Women are turning to ‘Barbie Botox’ to contour their necks, against the advice of experts

The cosmetic surgery inspired by Greta Gerwig’s box office hit is taking over TikTok.

Between the uber-successful release of Greta Gerwig’s Barbie movie and TikTok’s major influence on beauty trends, the demand for Barbie Botox is higher than the iconic doll’s signature stilettos.

On TikTok alone, the hashtag #barbiebotox has amassed more than 6.9 million views with people sharing before and after looks of the cosmetic treatment, including how their shoulders and upper body frame resembles the shape of the Mattel toy. 

In fact, that’s been the biggest draw of the beauty fad since it gives the illusion of a slim neckline and more sculpted shoulders, much like Margot Robbie in the film. However, there’s more to the trend than simply being able to channel Barbie IRL.

For one, before the term Barbie Botox was coined, the procedure was traditionally known as TrapTox and mostly used for medicinal purposes, as it helps to relax the trapezius muscle and improve posture. But much like the doll, the treatment has since evolved.

Since Barbie’s release, GP and aesthetics doctor Dr Ahmed El Muntasar has noticed a rise in requests for Barbie Botox, with many patients looking to achieve that scoop in the base of their neck and shoulders. 

“It’s been a thing for a long time, but it’s definitely something that’s a lot more popular since the Barbie movie because if you look at the Barbie doll, the neck is really long, because her trapezius muscles are really slim,” explains Dr Ahmed. 

According to Dr Ahmed, results can last anywhere from 2-9 months, and can be gained from just one treatment – which will set you back around £350. Usually, for botox in your forehead, around 10 units will need to be administered, but Barbie Botox requires about 15-20 units on each side. 

And of course, with any beauty treatments, there are risks involved. “If you overdo it, it can actually weaken certain muscles, specifically if you shrug your shoulders, it can make that movement a bit weaker,” says Dr Ahmed. “With anything that goes through the skin, there are always risks of bleeding, bruising and infections so it’s important to know any side effects before going ahead with treatment.”

Dr Ahmed is in the mindset that the trend is perpetuating dangerous beauty standards against women, given that it’s not a treatment that has any medical benefits. “It’s something that if you don’t go to the right doctor, it can cause problems because people can get really carried away chasing a specific aesthetic.”

While the Barbie movie promoted the idea of feeling comfortable in one’s skin, and pushed a feminist message (Barbie ended up abandoning her idealistic pink box for an imperfect world filled with various body types, after all), it seems some may have missed the mark, looking to actually embody the characters who make fun of themselves throughout. 

Still, new celebrity trends will continue to rise every few months, and Barbie Botox is just the latest of those. Dr Ahmed states that if you’re going to partake in these trends, make sure it’s for the right decision and with the right doctor. 

“There will always be celebrity trends out there, so it’s important that during a consultation with me we discuss in depth what they want and the reason why to make sure that patients are getting the right treatment for them, for the right reason and confidence that they understand what they are having done.”

WriterChris Saunders
Banner Image CreditWarner Bros.