The world of celebrity goes hand in hand with cosmetic surgery and anti-aging techniques. For decades, it was considered a major taboo for stars to admit that they’d had “work” done, due to the stigma that went along with it.
Today, much of that shame has been erased, as many major celebrities of all ages have admitted to having plastic surgery or using injectables and have phrased it in a body-positive light. People like Dolly Parton, Tyra Banks, Cardi B, Ariel Winter and Kaley Cuoco are among those who have talked openly about these procedures, the confidence they gave them and the doors they opened in their careers.
But plenty of other celebrities have opened up about their bad experiences with plastic surgery and other cosmetic work and here are some of the most notable examples.
When you think of Gwyneth Paltrow, you probably think of all-natural remedies to life’s issues, including aging, but she has admitted to getting injectable help in the past. In 2013, the actor and entrepreneur told Harper’s Bazaar that, in addition to having laser treatments done, she had a bad experience with Botox.
“I’ll try anything,” Paltrow said. “Except I won’t do Botox again, because I looked crazy. I looked like Joan Rivers!”
Academy Award winner Nicole Kidman is another actor known for her timeless looks. Kidman has spoken about dabbling with injectables at least once and regretting the results. In an interview with Italy’s La Repubblica newspaper in 2013, the A-lister commented on speculation that she’d gone under the knife by saying her face was “completely natural.” While she had never tried plastic surgery, Kidman said, according to a translation by Huffington Post, “I did try Botox, unfortunately, but I got out of it and now I can finally move my face again.”
You can add Cameron Diaz to the list of major Hollywood stars who have spoken out about a bad experience with Botox. In 2014, she told “Entertainment Tonight” that she tried “a little tiny touch” of the well-known injectable and was surprised by the result. “It changed my face in such a weird way that I was like, ‘No, I don’t want to [be] like [that],'” Diaz said. “I’d rather see my face aging than a face that doesn’t belong to me at all.”
Even with these high-profile negative reviews, there are plenty of celebs that have praised Botox and the confidence it’s given them, like Kelly Ripa and Cindy Crawford.
It’s hard for us mere mortals to imagine supermodels like Gisele Bündchen getting insecure about their looks but it obviously happens to them, too. After the star of countless magazine covers had kids and breastfed them, she opted to quietly get a breast augmentation in 2015 after she was unhappy with how she looked.
“All I wanted was for [my breasts] to be even and for people to stop commenting on it,” Bündchen told People in 2018. She said she regretted the surgery almost immediately. “When I woke up, I was like, ‘What have I done?’ I felt like I was living in a body I didn’t recognize.”
In 2012, Country Music Hall of Famer Kenny Rogers (who died in 2020) became one of the rare men in entertainment to open up about a bad experience with cosmetic work. In a sit-down on “CBS This Morning,” the singer called going under the knife to fix a perceived problem with his eyes one of his few regrets.
“The guy who did it was one of the world’s best,” Rogers said, referring to his surgeon. “But he just had this concept that the edge of your eyes had to be higher than a certain place. And I regret that.”
Like most prominent women in the music business, Jessica Simpson has dealt with a considerable amount of speculation regarding her looks. In 2006, the pop star shot down rumors that she’d had a breast augmentation but admitted that she’d experimented with lip injections and did not like the result.
“I had that Restylane stuff,” Simpson told Glamour. “It looked fake to me. I didn’t like that.” She was apparently thrilled when her lips went back to normal a few months later.
Unlike her “Friends” co-star, Lisa Kudrow, who has said the nose job she got as a teenager was “life altering,” Courteney Cox didn’t have such a positive experience getting work done. In 2017, Cox told New Beauty that she regretted using injectables to fight aging.
“Everything’s going to drop,” she said. “I was trying to make it not drop, but that made me look fake … I’ve had to learn to embrace movement and realize that fillers are not my friend.”
Jamie Lee Curtis
A few years before it was common for women in Hollywood to openly talk about undergoing cosmetic procedures, Jamie Lee Curtis was spilling the tea. The legendary scream queen told England’s The Telegraph in 2002 that she’d “done it all,” when it comes to getting work done. Curtis admitted to having plastic surgery, liposuction and Botox injections but swore that “none of it works.”
