The Truth Behind Instagram-Famous Plastic Surgeons | Shady | Refinery29

The Truth Behind Instagram-Famous Plastic Surgeons | Shady | Refinery29

I kept seeing on Instagram people getting their lips done and how they looked more pouty and it looked really cute and I really liked it. I took selfies everyday for a while, right
after I did it. Social media is about projecting an image–the perfect selfie, the perfect body. You can easily add a filter to obscure your
flaws and achieve the illusion of perfection. But why stop there? In 2016, Americans spent more than 8 billion dollars on minimally invasive procedures – botox, lazer, filler. How has social media collided with these emerging cosmetic techniques to drive young women to chase the filtered look? And who benefits from the rise of this culture of perfection? I’ve always liked the shape of my lips, but
I felt like there was something missing. And that they would just look so much nicer if I had just added a little bit of something. Meet Ashley. Like many young women, she spends hours upon hours looking at her own image online, seeking ways to alter, improve and perfect her look. This was directly after. It was just like a new me. Like I had a new face. I had a new enhancement. So this was the second day and it was way
more swollen. But I was like, “Okay, this is fun.” I took a lot of selfies that day, from all angles. “Look! I just got my lips done!” You know what I mean? People are much more aware of their visual profile because visual communication is such a key part of connecting with people. Because they’re images, we tend to hyper focus on specific things that we like and don’t like about ourselves. So social media has to have had a massive impact on the popularity of these even if they are more widely available. I’m sure it has and, in part, it’s decreased the stigma over having plastic surgery. Kiss those lines goodbye! Discover new Juvederm XC. Botox and filler have historically been marketed to women in their 40’s and above, but social media has helped drive the demand for cosmetic work like this younger and younger. In the last 10 years, the use of soft tissue fillers and botox injections are trending up for women in their twenties. I feel like I check Instagram every half hour. My boyfriend gives me a hard time all the time. He’s says I’m obsessed. I feel like if I tried to get off social media it would be really hard for me. Like it actually would be really hard for me. It’s almost like there’s a rush, in a way. You know, when people are liking your photos that you’ve posted. It’s kind of, it’s like a validation. Though social media platforms were designed for community, a place to share fun moments with friends, they’ve become a marketplace for advertisers to reach women seeking out that perfect look. Much of it flows out of that hotbed of status and beauty…Beverly Hills. A zip code that offers a kind of prestige for plastic surgeons like doctor Daniel Barrett. He’s seen the effect of social media on his practice. To work in this industry in Beverly Hills, it’s 100% essential to be on social media. I get a lot of patients that find me by doing
hashtag searches. Relax your head back. I’m going to do the same angle before and
then after, okay? When it comes to cosmetic procedures, whether on Instagram, Yelp or Realself, social media platforms can be a good source of information. But not all information on social media is medically accurate. It’s up to doctors to explain the risks. Perfect. Plastic and cosmetic surgeon, Dr. Anita Patel, sees many patients who don’t fully understand the risks, even of minimally invasive procedures, like injectables, including botox or fillers that smooth out wrinkles or plump up lips. I think social media glosses over the risks
of injectables. Injectables have become so common and people see it everywhere and in their mind it’s a very easy thing to have done. I think they’re kind of comparing it to, say, a hair salon appointment or getting a facial and it’s really not the same thing. It’s a medical procedure and it needs to be treated that way. So usually even with numbing you can kind
