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I Asked Three Plastic Surgeons How They Would Change My Face And Everyone Answered Differently

Beauty is even more subjective than we think it is.

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Hi, I'm Kristin. Like basically everybody, I've had a very complicated relationship with my facial features for the majority of my life.

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Here is a brief list of things the appearance of my face has been compared to, in no particular order:

– Shrek

– Drew Carey

– A subhuman beast

– A troll from a movie (See also: people who have "Shrek" on the tips of their tongues but are apparently too busy insulting me to remember the name of an extremely popular film.)

So while I don't let it get me down, the world is very efficient at letting you know from a young age that you are, uh, not symmetrical.

And yeah, I've always wondered what I might look like with a more classically beautiful face...except that beauty is SUPER subjective.

Not everyone finds every face attractive and that's OK!

So I thought, why not make this a little more interesting and see how different plastic surgeons would change my face in order to bring it to a well-known and well-defined beauty standard...that of a professional fashion model?

Surely all the surgeons should agree on what a fashion model should look like, right?

Then, we photoshopped a photo of me to reflect the three different sets of changes, and we compared them:

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Also, before we dive into this, here is a quick and important series of Things You Should Know:

1. This is obviously just a thought experiment.

2. I do not actually want to be turned into a fashion model.

3. All three plastic surgeons said that if a patient were to really come to them and ask for their face to be turned into that of a fashion model's, they would have very significant concerns; you can't just receive a Gigi Hadid face like it's a breath mint at the end of dinner.

Thank you for your kind attention! Now, let's get to it.

Surgeon #1 was Dr. Amron, and most of what he wanted to do was noninvasive, which is pretty surprising, because I had been bracing myself for basically a fire sale of my face.

He had sort of a "tasting menu" approach to all this: Instead of patients coming to him and asking for something specific that they might want, he instead prefers to volunteer what he thinks the patient needs. So I suppose it's probably good that it was less invasive, as I'm sure no one wants to hear a doctor blurt out that they need new eye sockets or something.

Here are all the changes Dr. Amron suggested (this was the least surgically intensive set of changes of the three doctors, but it ain't nothing):

Macey J. Foronda/BuzzFeed

Obviously this is theoretical, but I did actually come out of this wanting to do something about my rosacea. There is something about hearing all the things about your face that a plastic surgeon would fix that makes you want to latch on to something easy that you can control.

And here are his changes from the side (slide left to see the before and after):

Macey J. Foronda/Charlotte Gomez/BuzzFeed

So, not too different from my actual face! Though, my new jawline is now sharp enough to cut a pizza with.

Macey J. Foronda/Charlotte Gomez/BuzzFeed

So, not too different from my actual face! Though, my new jawline is now sharp enough to cut a pizza with.

← Slide →
Macey J. Foronda/Charlotte Gomez/BuzzFeed

So, not too different from my actual face! Though, my new jawline is now sharp enough to cut a pizza with.

Next, I visited Dr. Li, who said the key to having a fashion model's face was to give your face an "upside egg" shape with prominent cheekbones and a sharp jawline:

BuzzFeed

Dr. Li also mentioned something funny, which is that a lot of people come into her office asking to look like people in photos who have very clearly been photoshopped. Lots of shit ain't real, y'all.

Here are all the changes Dr. Li suggested (she had the second-most surgically invasive approach of the three surgeons):

Macey J. Foronda/BuzzFeed

While the first surgeon felt that one of my cheekbones needed filler to make them even, this surgeon felt that both cheekbones needed filler. Also, this surgeon disagreed with the first surgeon's assessment about whether or not I need eyelid skin removed.

Also, this goes without saying, but don't try this experiment at home. It's really difficult to hear a lot of this stuff in a succession, even if you have prepared yourself to hear it and you normally feel good about yourself.

Here's my face photoshopped with Dr. Li's changes (slide left to see the before and after):

Macey J. Foronda/Charlotte Gomez/BuzzFeed

I have Disney princess eyes now.

