Summary: Among reality star celebrities, Kylie Jenner is definitely near the top. Even as far away from Los Angeles as Minneapolis plastic surgeons constantly get requests to “make me look like Kylie Jenner.” Unfortunately, some people are bypassing the plastic surgery aspect entirely and undertaking the “Kylie Jenner Challenge” to increase their lip size, often to unhealthy proportions and in risky ways. We cannot emphasize enough that, if you want thick, full lips, there are plenty of safer ways to achieve them. You just have to consult with your plastic surgeon.

The Folly of Using the Klyie Jenner Challenge to Increase Lip Size

If you’ve been on Twitter lately, you’re probably at least somewhat familiar with the Kylie Jenner challenge. It’s a hashtag. So maybe it looks more familiar like this: #kyliejennerchallenge. Some outlets are reporting it as a fun new thing that kids are doing, but most places are reporting it—correctly—as something you probably want to avoid at all costs. Because here’s, basically, what the Kylie Jenner challenge does: it injures you. You know how when you stub your toe and it’s hard to walk for the next week because your toe swells up like a giant balloon? That’s the Kylie Jenner Challenge, only the challenge focuses on your lips.

Now, to be fair, Kylie Jenner has nothing to do with her titular challenge, as least as far as we can find out. It’s not like she’s leading the charge, is what we’re saying. In fact, when it comes right down to it, the only thing Kylie Jenner seems to have in done to inspire the challenge is having big lips. Now, there’s been a lot of (prying) questions about whether Jenner has undergone plastic surgery or cosmetic procedures in order to achieve her lips. But I really wonder how much that matters. Sure, I admit that, if she had cosmetic surgery and doesn’t admit it, in a way she’s displaying an unrealistic ideal of beauty—unattainable except by surgical means.

Healthy Ways to Achieve Fuller Lips

But it’s not as though anyone who isn’t born with big lips can really achieve them through any means but surgical ones. That is, you can’t use diet and exercise to achieve your ideal lips. You can, however, invest in a cosmetic procedure. Dermal filler or fat graft techniques are popular methods for achieving fuller, thicker lips. And these can achieve the results in a safe and reliable way.

I wonder if it’s worth considering why people find thicker, fuller lips attractive in the first place. I think it has something to do with sex. When you’re aroused, blood rushes to a few places it normally doesn’t (use your imagination), including the lips. As a result, slightly swollen lips are a sign of arousal and sexuality. The same effect is responsible for the red color. And for a long time, lipstick was an adequate mechanism to reproduce this effect (or heighten it). However, due to just how effective many cosmetic procedures are, there are now ways of permanently recreating full, sexy lips.

How the Lips Work

Because the lips are a place where blood is designed to pool, this means that it’s also possible to unsafely reproduce these effects and give yourself fuller lips. That’s what the Kylie Jenner Challenge is—put your lips in a shot glass and suck in all the air. This creates a vacuum in the cup, and the blood rushes to your lips. The lips then become incredibly swollen. But there’s also a high degree of probably you’re going to encounter some bruising. Because that’s also exactly what a bruise is—blood pooling near the surface.

In other words, the line between pleasantly puffy lips and terribly bruised lips is incredibly thin because both are caused by the same mechanism. Even worse, this mechanism can also lead to scarring. If the vacuum in the cup gets too strong, or if there are imperfections in the cup, or if you squeeze the glass with too much force, the shot glass can break. This is incredibly dangerous, as the shards of glass can cause deep cuts and, therefore, scarring. While the puffy lips are intended to be a temporary effect, the scarring can indeed be permanent.

Getting the Lips You Love

There are reports out there that Jenner has spent something like $40,000 on her plastic surgery transformation. Honestly, that could be true, it could be exaggerated, it could be a complete fabrication. Time will tell (or maybe it won’t). The important part is that Jenner didn’t look the way she looks by putting her lips in a shot glass. And if you want to look like Jenner, then cosmetic or plastic surgery is the way to go. Seriously, you can get lip injections for a very moderate price, and there’s no danger of permanent scarring from broken glass.

The hope, of course, is that the Kylie Jenner Challenge goes away as abruptly as it started. Using the Kylie Jenner Challenge to Increase lip size is simply not a good idea. There are certainly plenty of pictures of bruised lips on Twitter to dissuade anyone rational from trying this. Trust us—if you want good looking lips (and there are plenty of ways to get them), go to a plastic surgeon instead. You’ll end up with lips to be proud of.

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