of feel this going in and a little bit of the product because of the gel. It stings a little bit. What are the risks of getting dermal filler? Even in the best of circumstances the most trained person, a complication is still always possible. There can be things like blindness, loss of skin. Plastic surgeons like Dr. Barrett and Dr. Patel are board certified, but there’s actually no requirement that a doctor be board certified. So who else is performing these procedures? And if they’re not board certified…is it enough to be celebrity certified? In a world where posts of celebrity cosmetic procedures influence others, a simple hashtag or link opens the door for millions of followers to check out the office where it was performed. In our culture we have a bad habit these days of equating important or celebrity with skills and authority. Somehow we’re presuming because they’re well known, that they’re qualified. But the other problem with all of this is that frequency increases liking and liking increases trust. So in theory someone who’s marketing their medical practice on Instagram, the more they post, the more you’ll trust them. Correct. We’re on our way to meet with the original
Doctor of Instagram. He has over 2.5 million followers, just on Instagram alone. In fact actually the person who introduced me to Instagram was Kim Kardashian. Meet Dr. Simon Ourian. He’s famous for injecting Kylie Jenner’s lips…when she was 17. And thanks to his celebrity clientele and social media savvy, he’s becoming known as the Doctor who is reshaping Hollywood. As someone who covers beauty and has covered beauty for a long time, it’s almost impossible to have a conversation about doctors on social media without you coming up. If you’d asked me, probably, eight years ago that at some point you can wake up in the morning and reach 2.5 million people…I’d say, “It’s impossible.” Instagram was the right medium for us. In 15 seconds I could exactly show what I do. Dr. Ourian is a medical doctor licensed in
the state of California. But the rest of his path has been…unconventional. So you didn’t finish your residency? No. Halfway through it I realized that’s not my thing. I didn’t want to do that anymore. I just wanted to do something that had to do with aesthetics. I thought I wanted to do something different… Is it pretty rare to not have finished it? Yeah, it was kind of like one of those life altering moments in your life. There weren’t that many options for aesthetics and I thought, “I’ll see what else is out there for me.” Doctors don’t have to finish residency in order to practice. But in 2009, Dr. Ourian did run into some trouble. He was accused of gross negligence, misleading advertising, and inadequate record keeping. After admitting to many, but not all of the allegations made against him, he was placed on probation and required to practice under the supervision of another doctor. Dr. Ourian completed the terms of his probation and it was lifted early. Today, that part of the story is not on Instagram. But what is on Instagram is a steady stream of posts about his business and business is booming. This is Tiffany, a model and actress. She’s never had lip injections, but has always thought her top lip was too small. 30.5. And lips are Dr. Ourian’s specialty. I trust Dr. Ourian 100%. Are you ready for your adventure. How are you feeling? I don’t feel anything, yeah. That vibrating thing is cool. It’s called Vibrata. Sometimes I want to create more of a lift, so I use some products that stay very nice and firm. The truth of the matter is if I was just good at marketing and not good at what I do, first of all Kardashians wouldn’t come to me. I mean I can bring a billion people to my office, but at some point you have to deliver the results. We are all done! Wow. There’s so much more even but the swelling will go down. Yes, absolutely. Just don’t smile. Close your mouth. We go to Instagram and then write something like, “Lip Aug.” There you go. So cool. Communicating with obviously 2.5 million or more, I’m not expecting that even a fraction of them are going to end up in my practice. But it’s a good way of adding a lot of information that is as honest as possible and trying to show what are the pros and cons of the procedures that they are looking for. It’s true. Dr. Ourian pumps out information online in a carefully curated feed. It’s made him one of the most well known doctors on Instagram and a magnet for millions of women chasing the perfect face and that one flawless selfie. Wow, I really like this photo, I wish I looked like this in real life. This is not like this isn’t me, I didn’t have to edit this photo. Other than smoothing my face on FaceTune and
making it black and white. But I didn’t touch my nose, I didn’t touch my eyebrows, I didn’t touch my eyes, I didn’t touch my lips. Like it’s just a really good photo, but I almost want to recreate it in person. But how can I do that? I can’t. Or can I? Thanks for watching Refinery29. For more videos like this, click here. And to subscribe, click here.


