A recent lip filler trend blew up on social media. 'Devil lips', or Octopus lips, have attracted divided opinion online. When the body modification hit Instagram, some spectators found the change in natural lip structure oddly attractive, to others it seemed completely ridiculous, and one beauty expert point blank dismissed them as dangerous, criticizing anyone who promoted the trend.
It is still unclear whether the fillers are a photo shop stunt or even surgically possible. Yet, a number of online influencers soon appeared to be sporting the new look - and we cannot underestimate their impact in the offline world. Just last year Instagram announced it would remove a range of filters that promote cosmetic surgery amid mental health concerns.
Additionally, plastic surgeons have revealed how their clients have not only been motivated by Instagram images, but use them as a visual reference for their requests. Also, remember how in 2018 US teens were seeking cosmetic surgery to look like their favorite Snapchat filter? What instances like this reveal is how, once again, beauty ideals find their way from online to offline spaces.
So, what are the limits of our abilities to transform ourselves and escape our biological constraints? Has the 'Instagram face',with its symmetrical, full-pouted lips, become an exhausted and predictable plastic surgery narrative? Does the devil/octopus lip trend indicate the beginning of new cosmetic preference that goes beyond exaggerated human characteristics, and towards the aesthetics of other-worldly creatures?
Release your inner devil, or octopus, it seems. Are new body modifications blurring the real with the fantastical, and will these transgressive aesthetics lead to more variety in self-expression, or just a different kind of homogeneity? What will the future of humans look like? Less human caricature and more species ambiguous? Only time will tell...