- Dr. Anthony Youn is a plastic surgeon with 7.7 million TikTok followers.
- He went viral for speculating about whether Johnny Depp and Amber Heard had plastic surgery.
- Youn said he knows such videos are controversial but wants to destigmatize cosmetic procedures.
A plastic surgeon with 7.7 million TikTok followers went viral for speculating about whether Johnny Depp and Amber Heard have ever undergone cosmetic surgery.
Dr. Anthony Youn, a practicing plastic surgeon in Detroit, told Insider he noticed that videos about Depp and Heard were circulating on TikTok because of their defamation trial and wanted to jump on the “hot topic.”
In videos posted on Sunday and Monday, Youn filmed himself comparing old pictures of Depp and Heard with more recent ones and analyzing their facial features to speculate about whether they’d had cosmetic surgeries. The videos have more than 10 million views combined.
The videos were part of a segment on Youn’s TikTok account called “Real or Sus” where he looks at celebrities’ photos and labels them “real” if he thinks they’ve never had plastic surgery or “sus” — a slang term for ” suspicious” popularized by the video game “Among Us” — if he thinks they have.
Youn told Insider: “The ‘Real or Sus’ idea came to me when my kids kept calling things their when we played ‘Among Us.’ So I made a couple videos with it, and it seemed to resonate with people.”
Youn’s “Real or Sus” videos often receive millions of views. “As a society we’ve always been interested in whether celebs have plastic surgery,” he said. “We are led to believe that they just look as good as they do naturally, so it’s refreshing when we find out that maybe they’re not so natural after all.”
I added, “Plus, it’s fun to speculate about the rich and famous.”
Depp and Heard have not spoken about undergoing plastic surgery. Representatives for Heard declined Insider’s request for comment, and representatives for Depp did not immediately respond to Insider’s request.
Speculation about celebrity plastic surgery has become a controversial genre on social-media platforms like YouTube and TikTok, and celebrities have accused influencers of making untrue comments about them.
Dr. Muneeb Shah, a dermatologist, told Insider last year that while it may be entertaining to speculate, people should be careful about jumping to conclusions about a celebrity’s personal life, especially their health.
“It’s up to us to remember that what we see doesn’t represent anything close to the whole story,” Shah said. “It’s on us to practice being respectful of and compassionate toward all people and all bodies, always.”
You told Insider he’s aware of the backlash to some of these videos. “I think it’s really important to give celebs the benefit of a doubt,” he said. “I’m happy to share my opinions, but in no way would I ever express them as the absolute truth.”
He added that “there is no shame in getting plastic surgery” and that he is “fully against judging anyone for plastic surgery they’ve had,” especially as he himself has had surgery done to set back his jaw.
You included a disclaimer in his videos about Depp and Heard specifying that they reflected only his opinion and that he’s not their doctor.
He told Insider it is quite likely that another professional plastic surgeon might disagree with his comments. “I only analyzed some photos,” he said, adding that “angles, makeup, and photoshopping can fool many a doctor as well.”
Youn said he’s unlikely to make more videos to join in on the trending TikTok conversation about Depp and Heard, saying he hasn’t “watched enough of the trial to give a truly educated opinion” on the matter.
But he said he intends to keep making TikToks that speculate on celebrity cosmetic surgery. “I’ve enjoyed exploring new ways to share content and information, and TikTok has allowed me a platform to do that in the most honest, informal way,” he said.
For more stories like this, check out coverage from Insider’s Digital Culture team here.