  • Refinery29 says:

    What other aspects of the beauty world would you like to see explored on Shady? Comment below!

  • EatNice says:

    Why is a doctor's iPad password '1111'?

  • kpop is bae says:


  • Lily says:

    Social media has ruined some people's lives.. So Sad the world we live in.

  • monika blanc says:

    Blind or loss skin WHAAT o.o dont think i want filler my nose anymore 😂

  • Britni Okay says:

    People who are obsessed with themselves never developed any talents or skills and therefore fall back onto cheap and empty entertainment. Like social media and vanity.

  • minseoks says:

    "Or can i?" Dude shes so creepy… She needs help.

  • AOC YEAH YOU KNOW ME 2 says:

    Ok she's an idiot!

  • Hannah says:

    People: I don’t want toxic chemicals or eat toxic foods in my body

    Also people: gets cosmetic injections with toxic fillers

  • Ryan Sutherland-Charlton says:

    lol these people look like clowns putting that crap in there faces and lips lol , disgusting , trying to hide your flaws on the outside only means you can not deal with what you have on the inside .

  • Mariana Ferreira says:

    It's just so weird to me that they spend so much on fillers but their skin looks like sandpaper… If I had that type of money I would probably invest on my canvas idk.

  • Roelinn Joubert says:

    The kartrashians are DISGUSTING 🤢

  • Gappy's World says:

    Let them use it someday they all gonna be same but me! I'll be different

  • Roy D says:

    lot of mentally sick people are there !

  • Giovanna Nascimento Chaves says:

    Sometimes I get so scared of how shallow people can be….

  • July Rain says:

    I was born with pouty lips and thic thighs and green eyes . Yay I'm in 😎😍😙

  • luan trieu says:

    People gotta stop getting fish lips injection

  • Elizabeth Lopez says:

    I lost brain cells at the end…

  • savine sequoia says:

    Why does he post immediately right on instagram? Not professional

  • Esther C. says:

    I use Instagram to look at food pics, get workout ideas, laugh at funny memes, and watch controversial videos of rude people getting caught on camera being assholes. 😂

  • Dreaming Requiems says:

    Am I the only one that thinks whe people get these procedures they look extremely plasticky and alien like?
    Plus why do people want to put needles in their faces?

  • mani pradhan says:

    Natural n proud AsF

  • N C says:

    I’ll just stick with makeup. Thank you!

  • Valkylva says:

    Maybe if people just loved themselves, beauty standards would be different

  • Lesly Chico says:

    Climate change could not have picked a better generation to wipe out !!

  • AnneMarie says:

    Wow she doesn’t even have that many followers why is she trying so hard honestly don’t fix your lips fix your mental state and your teeth 💀

  • Miro A says:

    People are just dumb

  • dazai bis says:

    tf bye

  • J M says:


    this skill is learnt after being board certified and then you go to special classes, get training, and off you go. trial and error until you perfect your method.

    any doctor, NP, PA, and etc are doing them because they aren't covered by insurances. just like you don't need a doctor for ear piercings, tattoos, or etc but technically those needles going into your skin with serious complications

  • MavisDom ! says:

    But it looks bad

  • Meow Holly Meow says:

    Does anyone else find lip injections and face lifts to be really off putting? It’s not natural looking or attractive.

  • Deshka _4lyfe says:

    the injections gave me anxiety honestly..

    to everyone reading this i just want to let you know if your going thru something please remember everyone is there for you if you think you look bad or stuff dont think that because you are beautiful in your own unique way.

  • Ds Prashanth says:

    I'm literally cringing when I'm seeign the injection being pierced through the lips , nose or cheeks ! 🥴

  • Bird Xoxo says:

    I am going to vomit

  • Clara Kraft says:

    Why do I watch this when I hate needles 😣💉

  • Christina Varghese says:

    Was it just me who got so disturbed by everything the doctors said?

  • Sello Mphanya says:

    She's self obsessed

  • benjamin ebere says:

    black women sorry we don;t appreciate you enough. you are really the standard of beauty

  • Dioe Badana says:

    If ever I wanted to have pouty lip in a moment would just let the bee or wasp sting it 😂

  • Angel truth says:

    Their is a difference between looking for for attention and prostitution and looking good for job and boost self esteem. You know humans are not immoral and a way to age beautifully is throw plastic surgery, fillers, botox, gym, beauty, and makeup.

  • alexis Botchey says:

    Only iPhone users can like this

  • alexis Botchey says:

    Only Leo’s can like this.


  • alexis Botchey says:

    Only iPhone users can like this


  • artemis says:

    ummmm… i'm sticking to the subliminal i'm listening to..

