How I Found Self-Love Through Plastic Surgery Analysis Videos
YouTubers are finally exposing Hollywood’s plastic surgery industry
By Alexandra Grieco
Graphic by Lila Berger
YouTuber Lorry Hill is a content creator with a cause; her pioneering plastic surgery analysis videos dissect secret celebrity cosmetic procedures and, in her words, “lift the veil of secrecy surrounding plastic surgery.” Hill, who is open about her own cosmetic work, scans famous faces with precision to uncover possible plastic surgery. Using insider industry information and consults with certified surgeons, she tracks facial or bodily changes that might go unnoticed by the untrained eye.
Despite being juicy for pop culture fanatics and online haters, Hill’s videos hide a disguised weight. Her analyses tear through the wall of lies spewed by the Kardashians and Hollywood stars; Hill reveals to her viewers that almost every famous face has been tweaked, making beauty standards manufactured by cash and unattainability — creating a space for viewers, especially young girls, to find relief. They are not ugly; they lack the outlandish riches to attain artificial beauty.
My obsession with plastic surgery developed young. I collected a stack of holiday money in a checkered hat box stowed high in my closet just for the occasion. Before age 10, I had gained impressive wealth in my hideaway stash and refused that childhood impulse to blow it all. Instead of saving for typical kid splurges such as mounds of candy or the latest Wii games, I had just one intention for my little fund: a new face.
Through self-comparison to tabloid photos and movie stars, I wanted to reach physical perfection through any means possible. There was a disconnect between my perception of the beautiful celebrities of the 2000s, like Angelina Jolie or Megan Fox or Paris Hilton, and the reality of their surgical beautification. At that point, plastic surgery was an unproven conspiracy, a shady plot between Hollywood agents and Beverly Hills surgeons.
I had not yet learned of the subtleties and Californian stealth of surgery. Hollywood surgeries were tabloid dramas, like Heidi Montag dying on a surgeon’s table for one minute during her infamous 10-procedure makeover. So, while the plastification of celebrities quietly increased, my self-love shrank down to nothing.
In my late teens, deep in the Instagram era of Kyle Jenner’s lip fillers and Bella Hadid’s cat eye lifts, my insecurity grew to a point that debilitated my mental health. Pop culture’s “beautiful women” had noses more petite than mine, lips plumper than mine, with faces sucked-in and structured, while my baby face hid my cheekbones in pockets of fat. I was unable to love my looks because I did not yet understand that many of those beautiful faces hid insecurity through modification.
Then, I found Lorry Hill’s channel, and plastic surgeons’ Youtube channels such as Dr. Gary Motykie, Dr. Amir Karam, and Dr. Anthony Youn. I developed an understanding of the reality of plastic surgeries: painful and lengthy recovery times and potential deformities. Channels like Qoves Studio helped me understand beauty as constructed and subjective, rather than just a list of approved features. Through this knowledge I found self-love. Beauty is manipulated. So I manipulated my own beauty.