It’s easy to assume that people researching plastic surgery have one goal in mind: to look like someone famous. But is there really a widespread desire to live life red-carpet ready? The short answer: No.

Take Kylie Jenner. The 17-year-old’s lips have made headlines for months. Despite the craze, however, we haven’t seen any notable Kylie-related spike in interest. Of RealSelf’s more than 3 million searches since October 2014, only 236 have involved Kylie. Of those 236 searches, less than 50 related to her lips.

Search interest was low even during the two times in recent history when Kylie seemed to be particularly buzzworthy. When the unfortunate #KylieJennerChallenge took over the internet on April 19, only one person searched “Kylie Jenner lips” on RealSelf. A few weeks later, when Kylie explained she has indeed had injectable fillers we saw a slight increase in interest; Kylie was the subject of an average of two searches a day for the first part of May.

So while Kylie’s gain on Google looks like this,


We haven’t seen a surge in people seriously researching methods to look like her. This absence of celebrity-centered interest also applies to Kylie’s older and more famous sister. Kim Kardashian had just 304 total unique searches in the past seven months — and people are actually more interested in how to get her nose than her famous derrière.

Keep in mind, that’s 304 searches out of more than 3.5 million. Put another way: Less than 1 percent of all searches performed on RealSelf since October 2014 have involved a Kardashian or a Jenner. Those numbers sink even further for other celebrities like Angelina Jolie, Beyoncé, and Blake Lively.

Do Women Really Reach For the Star Body?
Graphic by Anna Helland

All this is proof that by the time women arrive on RealSelf, they’re not looking to get a specific someone’s nose, breasts, or butt: they’re focused on their own journeys. Celebrities may provide inspiration — plenty of questions on RealSelf prove this — but they’re not the end goal for most women considering options for their bodies. If they were, we’d see a much higher number of searches asking “How do I get Kim Kardashian’s butt?”

Interested in learning more about any of these procedures? Ask a doctor