What is Barbie Botox? New Social Media Trend Amasses Millions of Views on TikTok

Cosmetic surgery procedure, aimed at addressing excessive muscle development in the upper back's trapezius muscles

The landscape of cosmetic procedures is in a constant state of evolution, and the latest trend captivating social media, particularly TikTok, is the phenomenon known as "Barbie Botox."

Timed impeccably with the release of the Barbie movie, this contemporary treatment has swiftly emerged as a prominent topic within the realm of aesthetics. Also referred to as "Trap Tox," this procedure, aimed at addressing excessive muscle development in the upper back's trapezius muscles, has garnered considerable attention across various social media platforms. Notably, hashtags like #Traptox and #Barbiebotox have amassed millions of views on TikTok.

barbie botox

The Essence of the Procedure In the words of Dr. Mariam Awada, a plastic surgeon based in Southfield, MI, "Barbie Botox" involves the application of neurotoxins such as Botox Cosmetic, Dysport, Jeuveau, Xeomin, or DAXXIFY off-label to relax spasms within the upper trapezius muscle that tend to be hyperactive and contracted.

Dr. Awada clarifies that the moniker "Barbie Botox" stems from the outcomes observed as the shoulders relax and the neck elongates, yielding a more streamlined upper body appearance. However, she points out that the term "Barbie" might be misleading, as the primary objective is to treat an underlying issue with the spasmodic trapezius muscle. The prevalence of tight shoulders due to extended computer use and activities necessitating prolonged tension involving the neck and shoulders is also highlighted.

Dr. Johnny Franco, a plastic surgeon in Austin, TX, remarks on the TikTok craze surrounding "Barbie Botox," noting its rapid spread and popularity among individuals aspiring to mirror the slender and elongated neck appearance associated with the iconic Barbie doll.

The Initial Approach and Treatment The initial line of action involves exercises, stretching, posture enhancement, and alterations in daily routines. However, if these interventions prove ineffective, individuals often turn to FDA-approved neuromodulator treatments targeting spasticity. Dr. Awada underlines that for those seeking relaxation of the shoulders and neck without pain, "Barbie Botox" offers a viable solution by softening trapezius contractions.

Crafting the Barbie Aesthetic Dr. Simona V. Pautler, a plastic surgeon from McMurray, PA, delves into the mechanics underlying this treatment. By temporarily weakening and diminishing contraction, the injections facilitate lengthening and relaxation of the muscle. This, in turn, deepens the angle between the neck and shoulder, contributing to the appearance of a narrower and longer neck—a characteristic of the sought-after Barbie aesthetic. Dr. Pautler draws an intriguing comparison, highlighting that Barbie dolls exhibit a 90-degree angle between their neck and shoulder, in stark contrast to the posture of a teenage mutant ninja turtle figurine.

Duration and Maintenance The effects of "Barbie Botox" are transient, typically lasting between three to four months, necessitating ongoing maintenance to preserve the desired outcomes. Consistent injections can induce muscle atrophy due to reduced usage, potentially leading to a decreased requirement for neuromodulator doses in subsequent treatments.

Dr. Paulter underscores the reversibility of the procedure, noting that the muscle can regain its original bulk with regular use, if desired. Dr. Pautler reiterates the temporary nature of the treatment, affirming that it endures for approximately three to four months and, like all neuromodulators, mandates regular upkeep. The progressive muscle atrophy resulting from reduced utilization could eventually lead to a decreased dosage requirement to achieve the same results.