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Beauty.  Fox eyes, Russian lips… When social networks dictate beauty criteria

Slightly stretched almond eyes (fox eyes), drawn jaw (jawline contouring), high cheekbones and plump lips (russian lips) have become the new canons of beauty, with thousands of shots of stars, models and other celebrities on the small screen, or influencers on social networks.

As popular as they are naturally unattainable, these aesthetic criteria are a dream for 18-34 year olds who, out of a desire to mimic, are more and more likely to go through the scalpel or injection box to try to look like their idols. Since 2019, their share has even exceeded that of 50-60 year olds in the patient base of cosmetic doctors and surgeons, according to the professional organization IMCAS.

Illustrative photo Melissa Di Rocco/Unsplash

XXXL lips and drawn jawline

An expression returns in particular on all the mouths, in particular those of the millennials (born between the early 1980s and the end of the 1990s) and Generation Z (1997-2010): russian lips. Increasing lip volume with a filler is the procedure most requested by 18-25 year olds in aesthetic medicine practices in Europe.

“This sometimes results in an XXXL mouth: increased in volume, height and width with hyaluronic acid. Caution is essential in order to preserve the vitality of the lips”, warns Doctor Aurélie Fabie-Boulard, plastic surgeon and president of the French Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (SOFCEP).

Another popular area for injections: the lower face. A well-defined jawline is fashionable both on social media (22.6 million views for the #jawlinefiller on TikTok) and in reality, with the mandibular area becoming the second most requested area after the lips. Again, moderation is key. “Excess injection risks weighing down and enlarging a face”, warns Doctor Fabie-Boulard.

“A promotion inappropriate to reality”

Another fashion arouses even more fear and mistrust among plastic surgeons: the bichetomy. This operation consists of removing Bichat’s ball, a fatty compartment located in the cheek to give a more sculpted and angular face.

The latter is not a fatty excess like the others whose volume variation depends on the weight, it is a deep tissue which has an important mechanical role. On the contrary, the ball of Bichat tends to melt with facial aging, causing a hollow in this region in some people. “The prevention of aging must therefore impose reserve on this intervention. Social media are a source of promotion that is sometimes totally inappropriate to reality”, denounces doctor Michel Rouif, plastic surgeon and secretary general of SOFCEP.

“Furthermore, its deep location means that it is in contact with very many nerve branches of the facial nerve, the nerve responsible for facial mimicry. Poorly performed surgery can have dramatic consequences resulting in more or less significant muscle paralysis,” he continues, while recommending that this operation be reserved for constitutionally round faces, such as certain Asian faces.

Fox eyes, a false trend?

However, some fashions remain trending on social networks. This is the case of cats Where fox eyes: a modification of the outward gaze with very high eyebrows.

If the videos of facelifts or injections to have the look of the American supermodel Bella Hadid (who would also have had a bichetomy) are commonplace on social networks, the demand is in fact very rare in aesthetic practices, we assures Doctor Fabie-Bulard.

The nose remains a source of complex

Conversely, rhinoplasty remains the queen operation for young people, just behind breast augmentation. If some TikTok users try, in the wake of the movement of the positive body, to increasingly normalize “big noses”, the movement remains very much in the minority compared to the 4 billion views of the hashtag #nosejob. Young people share their path to this cosmetic surgery operation and show off their new profile in a dynamic montage. In the comments, many confide in wanting to do the same because they suffer from not having the “perfect” nose. In 2020, 19-34 year olds accounted for 68% of people who underwent rhinoplasty worldwide


Plastic surgeons are still observing an evolution in demand. No more rhinoplasties of the 80s which consisted in removing a lump en bloc, sometimes leaving a mutilated retracted nose, doctor Sylvie Poignonec now prefers to speak of “rhinosculpture”. “The goal is no longer to make a perfect nose but to embellish it,” she summarizes. As a result, the specialist promises a natural, personalized result that respects nasal function.