And here are the changes from the side (slide left to see the before and after):

Macey J. Foronda/Charlotte Gomez/BuzzFeed

This is about what I thought I'd get from all three surgeons. It's weird to see, because I feel like I'm looking at a face that is technically more perfect, and yet somehow does not seem like a human that would just appear organically. It's like the version of me that would fail the Turing test.

Macey J. Foronda/Charlotte Gomez/BuzzFeed

This is about what I thought I'd get from all three surgeons. It's weird to see, because I feel like I'm looking at a face that is technically more perfect, and yet somehow does not seem like a human that would just appear organically. It's like the version of me that would fail the Turing test.

← Slide →
Macey J. Foronda/Charlotte Gomez/BuzzFeed

This is about what I thought I'd get from all three surgeons. It's weird to see, because I feel like I'm looking at a face that is technically more perfect, and yet somehow does not seem like a human that would just appear organically. It's like the version of me that would fail the Turing test.

The last surgeon I visited was Dr. Lee, and to carry out his fashion model vision, he wanted to do a lot of things I honestly didn't even realize plastic surgeons did.

BuzzFeed

He recommended bone cement to round out my forehead — which, yeah, now that i think about it, I guess models do have pretty round foreheads? My current forehead is more shaped like a ski jump.

Here are all the changes Dr. Lee recommended – this was the most surgically invasive approach of all three:

Macey J. Foronda/BuzzFeed

In addition to the bone cement, this surgeon also wanted to remove part of my chin to make it less prominent — which, holy crap, so scared, no thanks, my jaw doesn't need to be in that many pieces, I'm not trying to pack it into carry-on luggage or something.

BUT Dr. Lee suggested no changes for my cheekbones and my lips, unlike the first two surgeons. When a surgeon tells you that you don't need to change something, it's oddly very believable.

And here's Dr. Lee's recommendations from the side (slide left to see the before and after):

Macey J. Foronda/Charlotte Gomez/BuzzFeed

Straight up, I'm just gonna say that this is the face I least recognized as myself. I literally have a smaller head, which is not something I've even entertained. It makes me wonder if I have a big head. I know I don't have a big head, but it's easy to wander down that thought path.

Macey J. Foronda/Charlotte Gomez/BuzzFeed

Straight up, I'm just gonna say that this is the face I least recognized as myself. I literally have a smaller head, which is not something I've even entertained. It makes me wonder if I have a big head. I know I don't have a big head, but it's easy to wander down that thought path.

← Slide →
Macey J. Foronda/Charlotte Gomez/BuzzFeed

Straight up, I'm just gonna say that this is the face I least recognized as myself. I literally have a smaller head, which is not something I've even entertained. It makes me wonder if I have a big head. I know I don't have a big head, but it's easy to wander down that thought path.

But you can REALLY see the differences from the side:

Macey J. Foronda/Charlotte Gomez/BuzzFeed

And again: These are only three opinions, in a world where opinions are our most renewable natural resource. I imagine that if I got 300 opinions, you'd see probably dozens of faces that all look slightly different, like a colony of bizarro alternate-universe Kristins.

To be honest, I am not super surprised they are all different:

I know that facial symmetry is technically just math, but if I have learned anything during my four years at BuzzFeed, it's that no one agrees on anything ever when it comes to all things regarding women. Everyone has tastes and preferences, even when you're working within a really tight standard.

But what I didn't anticipate was that I would have a completely different opinion than all three.

Full disclosure: I was very afraid that when I started this, that I would see a face that I would like much better than my own. That the ~winning face~ would just haunt the crap out of me until I threw down how ever much money it cost in order to get it. But it didn't happen.

To be clear, plastic surgery is an important science, and no one should be judged for getting it. There are many people for whom plastic surgery means having a fuller, happier life, and we should let people be happy!

But I grew up never seeing a face like mine represented anywhere in the TV or movies or media I watched. So why not have my face there now?

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