bodies in the first place. In this case, not disclosing plastic surgery could be considered misleading to those buy products they believe will achieve the same results.
That being said, celebrities aren't obligated to share that they had plastic surgery. They don't necessarily owe the general public anything and it's really no one's business. However, celebrities do have a moral obligation to not lie about their surgical history if they're making a profit off of their looks and bodies. It's simply a matter of transparency and credibility. And in a world where unnatural body standards are on display left and right, it's also a matter of safety.