  • Cass The Pig says:

    I could would never get Botox, cause I’m scared of needles

  • julia mba says:

    Thanks god for that day I decided to don’t have Instagram and Twitter,no Snapchat,just use the normal and healthy social media for me,and here I am still natural and normal person

  • julia mba says:

    Oh my goodness!!!!,where we are going to

  • Cheyenne says:

    Hey everyone I'm trying to kick start my online career as I need to work from home due to my illness, if you would like to support me here is my crowd funding page. Thank you so much xoxox

  • snow white says:

    Too much botox and filler will make you look weird when you are 50s, 60s, or 70s.

  • R.J Ley Said says:

    tiffany: I dont feel anything

    me: dang it your damn lips are bleedingggggg

  • Just A Small Town Girl says:

    This was so sad to watch.

  • Just A Small Town Girl says:

    I really wish more women would embrace their uniqueness and take the things that make them different and learn how to embrace them. Believe me, I understand how much easier said than done it is, especially with the rampant fake toxicity that social media is. That exact same look…. you know the one, the big lips, crazy filler induced face and exact same body shape is becoming so boring and redundant, people aren't even attractive in different ways anymore. It's like they all look exactly the same.
    So sad.

  • Tarannum Khatoon says:

    Why people do not understand inner beauty is more important dan ur outside beauty.where is earth going? Accept urself as u r .Your world will be beautiful. ❤

  • Dark Queen says:

    I don’t care what I look like for instance when I tell ppl I know I’m ugly bc they called me ugly they think I’m others I’m not I just say that bc I like to express my ugly ness it’s better then beauty in my mind I like being ugly it’s fun to get called ugly it makes me ugly yea I’m weird don’t ask and I don’t want ppl to be sad for me cause I’m happy

  • its ok to be you says:

    hey it makes me proud to see Indian doctors because I will be soon one too

  • love life says:

    Stop surgeries it will damage your body after age

  • Legendary Derp duck says:

    “Like many young women, she spend hours upon hours looking at her own image online”

    Bruh, I’m flipping sad for all the girls reading this line

  • Bee Whitethorne says:

    10:19 is actually really scary

  • April Juárez says:

    She needs her teeth fixed

  • Sooty Little Imp says:

    Ooh, that ending was unsettling.

  • Your Taemptaetion says:

    Thats why you should love yourself even though you don't have the looks
    Atleast you have personality

  • Ganga Rai says:

    The only thing missing in people doing plastic surgery and cosmetic surgery is confidence of being yourself.

  • T H O T I A N A. says:

    You the only person that look at yourself for hours so ion know where the heck you got ‘many women’ from🤨

  • KAIJU MECHA says:

    Be careful, narcissistic personality disorder

  • Why You Always Lying? says:

    I got this off a juice box but…

    Be yourself everyone else is taken

  • K Ranjani says:

    omg..scary to imagine

  • Anonymous [26490] says:

    To me it all looks like they have Duck beaks for lips. I don’t see what they see

  • Erin Connelly says:

    I still don’t get why people do that to their lips… I think my lips are fine. It’s not like I’m incredibly comfortable with how I look, but I definitely can accept that I don’t need to literally get medical procedures make me feel good. I go through enough medical drama for actually problems, and I think it’s just dumb to get more. I can’t afford those procedures, and I don’t need them. I just don’t think I will ever understand it.

  • Erin Connelly says:

    Anybody else just not relate? Like my feed is puppies, memes, musicals, and activism. I don’t tend to look at other people’s posts, I just look at cat videos and listen to music. No lips on my Instagram

  • Erin Connelly says:

    Just saying, that doctor is letting someone come out of numbness after a medical procedure and then taking a picture like instantly. That’s worriyin

  • Vibha B says:

    I use Instagram to see dog posts and memes. I have 0 posts and I’m very happy to look at my feed 🥳🥳🥳

  • Gabriella Cindy says:

    not agree with this n everything idk 😐

  • Gabriella Cindy says:

    i think they r stupid

  • Gabriella Cindy says:

    i dont event wann watch it . spititual ppl dont relate with this . also the awaken n concious ppl . no way . grow ur soul not ur body . so silly 🙃

  • Elim Leonix says:

    Anybody notice how beautiful and pretty Dr.Patel was??I just love seeing her face.
    And the first woman she talk to,wearing blue top,her face was soooo fake.It looks like a full botox inj. or plastic surgery done.

