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Botox Botticelli's - how much is too much?

6th March 2012  : 

It's been billed as one of the most controversial art books of the year, but is the "Botox Boticelli" syndrome really all it appears?

The recently published A New Kind Of Beauty by Phillip Toledano is a collection of photographs of ordinary models that have undergone extraordinary levels of plastic surgery. Given that many of the pictures are shot in a style creating the same contrast of light and dark skin tones as the Italian renaissance painter Sandro Botticelli, it was perhaps inevitable that the alliterative Botox description would be bandied about.

In reality, the book covers a wide range of treatments, with many models either not having had Botox injections at all, or having also had far more substantial treatments such as implants or even bone structure modification.

The book is intended to prompt debate, however, and it's certainly done that when it comes to Botox treatment. Toledano's work asks whether the look of his models has become the norm rather than the realm of celebrities, and that's a valid question given that Botox prices are now affordable for many people, and initial consultations are usually free.

Ultimately, though, the decision to have treatment is that of the individual, and there's a major difference between those who use it wisely and those who go completely overboard. We've all heard horror stories of people being left expressionless, but even where those aren't exaggerated, they usually involve far from typical amounts of treatment. What really matters is that potential Botox users are able to make an informed choice after talking to medically qualified staff that aren't simply out to make a quick buck.

It's also worth remembering that Toledano's book is by its very nature a record of shocking and outrageous cases. It may be a sobering reminder of how things can go too far, but it's inherently not a reflection of the typical cosmetic treatment patient.

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