How “Barbie Botox” Is Helping Women Achieve a Barbie-Like Upper Body

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How “Barbie Botox” Is Helping Women Achieve a Barbie-Like Upper Body featured image
Getty Images / Joe Maher / Stringer | Image Used for Illustrative Purposes Only

The world of cosmetic treatments is always evolving, and the latest sensation to captivate social media, especially TikTok, is none other than “Barbie Botox.” Just in time for the Barbie movie release, this trendy procedure has rapidly become a hot topic in aesthetics. Also known as Trap Tox, “Barbie Botox” aims to address excessive muscle growth in the trapezius muscles, located in the upper back. The procedure has garnered significant attention on social media platforms, with the hashtags #Traptox and #Barbiebotox boasting millions of views on TikTok. 

What It Is

According to Southfield, MI plastic surgeon Mariam Awada, MD, “Barbie Botox” utilizes neurotoxins like Botox Cosmetic, Dysport, Jeauveau, Xeomin or DAXXIFY off label to relax overactive and contracted spasms in the upper trapezius muscle. “The term ‘Barbie Botox’ has been coined since the shoulders relax and the neck elongates giving a slenderer upper body. However, the term ‘Barbie’ is misleading since the purpose is to treat an underlying spastic trapezius muscle. Many people have tight shoulders due to computer work and activities which require prolonged periods of tension using the neck and shoulders,” she explains. 

“The trend of Barbie Botox has recently taken over TikTok, spreading like wildfire and gaining popularity among individuals who aspire to achieve a slim, elongated neck appearance like the iconic Barbie figure,” says Austin, TX plastic surgeon Johnny Franco, MD.

“The first line of treatment is exercise and stretching as well as improved posture and change of routine.” However, if these methods prove ineffective, individuals often turn to FDA-approved neuromodulator treatments for spasticity. For patients who do not have pain but desire greater relaxation of the shoulders and neck, then Dr. Awada says “Barbie Botox” is a good solution for softening the trapezius contraction.  

The Barbie Aesthetic

McMurray, PA plastic surgeon Simona V. Pautler, MD explains the mechanics behind the treatment. “The benefit is that the injection temporarily weakens and allows less contraction, thereby lengthening and relaxing the muscle. The result is that the angle between the neck and shoulder deepens, makes the neck look thinner and longer, and overall gives a more feminine and delicate look,” she says. “If you look at a Barbie doll, she has essentially a 90-degree angle between her neck and shoulder, the opposite of a teenage mutant ninja turtle figurine.”

How Long It Lasts

The effects of “Barbie Botox” are temporary, lasting around three to four months, and require maintenance to sustain the desired results. Regular injections lead to muscle atrophy from lack of use, potentially reducing the amount of neuromodulator needed for subsequent treatments. Dr. Paulter emphasizes that the procedure is completely reversible, allowing the muscle to regain its original bulk with regular use if desired. “It lasts around three to four months, and like all neuromodulators requires maintenance. If the injections are kept up regularly, the muscle will slowly atrophy from lack of use and there may be a reduction in the amount of neuromodulator needed to keep the same result,” adds Dr. Pautler. 

As with any cosmetic treatment—especially trending ones—individuals considering “Barbie Botox” should consult with board certified aesthetic doctor to discuss their unique goals and potential risks associated with the procedure. While it offers an innovative solution for those seeking a more refined appearance, it’s key to make sure your expert injector is qualified and you’re the right candidate for the procedure.

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