There's a reason you can't recognise celebrities anymore. They're using the 'shiny object' technique.

Recently, the internet got really confused about a picture shared on social media. And no, it wasn't Kate Middleton and the infamous editing disaster. It was about a couple of very famous women's faces.

Because they were... unrecognisable. So unrecognisable, that we literally couldn't work out who they were and why they looked like so many other celebrities in one. In fact, our very own Mia Freedman wrote all about it in her recent subscriber article titled: 'Guess who. I can't'. 

These were the images in question:

Do you know who this is?


And this one:

Or this?

Do you know who these women are at first glance? Second? Third?

If you're still trying to figure it out, the top one is Jennifer Love Hewitt and the bottom one is Shania Twain.

Yes, really! 

Watch: Speaking of Shania Twain, check out her Not Just A Girl Official Trailer. Post continues below.


Video via Netflix

Interestingly, both Jennifer Love Hewitt and Shania Twain posted these images to share their new hair transformations

After struggling, like many, to pinpoint who these two really famous women actually... were... it got me thinking. Are women in Hollywood really trying to distract us from their new faces by pretending they've just changed their hair?

According to the reputable source that is TikTok, yes. Yes, they are. And it actually has a name.

Enter: The 'shiny object' technique.

"If someone suddenly looks different and you can't put your finger on it, it's because they've had work done," TikToker Cora Brei explained. 


"There are subtle tricks rich people and celebrities do to get away with the illusion that they had nothing done, that they just went on a vacation. So the top secret is that they change their hair colour when they do something drastic," Brei explained, calling this strategy the "shiny object technique."

And it actually makes a lot of sense.

One comment read: "Every time Kim Kardashian does that horrid platinum blonde I know she’s getting work done."


Someone else said: "The funny thing is I’m DEFINITELY a regular chick and I did the exact same method! My nurse suggested it!" 

Exhibit A:

So, is this a real thing? Is that why we can't recognise famous women anymore? And is it really a bad thing?

I asked an *actual* reputable source by the name of Dr Josh Wall — Medical Director at Contour Clinics to share his thoughts.


Interestingly, Dr Wall began to paint a very similar picture when it comes to celebrities' abilities to 'mask' cosmetic procedures, telling me they use a variety of tricks "from changing their hair colour, doing different makeup looks, using filters - to distract from their cosmetic enhancements."

"Celebrities are also strategic with the timing of their treatments, making sure they have enough downtime post-treatment to recover while planning their work around major events and making subtle tweaks to their appearance over time, rather than stepping out onto the red carpet with a brand new face," Dr Wall said. 

Of course, it's not just the celebrities. 

It's something Dr Wall commonly sees in his clinic. Having cosmetic enhancements go undetected, he said, all comes down to timing. 

"My patients often say to me, 'Can I go back to work tomorrow, or will people be able to tell? I don't want people to know I've had this done.' It's why we’re really busy on Thursdays and Fridays — people want to have the weekend to lie low while they recover from their treatment," he said. 

"For semi-invasive procedures like a thread lift or CO2 laser resurfacing, they’ll book their appointment late on Thursday night, then take the Friday and Monday off work so they can have a few days to recover without having to see anyone."

And it paints a pretty questionable picture as to where we're at with transparency around cosmetic procedures. 

Because when you look at Hollywood, we're essentially drip-fed minor admissions of cosmetic enhancements, making celebrity influence and selective transparency quite controversial. 


And it begs the question, what kind of impact does this have if it's the cultural norm for celebrities to look like they're ageless? 

Just take a look at the Kardashian-Jenner family

For the better part of a decade, they have remained at the centre of global beauty standards. There's no denying their impact. It can be found in everything from beauty products and fashion to plastic surgery trends and cosmetic procedures.

"It’s setting unrealistic expectations," said Dr Wall.

"If people are being told that celebrities look a certain way and it’s purely down to good genetics and with no help from their doctor, then it does set unattainable beauty standards.

"There is obviously pressure on celebrities whose appearance is their livelihood, affecting the amount and quality of work they receive. People in their industry invest in preserving their looks for the sake of their careers. I don’t begrudge them for passing off their results as being natural. But it’s society’s attitude towards cosmetic enhancement that encourages this secrecy."

So, where does this leave us? 

According to Dr Wall, we're on the cusp of change. He predicts more and more advancements in the aesthetic industry and what we put in our faces and bodies — explaining that the attitude and transparency around these kinds of procedures will shift with it.

"In 10 years time, I strongly believe we’ll all be open about our treatments and it won’t be something people hide," he said. "As an industry, we'll adopt increasingly sophisticated methods and technologies, so the results will only become more and more natural."


He went on to share that we'll also see a shift from artificial enhancements (such as filler), in favour of a move towards regenerative medicine. 

"It will be about restoring what you had earlier in life, triggering your body’s own natural responses to rejuvenate and regenerate. And with this direction, I don’t think there will be much taboo surrounding treatments. We can already see cosmetic enhancement becoming more normalised because treatments are safer and more effective."

"What we’re seeing with celebrities taking measures to disguise cosmetic enhancements is an exaggerated version of what’s happening in wider society. It’s the same issue, just on a grander scale," he said.

 "The everyday woman is still wondering how she’ll go to work with bruises from injectables because she doesn’t want everyone to know."

"Vanity is still seen as a negative. This will change with a societal shift in attitude towards making alterations to yourself."

What do you think? Share your thoughts wit us in the comment section below.

Feature image: Instagram

Calling all skincare lovers! Complete this survey now to go in the running to win a $50 gift voucher!