The Blog HARPER’S BAZAAR: ‘On the Sudden Disappearance of Buccal Fat and the Nuance of Plastic Surgery’
World-renowned publication and authority on fashion, culture and lifestyle Harper’s Bazaar wrote about the phenomenon of cosmetic treatments being regarded as trends, and how social media has influenced popularity in the surgical procedure of buccal fat removal.
The comprehensive article’s author spoke to Contour Clinics for Medical Director Dr Josh Wall‘s opinion and expertise on the topic of cosmetic surgery, patient behaviour, and the possibility that treatments are trending.
The Harper’s Bazaar journalist shares her recollection of how cosmetic surgery was once treated by those in the spotlight who had undergone ‘work’.
“Conversations around plastic surgery were hushed … Unlike some of today’s refreshingly open influencers, if models had plastic surgery, most of them kept it to themselves.”
— Ella Sangster, Harper’s Bazaar
Why all the sudden discussion around this particular procedure?
“This week, discourse about buccal fat removal started popping up online — specifically on TikTok — in abundance,” the Harper’s Bazaar article says.
“While the topic of buccal fat isn’t necessarily new, its recent virality has been in part thanks to a selfie posted by Lea Michele, in which her cheekbones appear noticeably more hollow (note, Michele has never said that she has had buccal fat removal).”
What exactly is buccal fat removal, anyway?
Contour Clinics Medical Director Dr Josh Wall detailed this procedure to Harper’s Bazaar.
“Buccal fat is a fat that’s in the lower part of the cheek. It can cause a fullness that’s just to either side of the mouth, and it can really bother some people,” he explains.
“The removal entails some local anaesthetic — sometimes done just with an injection in the office but often, and at Contour Clinics, it’s done in hospital under general anaesthetic.”
Dr Josh adds, “The procedure involves an incision on the inside of the mouth, an identification of the buccal fat, and its removal of an amount that is deemed aesthetically pleasing. Then some dissolvable stitches inside the mouth, which means there’s no external scar to be seen from the procedure.”
It gives the appearance of hollowed-out cheeks and higher, more angular cheekbones.
Hot trends, and a hotter topic
The Harper’s Bazaar article poses a thought-provoking question: Have cosmetic treatments become trends?
Contour Clinics’ Dr Josh Wall answers, according to his expert observations and experience in how patient behaviour has changed over recent years.
“I think that there’s been a sudden increase in a lot of cosmetic procedures.”
— Dr Josh Wall, Contour Clinics
“I do think [the increase] is related to the ‘Zoom effect’, with so many still working from home,” he comments.
“If you’re in an office, and you’re presenting at a meeting, everyone’s kind of nervous about how they come across — but now you can actually see how you’re coming across.
You never really look in the mirror when you’re talking and animated and laughing, but now you’re doing it on camera all the time and I think it’s giving people anxiety about how they look.”