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Summary: There’s a growing trend within plastic surgery—the celebrity look alike. Men and women both will spend tens—or hundreds—of thousands of dollars to look like a celebrity, be it Kim Kardashian or Justin Bieber. Even if you’re not thinking about becoming a look alike, maybe you’ve thought about having Beyonce’s rear end. How does that work with plastic surgery’s more general mission to bring you closer to your real self?

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The Lookalikes

There’s an alarming trend creeping up on the plastic surgery profession, but it’s one that’s always kind of been in the shadows. Lately, a superfan named Claire Leeson has been getting headlines for spending $30,000 on plastic surgery to look like Kim Kardashian. And while she regularly gets work as a lookalike, it’s difficult to fathom spending that kind of money to look like someone else.

And she’s not alone. Tony Sheldon, a songwriter, reportedly spend over $100,000 to look like Justin Bieber. It seems as though having plastic surgery to look like a celebrity is a trend on the rise. And this creates some tension for plastic surgeons, if only because so much of the messaging from plastic surgery is about creating a real self—that plastic surgery will let you be your real self.

The Real Self

There’s a website called RealSelf, where fans of plastic surgery can go and discuss procedures and so on. Even the name is suggestive of the basic underlying ideals behind plastic surgery. The idea is that plastic surgery lets you look like your real self, the way you really think you should be, the way that best expresses you. It’s problematic when the “you” you’re trying to express is someone else, Beyonce, for example.

Self Expression

It’s important, too, not to confuse looking like a celebrity with a kind of shorthand. If you walk into a New Jersey plastic surgery clinic and tell your doctor you want a butt like Jennifer Lopez, that doesn’t mean you want to look like Jennifer Lopez, it just means you want larger buttocks.

Even if you did want to look like Kim Kardashian, it’s difficult to know how to judge that desire, of if it should be judged at all. But it’s a murky, gray area. As Instagram selfies become more prominent, it’s more likely that plastic surgeons will have to grapple with the questions raise by celebrity look alikes.

Not About the Ideal

Because plastic surgery isn’t about the ideal–creating the ideal face or the ideal body. It’s about empowering you to sculpting your true self—your real self—as best you can. The results won’t always be perfect. But they will always be you—even if you’re trying to look like someone else.

To get close to your real self, schedule a consultation with your plastic surgeon today.

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