Why do celebrities look so scary after plastic surgery?

I'm considering a facelift to correct early jowls. However I'm concerned by many scary looking celebrities after plastic surgery. I'm sure they have the money for the best doctors in the world. Is it the surgeon or is it just them?

Doctor Answers 27

Why do #celebrities look so scary after #plasticsurgery?

Not a day goes by that I don't discuss this exact question with one of my patients. This is truly a paradox as LA celebrities have plenty of money, time and proximity to a huge number of plastic surgeons. It is difficult to explain why some have achieved such unnatural and "scary" looking results. I think that this speaks to the need to seek highly experienced facial plastic surgeons who consistently create natural looking results. Rather than seeking out the local "plastic surgeon to the stars" results should be the key. If your surgeon is not known for a SoCal "scary" aesthetic, they are not likely to create that result for you. There are many highly trained and skilled plastic surgeons in any mid-size to large city. The key is to seek out a surgeon who you trust and that creates natural results.

Stephen Weber MD, FACS
Denver Facial Plastic Surgeon

Denver Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 129 reviews

As in all matters, don't relinquish executive control

Excellent observation and one I've wondered about myself.  Here's some theories.  Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, however there are many factors which will influence its interpretation.  Amongst them are gender, marital status, historical context, career, culture, age, ethnicity and experience; all contribute to an individual's concept of self.  Aging inevitably challenges the foundations of how we perceive ourselves and is the main driver of seeking cosmetic alteration.  The "average Janes" in my practice approach facial procedures very cautiously because they dread being "outliers", looking odd or done, furthermore they may have fiscal constraints, which disallow doing too much at one time.  I usually ask facial rejuvenation patients to bring in photos when they liked their faces, usually 10 years ago.  The consultation is a dialogue in which the objections are identified, health history ascertained and "solutions" discussed.  It's very much a dynamic partnership.  In my experience, beauty comes in many shapes, colors and vintages and although we are theoretically the "experts", it's vital for us to listen to and understand the patient's aesthetic goals, factor their medical history and offer "solutions" in which we are experienced.  By contrast, the celebrity patient who is identified as a cosmetic surgery disaster, may either not have known what they wanted, had unrealistic visions and/or intimidated their surgeon into an operative plan, which was unfavorable.  One of the most difficult tasks is to communicate well.  Failure to do so will doom the patient to wearing their surgeon's vision of themself, instead of being authentic. The best cosmetic alterations often go undetected because the individuals just look "timeless" and themselves.  Don't be afraid to speak your mind, listen to the advice from several consultants and have a "cooling off" period to process.  Good luck. 

Lavinia K. Chong, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 58 reviews

Celebrity Plastic Surgery

Most Celebrities look great after plastic surgery. The people who just look great and don't look like they have had surgery often have had some expertly performed procedures that make them look great, but don't make them appear as though they have had surgery. 

The plastic surgeons who comment in the media about whether or not a particular celebrity has had surgery, and evaluates the appearance of celebrities are certainly not the plastic surgeons who perform plastic surgery on high profile, discerning individuals who value privacy. In my opinion, discussing surgery results without the permission of a patient, whether they are a celebrity or not in unprofessional and unkind. 

I have performed corrective, or revision surgery on people from all walks of life. Most of the time, people who have a "surgical look" didn't expect that kind of result. It is painful and embarrassing for many people who have results that look like obvious plastic surgery.  Sometimes people just don't know where to turn for help, and understandably, they have fears about going under the knife again. 

Michael Law, MD
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 120 reviews

Scary celebrity plastic surgery is not the rule, it is the exception!

Hello Meaghanmeaghan,
Thanks for your question.  I am as puzzled as you are about celebrity plastic surgery.  You are correct that they have the money for the best surgeons.  In my opinion, the problem is two-fold.  First, you have aging screen stars who were known for their beauty in their youth, but as they got older, the parts started drying up.  They try to capture that look again.  Because it is an art form, facial aesthetics is something that most of us will spend our entire careers mastering.  Every face is unique but standard procedures produce standard results.  Faces age in all dimensions, but most quick fixes focus on a small detail like the size of the upper lip.  The end result of these small procedures is a suboptimal outcome.  The second problem comes from the medical professionals themselves.  The lure of fame and fortune makes it hard for most of them to say no to the demanding celebrity.  If they say no they risk losing the client, who will get what they want no matter what!  I would love to read a paper on the psychology of the celebrity as I think they have special needs for attention and may even have issues with self-esteem that are not apparent on the surface.  
I perform a tremendous amount of facial plastic surgery and I have never made a patient who remotely looks anything like a celebrity.  I take every face individually and carefully come up with the perfect plan for rejuvenation.  As the Hippocratic Oath states, "First do no harm..."
Good luck,
Dr. Shah

Manish H. Shah, MD, FACS
Denver Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

Celebrities and Plastic Surgery

That's an interesting question! In my opinion, it all comes down to the number of surgeries these celebrities have gone through. If one goes through multiple surgeries and revisions, he or she won't look natural or young anymore. That being said, find a good board-certified plastic surgeon who does at least 100 of those procedures per year and check out the surgeon's before and after photo gallery.

