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It seems that the desire to have noticeably larger lips has been a trend for a long time. For years, probably well more than twenty, we all have seen women walking around with unnaturally enlarged lips that grabbed our attention. Despite this finding, a study just published in the JAMA Facial Plastic Surgery journal indicates that at least when it comes to models (and those published in Vogue magazine in particular), this trend is only a recent phenomenon.

In this study, the researchers analyzed 50 years of fashion model photographs published by Vogue magazine – from 1960 to 2011. Strict inclusion criteria were employed to determine which photographs were acceptable for computer analysis and 353 met these standards. A variety of ratios and parameters were evaluated in order to mathematically reach statistically significant conclusions.

And the findings?

Somewhat surprisingly, there was no significant trend for an increase in the surface area of both the upper and lower lips (which would indicate a larger size) nor of the ratio of size of the upper lip to that of the lower lip. The lower lip was larger as should be the case naturally.

So, what does this really mean?

Should you really care about this?

Does this affect you in any way?

Well, there could be several reasons for these findings none of which would or should have any direct bearing on one’s desire for having larger lips or not. It is, however, interesting that at least in this one magazine which does reflect and respond to trends in society, there were no noticeable changes seen in average lip size over a fifty year period which is a very long time for assessment.

Present Trend

What I have been seeing in my practice over the last several years is a trend for smaller lip enlargements – lips that appear more natural and tasteful, not large and distorted. The “bigger the better” motto sought by many up to several years ago is rarely requested by women anymore. (Note: It has ALWAYS been my philosophy never to treat women who were seeking grotesquely enlarged lips.)

Fortunately, there is a newer injectable filler product available now for lip augmentation and rejuvenation that can provide more tasteful, refined and natural appearing results including as relates to lip movement and dynamics. This is Juvederm Volbella® XC, a “softer” filler in the Juvederm family of injectable fillers. The results that I have seen so far have generally been quite excellent if not spectacular.

For more information on lip augmentation or on any other plastic surgery procedure, please contact my office at 480-451-3000.

Steven H. Turkeltaub, M.D. P.C.
Scottsdale and Phoenix, Arizona

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