Celebs and their plastic surgery

Articles about Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD)

The Psychology of the Human Barbie

Thursday, August 21st, 2014

You may have seen photos circulating on the internet with examples of women who look incredibly like real Barbie dolls.  I’m not talking about plastic surgery ‘enthusiasts’ like Jenny Lee, but young women (often Eastern European) who look like real Barbie dolls.  The newest one, Lolita Richi, is only 16 and claims to have a 20 inch waist, 32F bra size, and absolutely no plastic surgery.  Seriously??

I was asked by Yahoo! to discuss the psychology of these Human Barbie dolls.  Do they have a type of BDD?

You can read my comments on the Yahoo! article HERE.


Deranged Man Undergoes Plastic Surgery To Look Like Superman

Thursday, October 13th, 2011

Here’s a good one: Herbert Chavez, a 35 year old Filipino man, has undergone multiple plastic surgeries in an attempt to look like his idol Superman.  According to the Daily Mail, the psychiatrist-diagnosed BDD sufferer has undergone the following surgeries:

  • - Chin augmentation to give him Superman’s  iconic cleft;
  • - Rhinoplasty to transform his Asian nose into one more closely resembling Superman actor Christopher Reeves;
  • - Silicone injections to his lips to make them  fuller and thicker;
  • - And thigh implants to make his legs appear more muscular.
  • We’ve talked about people undergoing plastic surgery to look like their favorite celebrity, but their favorite cartoon character?  CRAZY!  I’d love to see someone with an obsession for Sponge Bob try to look like him.
  • I’d also like to give Mr. Chavez a word of advice: When wearing your Superman costume, you’ve forgotten one thing: Stuff a sock into your pants.  You’re too small and saggy down there!

    To read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2046303/Superman-fan-cosmetic-surgery-Herbert-Chavez-ops-look-like-hero.html#ixzz1aPsrFOTv


    Why Your Plastic Surgeon Won’t Operate On You

    Wednesday, September 7th, 2011

    Here is the intro to my latest article on CNN.com:

    I make my living operating on people, but I don’t accept everyone.

    I turn down one out of every five patients who consult me for cosmetic plastic surgery. Mostly I say no because of a patient’s unrealistic expectations.

    “Dr. Youn, I’ve had five children. I’ve breastfed all of them and now my breasts droop down to my waist. I want my breasts lifted and perky. I want them to feel as firm as they did when I was 16. Oh, and no scars, please.”

    Sometimes the risk of surgery simply outweighs the benefit.

    “Dr. Youn, I’m 80 years old. I have end stage emphysema, two stents in my heart, and uncontrolled diabetes. I want a facelift. And could you tighten up my butt?”

    And sometimes a patient’s request is just weird.

    “Dr. Youn, I want liposuction on my kneecaps and surgery on my belly button so it looks exactly like Paris Hilton’s.”

    To read the rest of the article, click HERE.


    When Wanting Beauty Becomes An Unhealthy Obsession – My NPR Segment

    Wednesday, August 31st, 2011

    A recent study in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery determined that 1/3rd of patients who present for rhinoplasty surgery have Body Dysmorphic Disorder, or BDD.  I recently discussed this troubling statistic, and how this relates to people of color in a segment of NPR’s Tell Me More with Michel Martin.

    Youn says there are potential neurological reasons for BDD, but social influences are major factors.

    “We’re really a society that is based on a Caucasian ideal of beauty. If you ever look at People magazine’s ’50 Sexiest People in the World,’ there are very few No. 1 Asian-American males in that demographic in those groups. And you see that also with other types of ethnicities,” Youn said.

    And the country with the highest per capita rate of plastic surgery is South Korea, says Youn.

    To listen to the entire interview, click here.

    Thank you to Michel Martin and the staff at NPR’s Tell Me More for inviting me on the show again!


    I Want My Favorite Celebrity Body Part: From MSNBC.com

    Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011


    Ashlee Simpson’s nose.  Natalie Portman’s Cheeks.  Beyonce’s behind.

    It seems every day I see a new patient who wants to change a part of his or her body in order to look like a celebrity.  A recent study by the International Society of Plastic Surgeons listed Angelina Jolie as the first choice for women and, no shock, Brad Pitt for men.  Most celebrities look great—that’s why they’re celebrities—but are “regular” people going too far when they request their body to look like their favorite star?

