Reality television star and Kardashian sibling Kylie Jenner is known for her pillow-lipped look, and now for a rash of injuries that are sending teens to emergency rooms across the country.
On Monday, the hashtag #KylieJennerChallenge began trending on Twitter, a result of teen and tween fans attempting to emulate the star's plump pout by suctioning their lips with a bottle or jar.
This online dare has resulted in photos and videos that show everything from swelling that lasts for hours or days to black and blue lips and even gashes destined to leave scars that will undoubtedly outlast the final of season of "Keeping Up With the Kardashians."
Now as a result, a new Twitter hashtag has emerged: #KylieJennerChallengeGoneWrong. The photos seem to prove that teens will stop at nothing to gain a little attention in the world of social media.
The results aren't just visually horrifying; doctors say they could also be seriously harmful.
"The practice of trying to engorge your lips by suctioning can be dangerous," Dr. Andrew Salzberg, director of integrated plastic surgery services at the Mount Sinai Health System, told CBS News. "It's a traumatic injury when you're suctioning anything."
Salzberg said this stunt has the potential to cause a number of longterm and permanent problems, including micro-trauma to the vessels of the lips, scarring, hematoma or fibrosis, which is the thickening of the tissue around the lips that can cause disfigurement and deformities.
On Tuesday, Jenner herself responded to the trend on Twitter, encouraging her fans to be themselves and not try to emulate her look.
It turns out this DIY cosmetic procedure for plumper lips has existed on the Internet for years. It's known as the "shot glass method." There are even a number of "lip plumping" kits sold on Amazon and other online shops. It's been rumored that Jenner actually uses one of the devices to maintain her big-lipped look, since she seems too young to go the route of injectables. However, big sister Kim insists it's all in the magic of lipliner.
These cosmetic devices -- only slightly less questionable than using a shot glass -- seek to profit from an ancient beauty ritual known as cupping therapy, with roots in Asia, Egypt and the Middle East. The effect can last for a few hours or days. Some companies that make the kits claim the look can be permanent if a person suctions daily. However, cupping therapy could likely accelerate signs of aging around the mouth.
So why the obsession with bee-stung lips? It turns out it may have to do with evolutionary biology. Some research finds that full lips (as well as big eyes) are indicators of higher estrogen levels in a woman. The theory then goes that the male sex finds full-lipped women more sexually attractive because she appears to be more fertile.