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Neck muscle can be used to fatten lips

March 15, 2010 |  5:10 pm

AngelinaTo get big lips, women have had a plethora of products implanted in them: fat, collagen, Gore-Tex, connective tissue, hyaluronic acid, more more more. (Read all about it here.) Here's another one, newly reported today: implants of muscle and connective tissue harvested from the neck, as reported by three plastic surgeons in this week's Archives of Facial Plastic Surgery.

The muscle in question is a piece of sternocleidomastoid muscle. When you contract just one of these muscles, on one side, it turns the face. If you contract both at the same time, it  pulls the head to the chest. In the 25 people in this study, the surgery "has not resulted in any limitation in head movement," the authors said.

What is it with fat lips? Evolutionary psychologists theorize that they're a sign of fertility and/or youth, and thus the males of our species are programmed to like them. If you're a hard-living type approaching middle age, you may take solace in the fact that scientists concluded in a study that the rate at which your lips lose their fatness appears to be influenced mostly by genes, not virtuous/debauched living. See "Yummy lips help hide your age," from Britain's dignified Sunday Times.

-- Rosie Mestel

Photo: For a pout like Angelina Jolie's, would you have your neck muscles inserted in your lips? Photo credit: Liz O. Baylen / Los Angeles Times