    Twenty years ago I walked into an oral surgeon’s office with a photo of Andre Agassi.  During high school my jaw had grown enormously.  I looked like an Asian Jay Leno.  Only Jay’s jaw was smaller.  The oral surgeon studied Andre’s jaw line and told me he would do his best.  He broke my jaw in two places, set it back, and wired it in place.  Success!  I no longer looked like Jawzilla.  Sadly, I don’t think you’d mistake me for Andre Agassi.  Since I went for a celebrity look—at least in my jaw—I guess I shouldn’t cringe when my patients bring in photos of celebrities to show me how they want to look.

    But bringing in photos of celebrities could be an indication that a prospective patient may have unrealistic expectations.  Frankly, this is my number one reason for turning a patient down for surgery.  When I presented that photo of Andre to my oral surgeon, I honestly wanted to show him what I considered an acceptable looking chin.  I might have chosen any photo—celebrity or civilian—whose chin jutted within the range of “normal.”

    Unfortunately, some patients don’t desire simply to look “normal.”  They really do want to look as much like their favorite celebrity as possible.  This desire to look like another person could be a sign of serious psychological issues, including body dysmorphic disorder.

    Body Dysmorphic Disorder, or BDD, is a psychiatric condition in which a person looks in the mirror and sees something completely different than what others see.  To a person with BDD, a small bump on the nose appears to be the size of a melon.  Their twisted vision leads these troubled individuals to undergo multiple plastic surgeries in misguided attempts to correct deformities that don’t exist.  People who suffer from BDD sometimes define physical perfection in terms of a celebrity whose photo they bring to a plastic surgeon’s office.  They’re never happy until, in their minds, they look exactly like that celeb.

    Early in my career a woman with undiagnosed BDD consulted me for plastic surgery.  You would think the moment she pulled out a photo of Jennifer Aniston, twenty-five years her junior, a warning bell would go off in my head and my inner voice would scream “She’s crazy!  Don’t operate on her!”  You would think wrong.  I performed a facelift on her and lived to regret it.  While everyone who saw her afterward thought she looked fabulous, she was devastated by what she perceived as a “botched job,” pointing out nonexistent scars and lumps that you couldn’t see under a magnifying glass.  She exploded into a terrifying tirade in my office, screaming “I’m a Monster!” and threatened to perform her own version of a facelift on me, and then hit me with her car.  For the next two years I looked over my shoulder every time I walked out of my office, worried that I’d see her behind me, scalpel in hand.

    Years ago, my plastic surgeon mentor said, “Plastic surgery is not meant to make people look different, but to make them look like a better version of themselves.”  I firmly believe this.  As plastic surgeons, we should ask the question: When have we gone too far?

    When we perform plastic surgery to make someone look different and not better.

    Most people agree that Ashlee Simpson looks much better after her alleged rhinoplasty.  If you looked at photos of my hideous cartoon jaw you would agree that I look much better today.  And most people would agree that Heidi Montag looks worse after her 10 plastic surgeries in one day.  Heidi looks like a changed person.  In plastic surgery, change is not necessarily better.

    I try to do my best to give my patients what they’re looking for, if possible, even if they come in waving a photograph of somebody’s famous nose, chin, or chest.  I draw the line at patients who insist on transforming their entire bodies into their favorite celebrities.  This could be BDD speaking; these patients need therapy rather than plastic surgery.  Thankfully, in most cases it’s impossible to change someone so much that they resemble their favorite celebrity.  You can’t build a Porsche using Hyundai parts.

    Reprinted from MSNBC.com.  To view the accompanying slideshow, click HERE.  To read a plastic surgery-related excerpt from IN STITCHES, called “Beverly Hills Bloodsuckers,” click HERE.


    Top Celeb Body Parts: My MSNBC.com Slideshow

    Saturday, June 18th, 2011


    MSNBC.com asked me to write a slideshow for them on the top celebrity body parts.  Can you guess which asset of  Jessica Biel and Matthew McConaughey is tops in Hollywood?

    To view the slideshow, click HERE!

    To read my article on MSNBC.com called “Envy Scarlett’s lips?  Beware: Celeb body parts look best on original owners” click HERE.  In the article I reveal quite possibly the nuttiest, craziest, most threatening patient I’ve ever encountered!


    Heidi Montag – Wants Bigger Implants? BDD? And Crying Botox Face!

    Sunday, May 9th, 2010


    Sorry, but another post on annoying Heidi Montag. Star Magazine is reporting that Heidi is now regretting the surgery she had.

