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Defining Normal: Why Fall’s Anti-Trend Is Nothing New for Plastic Surgery

As a plastic surgeon whose goal is to help my breast augmentation patients in Albany achieve natural-looking results, I can’t say that I’m surprised by the latest fashion movement known as “normcore.” Amused, yes. But surprised, no.

If you haven’t heard of “normcore” yet, you have probably seen it, even if you weren’t aware of it! The clothing and attitude associated with the trend are characterized by unpretentious simplicity. Anything overtly flashy is avoided. Jeans and sneakers are the hallmarks. Think Jerry Seinfeld. Yes, really.

As some take the non-extreme to the extreme, the overall theme is not just reserved for a small group of trendsetters. It has gone mainstream. Major clothing retailer Gap was quick to capitalize on the trend. Its “Dress Normal” campaign, rolled out this fall, encourages us to “Dress like no one’s watching.” It features celebrities in white button-downs and comfy, neutral pants and jackets.

Whether you take it seriously or not, this trend is mirroring a shift I have seen firsthand in recent years. Technological and surgical advances have made plastic surgery outcomes more subtle and more realistic than ever before. A few examples:

  • Breast implants: In 2012, the FDA approved a new wave of form-stable silicone breast implants from Sientra® known as “gummy bear” implants. MENTOR® and Allergan® now have versions, as well. These teardrop-shaped implants offer a more natural look and feel than saline. Like other types of breast implants, there are pros and cons. I recommend consulting a board-certified plastic surgeon to help you decide between implant types.
  • CoolSculpting®: In my opinion, this non-invasive fat freezing technology is one of the most exciting contributions to cosmetic enhancement in a long time. It’s great for reducing fat in trouble areas. The results do not happen overnight but instead appear gradually and naturally over a period of a couple of months.
  • Ultherapy®: This innovative, FDA-cleared energy treatment boosts collagen production without surgery, resulting in tighter, more toned skin. Our patients especially love that the results are natural-looking and, like CoolSculpting, appear gradually. The changes are more subtle and less pronounced than those from surgery.

My plastic surgery patients in Albany aren’t looking to stick out in a crowd. They don’t want to look like they’ve had breast augmentation, liposuction, or BOTOX® Cosmetic. They merely want to hold on to their youthful appearance for a bit longer, regain their pre-pregnancy shape, care for their body after surviving breast cancer, or just enhance their natural beauty. Making that possible is truly one of the most exciting aspects of my job.

While “normcore” will certainly fade away and be replaced by the next big trend, I don’t expect the new standard in good plastic surgery to change anytime soon.

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