It’s not every day you come across a trending topic that stops you in your tracks (or maybe it is these days… 2022 and all), but this one certainly will: Joe Biden, 46th President of the United States of America, has been accused of faking covid in order to recover from a face lift.
Biden tested positive for Covid for the second time last week, experiencing ‘very mild symptoms’ according to the White House. Now testing negative, the president was seen for the first time since his diagnosis when he posted footage from a statement about the January 6th Capitol riots (in which he accused Donald Trump of lacking the ‘courage to act’ to prevent the insurrection). His face has a more lifted appearance, his skin notably smoother and eyes wider.
Immediately, the accusations began.
Now, ‘Joe Biden face lift’ is a trending topic on Google, with countless people searching for evidence that the 79-year-old has gone under the knife. Of course, few believe the flagrant accusation that he actually faked having covid in order to get a face lift – but many do seem to be convinced he’s had plastic surgery in some capacity. In fact, when you do search ‘Joe Biden face lift’, you’ll notice the topic is not new. Twice now the president has been accused of it, and in 2019 a plastic surgeon told reporters that in his professional opinion, Biden had undergone ‘a dramatic cosmetic transformation’ across his career.
‘Without any question Joe Biden had hair transplants,’ Dr. Barry Cohen, a Washington, DC-area plastic surgeon, told the Washington Examiner. ‘In fact, he had bad plugs years ago. Subsequently, he filled in his frontal hairline to camouflage the bad “Barbie dollesque” plugs.
I suspect he has regular Botox and probably filler. If he had a face lift, he needs another.’
Biden has never confirmed undergoing any of the procedures, nor has he spoken about his appearance publicly.
Then again in July last year, reports surfaced that he looked ‘unrecognisable’ to his pre-office days. The Independent reported that Donald Trump had spread the rumour, accusing him of having an ‘awful facelift’ according to a book by reporter Michael Bender, Frankly, We Did Win This Election: The Inside Story of How Trump Lost, by Wall Street Journal. Trump reportedly mocked Biden during the 2020 primaries. Plastic surgeons have since continued to weigh in, convinced he’s at least had Botox and altered his hairline.
But the most interesting part of this conversation is that we’re having it at all… about a man. So often we see women’s appearances scrutinised from the moment they step into the public eye. If her hair is ever out of place, her blush ever too bold or a skirt too tight, it’s discussed for weeks. Cosmetic surgery then? It would have the tabloids titillated for years. This week that harsh spotlight has been placed on men, notably also with our own potential Prime Minister Rishi Sunak – whose wardrobe became the focus of the Tory leadership contest after Nadine Dorries mocked Sunak’s £3500 bespoke suit. It’s not necessarily right, but it’s intriguing to see those gender norms flipped on their head for once.