The Rise of Buccal Fat Removal

Hope R (Year 9), Chief Contributor

Learn how to contour like a pro. Lift your cheekbones. Sculpt like a supermodel. A quick scroll on any online platform and you are bombarded with the same, repetitive views on the ideal face shape. Slim is best. Creators are posting how to achieve it with makeup, giving advice on what facial massages are most effective, and recommending a plethora of detoxing green smoothies. In recent months, a new method seems to have entered the equation: buccal fat removal. 

Focusing on permanent cosmetic alteration, buccal fat removal is alarmingly more severe than other methods individuals are using to gain a more ‘snatched’ profile. This procedure can cost an upward price of 5000 dollars, extracting the buccal fat pads from the patient’s face to achieve a gaunt, slimming effect. The cosmetic surgery is currently taking Hollywood by storm, with A-listers such as Bella Hadid and Lea Michele suspected to have undergone the removal.   

Professionals in the industry are saying that the demand for this procedure is currently astronomical. A professor of plastic surgery at the John Hopkins Hospital stated he “performed triple compared to the last five years”. The rising interest in the removal can consequently be pinpointed to social media’s overwhelming influence in the beauty industry. The taboo surrounding plastic surgery is being lifted at a rapid pace, with many influencers being open about their cosmetic operations online. The truthfulness being displayed online about plastic surgeries has led to a much larger audience being exposed to a multitude of possible procedures.  

Previously, these cosmetic adjustments were sought after by older women, ones who were eager to maintain the youthful glow of their younger years. This is starkly different from the target audience of today, with women as young as twenty subjecting themselves to the operating table. Strangely, the removal of buccal fat seems to create the opposite of the previously desired effect. Rather than taking away years, it adds them. A plethora of professionals in the industry are warning youngsters away from this surgery, claiming that the removal of cheek fat droops and causes premature facial aging. This then permanently alters the patient’s jawline, face shape, and cheek structure. While Bella Hadid’s cheekbones may look desirable now, experts warn that the snatched look she is known for will not age gracefully. 

The overlining issue with cosmetic fads such as this is the lack of research undertaken before completing the removal. While social media may be flooded with sharp cheekbones and slim faces now, the expert opinion clearly advises against the completion of this operation. It may seem like a quick solution for chubby cheeks, but this is just another example of the power influencers and celebrities hold over our society. Medical professionals themselves are advising against this, yet the masses are still flocking to operating tables because sculpted cheekbones are trending. It will be very apparent in twenty years who subjected themselves to the operation and who didn’t. Who knows, maybe by then chubby cheeks will be ‘trending’, and buccal fat filler will be the must-have for that season!