Does It Matter Whether Bella Hadid And Kendall Jenner Have Altered Their Appearances?

In this week's ShowbizBrief Sophie Wilkinson is so serious about plastic surgery, fillers and botox. Basically anything that a celebrity could pay a fancy doctor to do to their face.

Does It Matter Whether Bella Hadid And Kendall Jenner Have Altered Their Appearances?

by Sophie Wilkinson |
Published on

Bella Hadid has walked for everyone, covered magazines the world over, she continue to get away with wearing sunglasses the size of buttons and yelling ‘homeboy’s gonna, like, get it’ at a pair of Air Max. Why? Because with glistening blue eyes and the lips of Jennifer Lawrence overlaid on the face of a young Carla Bruni, Bella’s considered one of the most beautiful people on earth.

Ugliness reared its head recently, though, when an Instagram fan account uploaded a picture of Gigi and her BFF Kendall Jennerin some shiny metallic and satin couture, along with the caption: ‘Kenny or Bella?’ and a commenter, let’s call her Ann, said: ‘2 fake bitches sitting in a tree, first comes the nose job, then come the lips, oh and don’t forget the built in cheeks [crying with laughter emoji] lmao y’all trippin’ fam, money can get you a new face but not a nicer personality which these two girls need.’

Does It Matter Whether Bella Hadid And Kendall Jenner Have Altered Their Appearances?

Bella’s response, dispatched from Beijing, where she was stationed for work, read: ‘I wish you would know either of our personalities. And not only that, I wish you would only grasp a heart of your own. Blessings to you sweetheart. Jealousy is a cry for help that I wish I could help you with.’

Now, let’s be real. Bella could have said anything and it would have superseded what us mere mortals would get in the likes stakes. Her clapback, however, was extra special. It hop-scotched the same path Jennifer Garner took by making her only public acknowledgement of ex-husband Ben Affleck’s giant tattoo of a phoenix rising from his ass-cheeks: a smile of ‘bless his heart’. This kind-to-be-cruel tone is jet-lagged Bella serenely untouched by personal criticism, suggesting Ann could too reach this Zen state of no-fucks-given, if only the poor girl had what it takes.

Both Bella and Ann can agree that Ann’s missing something only Bella and Kendall have. The question is, is it actually a heart?

Doubtless, some of the steps the famous pair trotted up along international modelling circuit were built from stacks of money their respective (well, almost respective, Bella’s stepfather used to be married to Kendall’s ex-father’s ex-wife) families have come into. But to what extent were their paths mapped out by trails of bandages? The sort Cedars Sinai’s staff unravel from around tender flesh that never needed slicing, bones that never needed breaking?

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Kendall says accusations of her having had ‘full facial reconstruction’ are ‘exhausting. As a model, why would I have my face reconstructed? It doesn’t even make sense.’ And during an interview with Harpers Bazaar Arabia, Bella responded to rumours of plastic surgery on her body: ’It’s really tough. You’re going to get scrutinised for anything that you do. In another interview with The Guardian, Bella explained, with no specific reference to cosmetic surgery, mind - ‘It actually took me until probably this year to really understand my face.’

Like a thread that refuses to fit the eye of a needle, celebrities tend to dance around rumours of their surgeries. To admit to adaptation would not only be to declare insecurity (which many would read as weakness) but also an admission that their fame and fortune is not the result of sheer talent, pure hard work or fluke ethereal beauty alone.

So, whatever scrollers suspect after a casual trawl through Google images' infinite log of ‘before and after [insert celebrity’s name]’, it may or may not be confirmed for decades. Take Tyra Banks, who’s only talking about her mid-90s nose-job now, or Victoria Beckham, who told of her breast enhancement long after her lawyers had to. Donald Trump, meanwhile - allegedly! - goes to excessive combed-over lengths to disguise the scar from a scalp reduction he - allegedly! - had in the early 1990s, and 77-year-old Jocelyn Wildenstein, denies ever surgically altering her apple-smooth face.

Urgency is summoned, though, when it’s noted that unlike celebrities of yesteryear, who, in the main, treated cosmetic procedures as the elixir of youth, both Bella and Kendall are alleged to have had cosmetic surgery when they were teenagers. Ann would be right then, to suggest the surgery was a route to modelling success. Yet could it also be that, just as the fashion industry begins to clamp down on airbrushing, and every fan on social media is in charge of a megapixel camera phone, its biggest stars take on the editing work themselves, effectively altering the photos before they’re even taken?

Maybe, if the rumours are true, Bella and Kendall’s premature visits to the richest of doctors tallied with their youth in the public eye. This could be the answer to another question: why are young people, especially young women, even in this woke age of self-expression and individualism, still opting to acquiesce to narrow beauty standards by going under the knife? Though she’s pointed out that Bella and Kendall’s ascents may have come courtesy of some very un-meritocratic privileges, Ann’s hardly finding the answer by insisting personality and beauty are at odds. Why shame two women who she doesn’t know, and doesn’t know for sure have altered their appearances, when the real shame lies in what we can see for sure?

Though the numbers of cosmetic procedures are dropping in the UK, the average age of women seeking surgery has also dropped below 40 61% of British girls don’t have high body esteem, and girls have been groomed by plastic surgery apps. It’s up to more than two famous models to change a culture.

The line between surgery - life-altering, painful incisions, snapped bones, silos of suckered fat the colour of spewed-up coleslaw - and other cosmetic procedures - just a prod, a tingle, a little needle - is not so scalpel-precise anymore. Fillers and botox wear off - where to, I wonder? And at a time when tattoos’ permanence presents little problem to their young bearers, isn’t surgery just another sort of bodily decoration?

Sure, but when life brings with it so much pain through other means, why bring it upon yourself and spend hundreds or thousands to do so? It’s understandable that any young aspirant model contemplating a life of round-the-globe flights to faraway destinations where, off-season, she’s paid lie in some black sand as the tide comes in and the photographer’s assistant worries over how best to Photoshop her goosebumps out, might want to whittle away her edges and textures. That way, she can better fit in with the world she’ll be on display to. But why can’t the world change to fit around people’s faces and bodies rather than the other way around? Can each face carve its own deserved space in society, rather than society carving into us? That sort of beauty would definitely ‘get it’, whatever shoe it comes bounding in on.

Follow Sophie on Twitter @sophwilkinson

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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