The actor has written several books for children and has spoken openly about being honest about her body in an effort to help kids develop their self-esteem.
While some celebs have been emphatic about their dislike for cosmetic work, Jane Seymour has called it a mixed bag in her experience. While the “Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman” star and famous British beauty had a positive experience with a breast augmentation she had done to replace “what the kids ate,” her review of Botox was less kind.
“It was just the worst thing ever,” Seymour told “Entertainment Tonight” in 2014, saying that she hated the injectable after trying it once.
Pamela Anderson was the literal poster figure for breast implants in the 1990s and her negative experience with plastic surgery is actually a bit of a reversal of the others featured here. While the model’s breasts were famously augmented at the peak of her “Baywatch” acting fame, she once told England’s Daily Mail that she got the implants removed after her 1998 divorce from rock drummer Tommy Lee “in a kind of, ‘I’ll show him,’ way.” But after having them taken out, Anderson said, “I really missed them myself, so I put them back in.”
Few mainstream celebrities are known more for experimenting with their looks than Lady Gaga and she has admitted that she went through a phase of using injectables. In a revealing 2013 interview with Howard Stern, the music icon said that she had recently cut that practice out after a period of obsession with facial injections. She said she “wasn’t exactly in the best frame of mind” at the time and was “going to a strip mall in Chicago” to get injected while she was high after smoking weed. She apparently quit after a friend prodded her to stop.
Imagining little Laura Ingalls getting a boob job is probably a shock to “Little House on the Prairie” fans but that’s exactly what ended up happening. Actor Melissa Gilbert got breast implants after breastfeeding her son left her “enormously insecure” about how her body had changed. She wrote candidly about the experience in a 2015 blog post (with a hilarious title, by the way) and how she eventually came to regret them. “Frankly, I’d like to be able to take a Zumba class without the fear that I’ll end up with two black eyes,” Gilbert wrote, revealing that she was getting them removed.
Another actor who’s expressed regrets about breast implants is Tori Spelling. The “Beverly Hills, 90210” star told “Good Morning America” in 2011 that her second thoughts didn’t stem from aesthetics but from the impact they had on breastfeeding. “I got my boobs done in my early 20s,” Spelling reportedly said. “If I had known it would or could possibly impact production of milk, I would have never had them done.”
The implants caused further issues for Spelling years later, when she revealed that her daughter was “shattered” to accidentally find out that her mother’s breasts weren’t entirely real.
One of the more famous examples of a famous person who resented their experience with plastic surgery is “Dirty Dancing” star Jennifer Grey. The actor has spoken out numerous times about a 1989 rhinoplasty procedure that dramatically changed the way her face looked. In 2012, she called it “the nose job from hell,” according to Britain’s Daily Mirror. She blamed the surgery for a sudden downturn in her career prospects.
“I went into the operating room a celebrity and came out anonymous,” Grey said.
In recent years, social media has become the go-to place for celebrities to share stories with fans about their personal battles, including tales of cosmetic surgery gone wrong. Singer and former Disney Channel star Ashley Tisdale shared one of those in a heartfelt Instagram post in 2020, revealing she’d elected to get her breast implants removed. Tisdale said the implants made her feel good for a while but then the experience turned bad.
“Little by little I began struggling with minor health issues that just were not adding up — food sensitivities as well as gut issues … that I thought could be caused by my implants,” she posted. “So, last winter I decided to undergo implant removal.” Tisdale has also admitted to getting a nose job, which she didn’t regret, for health reasons.
Reality TV star Heidi Montag became a walking billboard for plastic surgery when she was just 23 years old. The memorable figure from MTV’s “The Hills” famously underwent 10 procedures in a single day. Later, she said it was an ill-advised move, as she almost died during recovery and suffers from long-term health effects as a result.
“I just didn’t realize what I was really signing up for,” Montag told Us Weekly in 2013, after she’d elected to have some of the work reversed. “It just sounds so minor when you have a surgeon describing so much of it to you, like, ‘OK, great, a little of this, a little of that.’ You’re not told the recovery time and the mental strain that it will put on you, and the long term.”
The entire Kardashian-Jenner family has been pressed on rumors of having cosmetic work done to their bodies and they’ve all been pretty open about their experiences. Khloe Kardashian took that honesty to another level in 2016, when she talked about some facial injections that turned out poorly.
