Plastic-doll effect by injecting fillers? In Aesthetic Medicine “Less is more”

effetto plastic-doll - plastic-doll effect

Too many fillers can cause a plastic-doll effect, but in Aesthetic Medicine it is good to keep a natural look

In an article published by the British newspaper The Times, some aesthetic doctors declared that «we’re turning people into aliens». Excessive face-contouring (on the cheeks and mandible), eyebrows too drawn (fox eyes), nose too upturned, mouth too swollen (Russian lips) are just some of the treatments that – if exaggerated – cause the so-called plastic-doll effect.

Ilary Blasi - Prima e dopoWhen one starts to go overboard with injectables and surgeries, we start to have either the barbie doll effect or alienisation, we all start to look the same and lose the original version of ourselves. Looking at celebrity photos of how they used to be and how they look now, in fact we can come across some very impressive and some very dissapointing results. When aesthetic medicine has been used correctly and not overdone the results are natural and very impressive. When however, celebrities went overboard, we can see them being transformed into aliens, they are unrecongnisable.

On another note it’s true, beauty standards completely change over the years. If the 1980s wanted women with large breasts, wasp waists and super long legs, the aforementioned article shows that a «twisted standard of beauty has crept into the 21st century that encourages people to adopt an alienated look».

Probably, a high percentage of women are encouraged by some beauty-influencers who on Instagram promote beauty ideals distorted by photographic filters, influencing especially younger girls. We talked in another article about how important the concept of body positivity is and how Aesthetic Medicine does not go against it, on the contrary, it supports it.

Psycho-dependence on aesthetic interventions

Let’s open a dutiful parenthesis. In an era of media overexposure like ours, in which social media have taken over reality, it is increasingly common for some patients to try to undergo as many aesthetic interventions as possible, at the cost of annihilating their identity and traits. In these cases, it is a real addiction, which will not stop at a single intervention.

Satisfaction, in fact, with one’s appearance after the session and the consequent increase in self-esteem are temporary. After a short time the person, attracted by the result, will again feel dissatisfied with his appearance and will move his dissatisfaction to another part of the body. All the positive emotions obtained following the surgery turn back into negative feelings such as anxiety, worry and dissatisfaction with one’s appearance.

Is it possible to retouch your face to achieve a natural effect?

The answer is: of course! Probably, in the multitude of photographs that can be found on the web or browsing gossip magazines, “excessive” retouching is what catches the eye the most. On the contrary, however, the plastic effect is what Aesthetic Doctors tend to avoid. Retouching, especially when it comes to the face, is very important that it is natural, harmonious and does not completely distort one’s appearance.

The rules of Aesthetic Medicine, however, are slowly changing. There is a tendency to a new approach. To fight the plastic-doll effect, considering retouching as an exaltation of one’s personality, a way to love and appreciate oneself more, while preserving one’s original traits.

Wanting to look like a celebrity or Instagram model is absolutely damaging to your self-esteem. Aesthetic Medicine, therefore, is looking for a new beauty-era and new beauty standards. It is a supplement to the body-positive movement, in close contact with the ideals of acceptance and self-love: touching up an imperfection without depersonalizing. When using fillers it is good to remember that “less is more”; a good Aesthetic Doctor should, even to his own detriment, explain it to the patient in the consultation phase.

In conclusion, Dr. Eleana Ferrari fully embraces this idea and when it comes to face-contouring treatments, she always preserves the natural appearance of the patient, without disfigurating him. Are you curious to know more about this treatment? We will talk about it in a dedicated article. In the meantime, you can check out more information here.


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Prof. Dr. Eleana Ferrari Papassava

Surgeon, Biochemist and Nutritionist who mainly practices in Italy, England and Cyprus. With a long family tradition of medicine and wellness care, Eleana is known for her holistic approach with patients, which allows her to harmonize the search for aesthetic improvement with the overall well-being of the individual.