Celebrity and the Culture of "Skin-fluence"
Larisa M. Lehmer, MA
Love them or hate them, as one of the most looked-at and followed celebrities of reality TV, the Kardashians’ contribution to popular beauty and fashion is undeniable. If the public eagerly picks up on which shoes or brand of lipstick Kim is wearing, it is no wonder that the visible tightening of Khloé’s dewy façade had the internet instantly abuzz with speculations of plastic surgery.
While her new look may have been achieved through surgery via a face lift, chin tuck, or placement of cheek implants; for someone on-the-go (or on screen) 24-7, other treatments such as Botox, fillers, laser treatments, and chemical peels, also dramatically improve the texture and resilience of skin with less downtime and may have been opted for as attractive alternatives or adjuncts to surgery.
The reduced facility of expression noted in Khloe’s forehead smile may due to careful injection of the muscle weakening toxin onabotulinum toxin A, better known as Botox®. Paralyzing select facial muscles gives a “relaxed and refreshed” look because wrinkles are the result of repeated muscle movement in the first place.
New in laser resurfacing technology, the fractional laser Fraxel®, can induce microscopic zones of collagen remodeling new collagen formation allowing the microscopic islands of normal skin to heal the area much quicker than older laser technologies. Up to 50% of the total surface area of the skin can be removed in one treatment with as little as one-week of recovery time.
A chemical peel, superficial, medium, or deep could be the reason behind the visibly softened texture of Khloé’s face. These treatments literally cause the old skin to peel-off after treatment with a harsh chemical and require anywhere from 1-21 days to recover from depending on the formula used.
Khloé’s fuller, plumper pout and smoother nasolabial folds may be thanks to the use of popular hyaluronic acid fillers such as Restylane™ and Juvederm™.
Irrespective of the precise dermatologic procedures she underwent to achieve her new look, Khloé’s decision to alter her skin’s appearance, and the public’s immediate reaction to the change highlights the powerful role the condition of the skin has on image. With cameras now standard on every phone and dating apps centered on the quality and composition of a single head-shot, we can expect the number of people seeking to diminish fine lines and remove imperfections to increase and along with it, the list of procedures offered to ‘face’ this growing demand.