Cosmetic Surgery in the Fashion World

We often hear that natural beauty is the best beauty and that it shines through our flaws. But this is challenged when we hear and read gossips or confirmed news about beauty queens having their faces and body enhanced to win a title. In fact, there have been a couple of beauty pageant title holders who have openly embraced and admitted the fact that they had a little nip and tuck done.


To hear of beauty queens having enhancements done is no longer shocking. They have to look as “perfect” as possible to win the crown, after all. And besides, beauty pageants do not have any rule against surgical enhancements. But what about in the modeling industry where flaws and uniqueness are sometimes celebrated as beautiful? Are models also driven to improve their beauty through surgical means?
The standard of beauty in the fashion industry is indeed polarizing. One spectrum praises the typical blond-haired, blue-eyed beauty, while on the other end, quirky looks of kinky hair, eyes that are set wide apart and tooth gaps are admired.

Models Breaking the Beauty Mold
In an interesting Huffington Post article, it listed the fashion industry’s shakers in shattering the beauty and body standards. It includes Victoria Secret bombshell Doutzen Kroes, who has openly aired her sentiments how photoshopped pictures in magazines can cause young girls, and even boys, to have a distorted perception of beauty. She shared with Stuff Magazine that “Sometimes it's a struggle to keep up with my own photos, where the lighting is perfect, the makeup is done and the images have been retouched. That's not what I see when I look in the mirror!” And while she looks all fit and fab in the VS Fashion Shows, she is very candid in saying that she is not even a sample size.


And speaking of size, a throng of plus-size models has broken the mold of the svelte size zero models in fashion. These include models Robyn Lawley, Jennie Runk, Cameron Russell, Kate Upton, Tara Lynn and Velvet D’Amour, who appeared in a show for Jean Paul Gaultier in 2007 despite her 300 lbs frame and being 40 years old at that.

Then there is 85-year old model Daphne Selfers, who has still actively strutted the runway and even graced the cover of Vogue. Selfers is a testament that older women can still be considered beautiful and she did this au naturel without any nip and tuck.

Among other models who have been revered for their natural uniqueness and beauty include the porcelain doll features of Australian supermodel Gemma Ward, the freckled face of Brazilian Cintia Dicker, the distinctive look of Sudanese stunner Alek Wek, the wild red mane of English editorial model Lily Cole, the lush lips and gapped tooth of English fashion model Georgia May Jagger and the fair complexion of African-American albino male model Shaun Ross.

Supermodels on Cosmetic Surgery
But just like the entertainment and beauty pageant industries, the modeling world is no stranger to rumors, and some admissions, of cosmetic surgery. One of the earlier supermodels and creator of the hit reality television series America’s Next Top Model Tyra Banks has been among the models that have been rumored to have undergone an enhancement procedure, specifically breast implants and a nose job. But in a CNN Interview with Piers Morgan, she dispelled the rumors and said that she has never gotten breast enhancement. She even went on to say that she had a live sonogram of her breasts in her now defunct talk show to prove it.


But interestingly, when asked whether she would be open about getting any surgical enhancements done, she candidly said a resounding “Definitely!” In a Vanity Fair article on her take of the future, she said that plastic surgery will be as accessible as a gum and that “Emphasis will be on how unique and interesting one can look, as opposed to a cookie-cutter look.

But it is not just Tyra Banks who has been rumored to having a bit of a nip and tuck. Fellow VS Angels Heidi Klum, Adriana Lima and Selita Ebanks have been believed to have gotten boob jobs to enhance their figures. Pictures early in their career show a difference in the sizes of their breasts. Lima has been mum about the rumors. Klum, on the other hand, said that she has not had any plastic surgery done. In the May 2012 issue of Allure, she said shared that, “Ask me again when I’m 65, but… I’m proud to be able to say, in this day and age, I haven’t done anything.

Freckled, blonde-haired beauty and former VS Angel Erin Heatherton and Gisele Bundchen have also been rumored to have gotten rhinoplasty to enhance her nose. Neither Bunchen nor Heatherton have said anything regarding this.

Nip and Tucked Models
However, one Angel did admit to having a procedure done. Brazilian model Alessandra Ambrosio has been open about an otoplasty procedure done when she was 11 years old. Ambrosio said that, “I always knew I wanted to be a model so I decided to have my ears pinned back, because they stuck out a bit.
But the procedure did not go smoothly and she went on to say that, “I found this doctor in my hometown in Brazil who had only done it once before, so I was a guinea pig. The first few nights, it felt like someone had cut off my ears. For a year, I had to go back for mini-surgeries.” Because of this, Ambrosia shared that plastic surgery freaks her out and will not get any further procedures done to fix the botched one.


On the hand, the very first winner of ANTM, Adrienne Curry, also opened up about her breast enhancement to correct an asymmetry. When she was 24, she had a miscarriage, which caused one of her breasts to grow larger with a two-inch difference. Implants were placed and corrected the problem.
In the quest of entering the fashion world, some individuals have resorted to cosmetic surgery in order to pursue a career in modeling. One of those aspiring models is Katerina Christodoulou, who spent her $30,000 student loan for liposuction and breast enhancement. She is set to get another loan to get a rhinoplasty.

And it is not just aspiring female models who go under the knife, even male models are in the craze. Brazilian male model Celso Santebanes spent $50,000 on cosmetic surgery to look like a Ken doll, which include procedures on his nose, chin, cheeks and chest. Santebanes hopes to create his own line of dolls to be named as Celso Doll.

Fashion and Cosmetic Surgery Show with a Cause
In 2013, for the first time, the New York Fashion Week incorporated cosmetic surgery in its program. A runway show called Faces of Beauty was organized by a plastic surgeon, which showed before-and-after photos while models strut the runway. According to the ASAPS news article, the show aimed at dispelling the misconceptions on plastic surgery, as shown negatively in television shows and tabloid materials regarding botched procedures. When in fact, a majority of cases come out successfully and without a hitch. The show features everyday men and women models, who are grouped according to the procedures that they underwent to show the successful and natural results of their procedure.


One of the models also went on to say that, “Like many women, I had lipo on my thighs. I work out seven days a week, but I had cellulite and it made me unhappy. And with new technology, a lot of these procedures are getting less expensive, so it's accessible to more and more people.
In an industry where standard beauty and unique attributes meld together and are revered, cosmetic surgery certainly has its place in the fashion world. And more than the demands of looking a specific type of beauty, most of those who get surgical enhancements are based on their desire to help improve their self-esteem and confidence in the competitive world of modeling.

About the Author
Kelsey Paige loves to read about the latest fashion and beauty trends. She is currently active in writing for one of the leading cosmetic surgery clinics in Australia with its resident specialist Dr. Andrew Kim. To know more about Dr. Andrew Kim’s Asian rhinoplasty procedure, Kelsey Paige invites you to visit their page at

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