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Jeff Bezos’ face looks, well, different lately: his lips are plumped up to near-Kardashian proportions, and his cheeks look more full, as if someone used Facetune to expand his face and head.
It is unknown if Bezos has had work of any kind done. If he has, there’s no shame—unlike, his critics would say, union-busting, tax evasion, and shooting yourself into space while the rest of the world crumbles. And so many were quick to take to TikTok and social media to speculate on “Juvederm Jeff,” as one Instagram commentator put it.
Bezos has yet to make any comment on the topic, and Amazon PR did not respond to a request for comment. We don’t know if the 57 year-old has seen a cosmetic dermatologist or plastic surgeon. So questions remain. Specifically, why would the world’s richest man want to look like that?
Such inquiries have become the latest way for dissenters to voice their disdain for one of the pandemic’s favorite villains, whose wealth has skyrocketed while so many people have struggled.
“I don’t necessarily think people care that he [might have] had work done,” Corey Kindberg, a brand strategist, said. “I feel like we’ve moved past the stigma of getting injections. I definitely had more of a visceral reaction to Jeff using filler—if he has used it. You just think, someone with this kind of money, could afford to have the best filler in the world. To me, he could have gold melted down and injected into his face. It’s just kind of shocking to see that, if he has had it, no matter how rich you are, you could still get bad filler.”
“How can you not be obsessed [with how Bezos looks]? It’s such a drastic change,” Dr. Corey L. Hartman, a dermatologist in Birmingham, Alabama and social media personality, told The Daily Beast.
As Dr. Hartman posted on Instagram last week: “We see you, Jeff. Next time get the filler a month earlier so that the swelling has time to die down. Keeps people (like me) out of your business.”
“He’s an easy target,” Dr. Hartman said. “Clearly he does not care because to me it looks like to me that he went and got his very obvious filler and injectables done right before he burst into the spotlight with this trip into space.”
Dr. Hartman, who has not treated Bezos, does not want to perpetuate a stigma against cosmetic treatments—after all, he performs them every day. “More men who are into this should go for it,” he said. “So, good for Bezos for stepping out and not being afraid to go for it.”
A few suggestions, though: Dr. Hartman would recommend that anyone who gets fillers give themselves the week following the procedure to recuperate and stay away from cameras. And spaceships.
“These are temporary implants that your skin is not used to, and your skin is going to respond to what you’ve put in it,” Dr. Hartman said. “Ice packs help and I love to use antihistamines [to reduce swelling]. There is also the potential for bruising. I think if Bezos had it, he should have given himself a bit more time before going out, and got it gradually instead of all at once, it wouldn’t be as noticeable.”
One redditor who goes by the username u/miniminifare posted a photo of Bezos to r/BotchedSurgeries, a forum that discusses “mishaps, black market procedures, illegal injections, and more.”
“What did he do to himself??” u/miniminifare wrote.
“Every celebrity gets work done, it's not the work itself people are interested in,” u/miniminifare told The Daily Beast. “I think the transformation is more captivating for people. I think plastic surgery or cosmetic touch-ups like fillers are pretty common and when done correctly can be subtle and effective. I think the point was that he looked super puffy in that particular image.”
He added that, “Watching Jeff Bezos change from being a nerdy tech guy to a filthy rich playboy has been interesting… The transformation he is going through is noteworthy, and I can see him getting more work done. I also thought it was funny to see him like that—who likes Jeff Bezos these days, anyway?”
Charles Gross, a fashion and beauty TikToker who has had “quite a long, good and bad history with fillers, Botox, and other non-invasive procedures,” thinks he knows what Bezos, if he has had work, is going for. “I assume the adjectives he and his team are probably using are: suave, youth-appealing, distinguished, the look of someone who has money,” Gross said. “I get George Clooney’s edgier brother sort of thing. That’s what he’s going for. Is it necessarily translating? I’m not sure. Maybe he just went a little too hard and tried to go for George Clooney. But it’s giving George Clooney on the architecture of Jeff Bezos’ face.”
Phillip Picardi, the former editor-in-chief of Out, gets filler himself. “I don’t care what he does to his face,” he said. “I would care if he could create better labor practices, that would be cooler. Talking about his lips in a way is missing the point and continues to make him this caricature. But at the same time, his lip filler is a great way to get us to talk about him as a person who needs to be held publicly accountable.”
Picardi agrees with Dr. Hartman’s less-is-more approach. “Go much lighter than you think is necessary,” he said. “Say to the doctor or nurse practitioner: ‘I don’t want to look different when I leave this office. I want to look like I had a nap and am more refreshed. Let it settle and start small for a couple of months.”
Which is, of course, not what Bezos did. But any perceived overzealousness on his part speaks to the public’s interpretation of him as a Lex Luthor-type figure. “When you’re a guy like Jeff Bezos and you think you know everything, maybe you’re not listening to a medical provider who is trying to tell you, ‘Sir, go this way.’ This is what happens when you think you know better than the doctor does.”
Picardi added: “Boarding a giant dick into space is the pinnacle of toxic masculinity, and here you are showing up in lip fillers. On its face, that appears to be a contradiction. But in reality it all makes perfect sense: of course a man of that stature is enormously concerned with his appearance.”