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‘A New Kind of Beauty:’ Extreme Plastic Surgery as Art (PHOTOS)

By Meredith Carroll |

Phillip Toledano

Could this face ever be considered the ideal beauty?

Can surgically enhanced beauty ever compare to the natural kind?

A new book, A New Kind of Beauty, by New York-based artist Phillip Toledano, tackles whether plastic surgery is poised to create a new paradigm of what we see as beautiful, and if beauty that never existed previously can be created artificially.

The book features classical-type portraits of people dubbed the Botox Botticellis — those who have all undergone extreme plastic surgery procedures in an effort to appear physically perfect. The results are starkly less-than-perfect, but Toledano argues there’s still something “transcendent” about his subjects.

The images call to question whether plastic surgery enhances beauty, or simply mocks the quest to achieve a better individuality and aesthetic.

Take a look at some of the intense, real-people portraits (no Photoshop used, just some fancy lighting) and see if your feelings about plastic surgery and beauty are affected by these results:

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Will advances in plastic surgery change how we see beauty?


I’m interested in what we define as beauty, when we choose to create it ourselves.

All images and captions courtesy of

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About Meredith Carroll


Meredith Carroll

Meredith C. Carroll is an award-winning columnist and writer based in Aspen, Colorado. She can be found regularly on the Op-Ed page of The Denver Post. From 2005-2012 her other column, "Meredith Pro Tem" ran in several newspapers, as well as occasionally on The Huffington Post since 2009. Read more about her (or don’t, whatever) at her website. Read bio and latest posts → Read Meredith's latest posts →

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0 thoughts on “‘A New Kind of Beauty:’ Extreme Plastic Surgery as Art (PHOTOS)

  1. Suzie says:

    Wow…you can almost tell for sure these people are “troubled” by the look in their eye…shame of surgeons for doing this. Extensive psychological therapy should be required before people go under the knife for non-medical reasons, IMO…it appears that surgeons are taking advantage of these people’s skewed views on reality and their own appearance.

  2. mommyfriend says:

    Wow, this post made me sad.

  3. Linda, T.O.O. says:

    Disturbing. They look like aliens. I’m surprised there are so many men.

  4. Suzie says:

    Sadly, I bet a million the men are gay…

  5. C says:

    and they all look exactly the same — same high cheek bone, super straight nose, full lips, high brow, boobs(even for men). Really sad.

  6. Jess says:

    Relieved that I am not the only one who thought all of the models looked sad or just…blank and emotionless.

  7. betz says:

    the first few pictures have different name but they really look the same. you cant tell the gender of most of them, just by looking at the face. If this is the definition of “beauty”, then im glad im not beautiful…
    so sad.

  8. Gail says:

    They’re like a race of sad, shiny aliens. And beautiful? No way.

  9. naturalmama says:


  10. carrie says:

    They don’t look natural. Superficial surgery like this cannot compare to God made beauty. That is not even beautiful IMHO, and yes they all look sad.

  11. Rosa says:

    Really, this is a sick take on Beauty. I was always sure expression made the face beautiful but these faces have none. therefor where is the beauty. Look at human nature. If a person has the eyes they lack a perfect nose. If they have the lips the eyes are kinda in the back ground still shine. But here its a mix of TOO MANY naturally occurring beauty markers. This is so abusive. Any and all Plastic Surgeons Should be required to get therapy. This is abuse and Making a profit at disfiguring a perfect human being is repulsive. To the models, my condolences the real you has died.You don’t know it even if you feel it that’s why your eyes are so sad.

  12. Heather says:

    They all look the same!!!! That’s no fun…

  13. Susan says:

    They all look like they’re related. The men look like women in drag and the women look like men in drag. They all look fake and it’s not attractive at all.

  14. anne says:

    If beauty has always been a currency, just what Dina said, then she must be broke.

  15. wanda lee says:

    I have to agree with everyone above, they all look very similiar; too high cheekbones, too full upper lip, high brow, way too shiny smooth… not at all natural or beautiful. There is beauty in everyone, our uniqueness is our beauty, our youth is our beauty, our exuberance, our joy and hunger for new experiences is all fuel for our beauty, inner and outer, and the energy of all that goes with us into our later years- hello. I can’t imagine ever disliking my face so much that I would let someone cut into it and manipulate it around to try and force it to look different, or younger… having said that, if anyone knows of a safe way I can get rid of my inreasingly wrinkly turkey wattle I’d be very grateful :)

  16. wanda lee says:

    And unfortunately, in my haste to make a comment, I totally forgot that these are pics of real people, who have feelings, and sadly I didn’t think of that at the time. I apologize to all, I really wish you nothing but the best. I guess I was speaking more from my sadness at how uncomfortable it must be to not be at peace with your face, and to feel the only answer is to have surgery, and my terror of anything surgical. I’m neither plain nor pretty, and after 53 years together I’m quite used to my face (it is starting to let me down in a few places though). Will I be looking into plastic surgery at some point down the road? I really honestly don’t know. Right now the thought makes me break out in a chill, but then I look in the mirror and see my mom’s chin and neck…

  17. Allison Evans says:

    Wow. At first I looked at this out of curiosity, but it really made me think. It was the sameness, as everyone has mentioned, that startled me. Add to that the lack of suppleness in the skin — the mask of plastic surgery — and it was an experience of (viewing) plastic surgery in a totally new way. I didn’t see sadness in the eyes, though, as much as I saw the need for approval from others. All these things together gave me a knowledge in my gut that I would never do it — no matter how tempting it is! One of the challenges in this life is to learn to love ourselves as much as we love our children. And they can learn to love themselves as they are only if we model that self-love for them. Plastic surgery just is not a part of that equation.

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