    In this week’s issue of Star, we reveal Heidi’s regrets about getting DDD breast implants and having her chin shaved down. “And she’s telling friends, ‘I made a mistake!’,” a family friend tells Star. Swollen and wracked with pain, Heidi’s dream body feels more like a prison. “She cries every night,” a source says. “She’s a wreck over what she’s done to herself.”

    This is in stark contrast to other reports stating that she was so upset that Ryan Seacrest said her breasts weren’t that big that she now plans to go to Europe to make them bigger! Is it actually against the law for her to have bigger implants?No. It’s not against the law in the U.S. for her to have larger implants, contrary to published reports. The two major breast implant companies make implants up to 800 cc, and her implants are reportedly 700 cc. Therefore, if she wants her breasts to be larger she has three options: (1) Convince one of the implant companies to custom-make one for her, (2) Go to another country where their manufacturer may make an implant larger than 800 cc, or (3) Convince some whacko surgeon to stack her implants. This is when the surgeon places more than one implant into each breast. Instead of doing any of those three, I would recommend that she dump that tool Spencer and consult a psychiatrist.

    I believe Heidi has Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD). Check out this article on AOL’s Popeater for my comments and the opinions of several psychiatrists. Click here.

    Finally, if you’ve ever wondered what someone who’s had her face over-Botoxed looks like when she’s crying, the photo is it!

    Thanks for reading.
    Michigan-based Plastic Surgeon
    Anthony Youn, M.D.




    Jocelyn Wildenstein – She Looks Worse!

    Wednesday, September 17th, 2008

    Here is a recent photo of Jocelyn Wildenstein, the New York socialite who has made herself into the “Lion Woman.” Is it me, or does she look worse than before? Her eyes appear to be more pulled, as do the corners of her mouth. Her skin looks like it’s molded from clay. What is going on here?

    It’s possible she’s had additional tightening of her skin, maybe using some type of permanent suspension sutures. Whoever her surgeon is should lose his or her license.

    Quite a while ago I posted a three part series on Jocelyn Wildenstein, which can be found in the following links:

    To view a segment I did on the Montel Williams show on Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD), click here. (The show’s hairstylist gave me an awful “Calvin (of Calvin & Hobbes) goes to Church” hairstyle)

    Photo credit: OMG! by way of Ayyyy!

    Thanks for reading.

    Michigan-based Plastic Surgeon

    Anthony Youn, M.D.




    Dr. Youn on the Montel Show Monday May 19th

    Friday, May 16th, 2008

    I was a guest for the Montel show, airing this Monday, May 19th. The episode features one of my patients with BDD (Body Dysmorphic Disorder) and during the episode I discuss her treatment (or lack of it) with Montel. Click here for details.

    Thanks to Montel Williams and the producer Joelle for inviting me to the show!

    Thanks for reading.

    Michigan-based Plastic Surgeon

    Anthony Youn, M.D.


    Lara Flynn Boyle – What Happened to Her?

    Monday, March 31st, 2008

    Wow. What has happened to actress Lara Flynn Boyle’s face? Her face is so puffy it is almost unrecognizable.

    I feel really bad for her. I can only think of one medical reason why her face would be this puffy: steroids. If she is not on steroids for some particular reason (rheumatoid arthritis or other auto-immune disease) then it is very likely her plastic surgeon has been a bit over-zealous with fat grafting, Sculptra, or even liquid silicone injections, like what Priscilla Presley has had. For the record, I perform fat grafting and Sculptra injections quite often, and have never seen a result like hers from these relatively safe and conservative treatments. With her history of plumped-up lips, I would bet on some plastic surgery as being the cause of her unusual appearance, however. Her puffy face is not due to weight gain, as she looks as small as ever.

    She may very well have BDD, or body dysmorphic disorder. This is a psychiatric condition where a person looks in the mirror and sees something that everyone else doesn’t see. It can lead some people to undergo excessive amounts of plastic surgery in a misguided attempt to correct deformities that aren’t there in the first place.

    For her sake, I hope she gets some professional help, and not of the plastic surgery kind.

    Photo credit: prphotos.com

    Thanks for reading.

    Michigan-based Plastic Surgeon

    Anthony Youn, M.D


    Would you like to be on TV?

    Wednesday, November 1st, 2006

    If any of my readers has an interesting plastic surgery story they think would make for good television, email me at miplasticsurgeon@yahoo.com. You must be willing to appear on live television to tell your story to a national audience. Some examples include: plastic surgery addiction, body dysmorphic disorder (BDD), or even feel-good stories about how plastic surgery has changed your life. I often get inquiries from national media looking for people who’d be interested in sharing their stories.