Kylie Jenner’s famous pout. (Photo: Instagram)
Reality TV star Kylie Jenner has spoken out in response to the #KylieJennerLipChallenge, a new trend where teenagers are posting their plumped up Kylie Jenner-style lips on social media. Jenner took to Twitter on Tuesday to share her feelings, writing: “I’m not her to try & encourage people/young girls to look like me or to think this is the way they should look.” Jenner continued with a second Tweet that read: “I want to encourage people/young girls like me to be YOURSELF & not be afraid to experiment w your look.”
Jenner posted the above tweet to her Twitter account on Tuesday.
The current Teen Vogue cover girl says her lips are naturally full, so teenagers are opting for a creative-yet-dangerous method to amp up their out: They put their lips in a small glass (a shot glass, for example) and suck in air for as long as they can handle it. The result? Swollen, bee-stung looking lips often accompanied by bruising. Participants may wind up looking less like a Kardashian and more like Scarface.
Manhattan-based cosmetic dermatologist Dr. Gary Goldenberg tells Yahoo Beauty that this technique causes trauma and inflammation, which in turn yields bigger lips. “It’s like getting hit in the mouth,” says Goldenberg. Some teens are even sharing their badly injured mouths on social media. Not to sound like Mom, but teens, you’re already beautiful and your lips will never look as good as they do now. So, put down the shot glass and put on the lip gloss.
#KylieJennerChallenge gone wrong. (Photo: Twitter)
There are two health concerns with the innocuously-appearing, just-another-teen-fad #KylieJennerChallenge. Firstly, Goldenberg notes that it can cause scarring. “If there’s inflammation, you could have scar tissue built up in the lips, and scarring is permanent.” Secondly, you can have some asymmetry in your swelling and your supposedly seductive pout would look lopsided. Getting pillowy lips is not a new social media-driven trend. A few years ago, patients were going to Goldenberg for Angelina Jolie and Pamela Anderson pouts. “Getting lip fillers is one of the most common medical procedures, especially with my younger patients—a few women in their early 20s.” Almost 25% of Goldenberg’s cosmetic surgery patients get a lip filler at least once in their lives. The swelling after the procedure lasts only three days, and after that your lips look brand new. Dr. Julia Tzu, director of Wall Street Dermatology, adds, “Some people do request for Kylie Jenner’s lips, while some people request lip plumping that does not looking like Kylie’s lips. Most of my clientele on Wall Street prefer lip augmentation to be more subtle”
Kylie Jenner on the May 2015 cover of Teen Vogue. (Photo: Teen Vogue)
Throughout her years in the spotlight, Jenner has repeatedly refuted claims that her lips are surgically enhanced. In January 2015, she told Cosmopolitan, “You guys have watched me grow up since I was nine. My face is going to get different. Now, I know how to do my makeup, contour, and everything. I’m not against surgery. I’d never say no, but I don’t desire it right now.” In April 2014, at age 16, she Tweeted, “these plastic surgery rumors hurt my feelings to be honest and are kinda insulting.” Goldenberg, who has seen plenty of lips after over a decade in the industry, commiserates: “She is probably blessed with nicely shaped lips, and she has a great makeup artist to help her.” The Kardashian/Jenner clan, after all, is the leading face of contouring, and contouring your lips can be mastered with time, practice, a good lip liner, and right lighting. Tzu suggests as an alternative: “There are ‘lip plumpers’ out there at the drug stores which contain an irritant ingredient that causes the lips to swell temporarily. My best advice on naturally keeping the lips plump is constant moisturization of the lips.”
While Jenner’s lips may continue be the look du jour for teens, Goldenberg says the general shift is away from fake-looking plump lips, and more about enhancing their shape. He says the “ideal” lip ratio consists of a longer top lip and a fuller lower lip with more pout in the center. You can achieve it by winning the genetic lottery, applying makeup, or getting surgical fillers, such as Juvederm—but not by sucking on a shot glass.