On an episode of her show, “Kocktails with Khloe,” the media personality reportedly said, “It did not work for me. I looked crazy …. My face was so f—ed, I had to go and get this whole thing dissolved,” referring to her fillers.
Shortly after Tara Reid became a star for her turn in “American Pie,” she started making headlines for indulging in plastic surgery that had undesirable results. In 2014, after making a successful comeback in the “Sharknado” films, Reid opened up about her negative experiences having work done, including one surgery that she said was “completely butchered.” The actor told The Hollywood Gossip that pain she went through as a result of the botched surgery, both mentally and physically, was “horrific.” Still, she didn’t completely shut down the idea of having more work done in the future.
Denise Richards has spoken out multiple times on work she’s had done — sometimes in favor, sometimes against — but in 2011 she was up front with Us Weekly about her regrets involving two breast augmentations she’d undergone. The former Bond girl has said she was “in such a hurry” to get breast implants at the age of 19 that she “didn’t research her doctor” and ended up with larger breasts than she’d wanted. When she met another surgeon to get them fixed, she ended up getting even bigger implants in another botch.
“It wasn’t right what the doctor did,” Richards said of the second situation. “But it is what it is.”
Being honest about your insecurities and regrets is hard for anyone, but especially for people in the fickle world of show business. That’s what makes Stephanie March’s 2016 essay for Refinery29 so potent. The longtime “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” regular wrote about her choice to get breast implants and then have them removed, saying that getting them when she did was “the wrong decision, for so many reasons.” March wrote that she was 39 at the time, her marriage was falling apart and her career wasn’t getting much traction, so she got the elective surgery that she came to regret.
“I decided to change my body because I couldn’t change my life,” the actor revealed, adding that she’s generally in favor of plastic surgery and plans to revisit it in the future.
Like Stephanie March, “Modern Family” regular Reid Ewing penned a personal account of his own regrets about plastic surgery. In his 2015 piece, the actor revealed that he battles body dysmorphia, a mental health condition that makes people obsess over perceived flaws in their appearance. Ewing wrote that he saw four different doctors for various procedures, including chin and cheek implants, and not one of them suggested he try therapy. He said that he now wished he’d never had any of the work done after realizing the issue was only in his head.
“Now I can see that I was fine to begin with and didn’t need the surgeries after all,” he wrote.
Many of the women who’ve had starring roles in Bravo’s “Real Housewives” shows have spoken about getting work done, and Bethenny Frankel is among them. The entrepreneur and breakout star from “The Real Housewives of New York City” spoke out in 2011 about an awful experience she’d had with a breast augmentation in 2005.
“I was so uncomfortable,” Frankel reportedly told Life & Style of how she felt about her look after getting implants. “I don’t think your breasts should be the first thing people notice when you enter a room.”
Yolanda Hadid knows a thing or two about crafting a beautiful image. The former model and progenitor of some of today’s most in-demand models got real about her history with cosmetic work in a 2019 Instagram post that was celebrating the fact that she’d recently turned 55 and was now aging naturally.
“Living in a body free of breast implants, fillers, botox, extensions and all the other bulls–t I thought I needed in order to keep up with what society conditioned me to believe a sexy woman should look like until the toxicity of it all almost killed me,” Hadid wrote in the caption. She urged her 3.5 million followers to do their research “before putting anything foreign” into their bodies.
In 2010, Emmy Award winner Dana Delany joined the list of celebs to speak out about a bad experience with Botox injections. In a revealing interview with Prevention magazine, the former “Desperate Housewives” and “China Beach” star talked about her history battling an eating disorder and opened up about her fear of cosmetic surgery after a rough Botox treatment that had happened seven years earlier. “[My dermatologist] injected my forehead, hit a nerve and created a huge hematoma,” Delany reportedly said. “The nerve has been dead ever since.”
“The Real” co-host Adrienne Bailon got real in a 2014 interview with E! where she talked about what she views as a mistake from her early adulthood. When she was 19, Bailon got breast implants and it ended up being one of her “greatest regrets.”
“I went from, like, having an insecurity that I didn’t have big breasts to now looking like a porn star,” she said. Bailon added that she got the implants removed but was then insecure over the fact that her skin was “stretched out” after the procedure.