  • sun choi says:

    I hate that more and more of sponsored advertisings pop up in between the feeds on instagram. it is just like watching endless advertising using so called influencers.

  • Angela Liu says:

    all these girls are trying to make their lips bigger while i highkey want mine smaller 😭

  • Vanillanie Q says:

    5:26 was that kylie ? idk just surprised they would actually show her getting that done. ANYWAYS my actual concern is grandpa joe at the end of the video…..
    GIRL….you don't need to change your appearance.
    You need to change YOUR THINKING.

  • Everything Ella says:

    I used to be almost addicted to Instagram and Snapchat. Posting and scrolling all day until I realized I didn’t want to waste my precious time anymore on social media. The total hours spent on social media add up to days, weeks, months without knowing it. I didn’t want to be 40 and look back and say “wow time flies, I should’ve never spent half of my precious youth on social media” that’s one thing I didn’t want to regret . Now I occasionally just watch YouTube videos now and then

  • Katarina S says:

    The movie idiocracy really is predicting the future.

  • Em 12344 says:

    I thought the woman in the thumbnail was the YouTuber Melissa Alatorre at first.

  • Abigail Roberts says:

    That woman honestly saddens me. She is completely out of touch with reality and doesn’t care about anything but her looks and Instagram. The world is a sad place. 😭

  • Nia Lante' says:

    To each it’s own.

  • Jessie Pepper says:

    Cancels appointment in 321… 😅

  • Akarra says:

    The sad part is that is very obvious when people get these procedures, so for me it only looks fake :/

  • somewhat bent sunflower says:

    Geez spend less time looking at yourself and more at the world around you

  • tara ss says:

    These doctors take the most perfect faces and point out flaws because thats how they earn and celebrities will never be honest with people because they earn that way too and they dont care about the consequences of their lies. Plastic surgery in any case is not an option until and unless someone has had an accident and their face has been disfigured or something similar other than that i dont see any reason to take that risk. There are so many complications and it literally ends up ruining lives in a huge number of cases. Its just not worth it.

  • Comments Crusader says:

    Anita Patel is stunning and natural. How do her patients not see she doesn't have any procedure with her lips

  • elisa S says:

    Crappy generation. Addicted to this demonic social media hype. Lacking self love, lacking self respect. Living in a vacant vague world. If you really don't live yourself, no freaking filler will help you. It needs to come from within.

  • Zoe Dear says:

    Kylie Jenner made all these white young girls wanna look Latina lol

  • TheKeuliMeuli says:

    What she says from 10:20 is honestly fucking scary. like. it's your face. you don't have to recreate it or wish for your face to look like that. it literally is your face

  • Gregory Cooper says:

    Awww poor white people black people don’t need fillers in our lips because are lips are naturally large 💋

  • Gregory Cooper says:

    Instagram is literally as fake as religion literally lol take tana mongaue fat ass photos shop fail

  • Change Color Eye says:


  • Believer says:

    Shoutout to all the people who are just happy with their “imperfect” self!❤️😍

  • Em S says:

    There is one book that I love, it's about body positivity and it's SO uplifting! It's called ''The art of accepting your flaws: Body positivity. Love Yourself: Your guide to loving your perfectly imperfect body'' by author Florence Mitchell. It's available on Kindle on Amazon. I highly recommend it to everyone <3

  • Rose Fernandez says:

    people getting way too carried away with looking perfect for Instagram, smh. imperfections make us human.

  • Jazz Gabrielle says:

    9:46 lana del rey? lol

  • Cheese dragon says:

    But i post dumb art on social media (;-;)

  • Paulette Holman says:

    A good cosmetologist or watching makeup tutorials can do wonders. I think changing your makeup is fun and you can always wash it off; but surgery is permanent, like a tattoo, it's a commitment

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