When considering plastic surgery, these are some tips to consider:

1. Begin with a board certified plastic surgeon and visit several offices
2. Seek a surgeon who does at least 100 facelifts per year
3. Internet discussions do not replace the advice of your physician
4. Have your surgery performed in a AAAASF certified facility so that you are in a safe environment
5. Consider a board certified anesthesiologist for the sedation or general anesthesia
6. Computer imaging can improve understanding the target result and assist in the discussion with your surgeon
7. Have your surgeon take his time to use sutures instead of staples for the closure
8. Be sure that you have an excellent caregiver to assist you in the recovery
9. A ice water circulated Cool Mask makes the job easier for the care

Best Regards,
Dr. Mentz

Henry Mentz, MD, FACS
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

Plastic Surgery Preferences

The goal of plastic surgery is to make the patient feel at his or her best, and the surgeon is considered the team leader on this quest. Many people have different opinions about what cosmetic procedures would best suit their needs, and thus seek results that may not suit everyone’s taste. Celebrities are notorious for going above and beyond expectations, and this often includes their choice of plastic surgery. Still, the dramatic results that you have seen among movie and TV stars are not necessarily the results you will get. As long as you communicate to your surgeon that you want to look as natural as possible, your surgeon should be able to adapt the methods of your potential cosmetic procedure accordingly. 

Yael Halaas, MD
Manhattan Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Why do celebrities look so scary after plastic surgery?

Thank you for the great question, which is probably one of the most commonly asked by prospective patients.  Although the topic has been well covered so far, the root cause is partially the responsibility of the Surgeon(s) involved, and partially that of the celebrity patient.  The Surgeon: The "natural appearance" as a goal  was not as highly valued in the past as it is today.  Many end results were more stylistic and less realistic. Lastly,  "celebrity surgeon" should be viewed more as a  status related to marketing and connections than ability.  This is not to say that some celebrity surgeons aren't very talented.  The Celebrity: A certain percentage of plastic surgery patients have a condition known as body dysmorphic disorder and celebrities live in a world where appearance and image are overwhelming.  If this altered self perception is acted upon, results such as the ones you have shown are inevitable.  If individuals have enough power, influence, and money, they are very likely to get what they think they want, regardless of the merits of that desire. 
Most well performed facial plastic surgery shares one common element:  it doesn't look like plastic surgery.  It's best to see a well qualified surgeon in your area, view the before and afters, discuss your expectations, and raise your concerns.

Stephen Prendiville, MD
Fort Myers Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 95 reviews

Why do celebrities get such poor plastic surgery results.

Thank you for you question about a face lift.

Having been a Beverly Hills plastic surgeon, I can give you 3 reasons you see so many poor plastic surgeon results in celebrities:

  1. Celebrities need attention to stay celebrities - many prefer strange results that get them in the news than a perfect result so good that no one notices,
  2. Celebrities often go to 'celebrity' surgeons who are good at marketing but not good at doing surgery,
  3. Celebrities are extremely anxious people who live by their looks - and they will demand much more surgery in an effort to stay 'youthful'. This effort doesn't always work.
Only the top of the A list celebrities tend to have the confidence and star ability to have first rate surgery that keeps them looking good in a way no one notices. This is the look most 'normal' people want and get.

Always see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon.
I hope you find this information helpful. Best wishes.

Elizabeth Morgan, MD, PhD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Good plastic surgery is anonymous.

A well executed facelift gives a predictably good result. You have seen many walking around who remain anonymous because they chose a good surgeon. Bad plastic surgery advertises itself.

Vincent N. Zubowicz, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Results depend on the plastic surgeon.

Although it seems like there are so many examples of celebrities with obvious or poorly performed plastic surgery results, it’s important to remember that for every one bad example there are probably a dozen or more high-profile individuals who you’d never guess had any work done at all. Cosmetic surgery, when performed properly, should leave patients looking refreshed and rejuvenated, like the best version of themselves rather than a total stranger. Look for a board certified plastic surgeon who specializes in facial rejuvenation procedures for the best results, and don’t be afraid to get very picky before making a final decision. Just remember, a celebrity is no better at picking a good doctor than anyone else. Pick a doctor who listens to you and makes you feel that your goals are what is most important them. Ask to speak to his/her former patients who have had surgery.

Nirav Savalia, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.