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Watch out for 'trout pout,' one actress warns

A woman once considered one of the most beautiful actresses in the world is speaking out about the dangers of bad plastic surgery, after lip enhancement left her with what’s commonly known as “trout pout.”

The rather descriptive name is given to the overdone plumping of lips that produces a pursed appearance that makes them look… well… like a fish.  

Emmanuelle Beart, who starred in “Manon of the Spring” and “Mission Impossible,” told French newspaper Le Monde, “I had my mouth done at 27. It was botched.”

Twenty years after that procedure, she’s telling the world that she regrets what she did and how it made her feel. “Today I would say, ‘I am against plastic surgery,’” she told Le Monde, “It’s a grave act. An act that touches our soul. It was frightening.”

She’s not the first to sport the “trout pout” look; in fact, it’s becoming common in some circles, even among women who most would agree were beautiful to begin with. So, why do they do it?

The pursuit of eternal youth, of course. “We do lip injections as a way to take years off and to enhance the looks,” explained Dr. Anthony Youn, a board-certified plastic surgeon in the Detroit-area who is a frequent msnbc.com contributor.

The lips get thinner as we age, and stars see lip plumping through injections of various substances as a way of looking younger.

The problem is that many patients and doctors don’t get the lip proportions right. That’s when a full, “youthful” lip transforms into something fishy, said Youn, who runs the blog Celebrity Cosmetic Surgery.

“The lower lip should be one and a half times the size of the upper lip,” he explained. “Some patients and doctors don’t know this and they go overboard with the upper lip. Some patients come in and say I want a bigger upper lip. And when you enhance it to the point where the upper lip is bigger than the lower lip, you get the ‘trout pout.’”

And while most regular people choose cosmetic surgery procedures that will look natural – so no one will know their looks have been enhanced – some stars seem to see obvious cosmetic procedures as a status symbol, Youn said. “In L.A., people are happy with the look,” he said. 

Dr. Leslie Baumann, cosmetic dermatologist to the stars, told TODAY she’s seen plenty of over-plumped lips and the like.

“I’ve seen so many celebrities on television that have had bad cosmetic work,” Baumann told NBC’s Michelle Kosinski. “It’s really a shame. You don’t have to look fake with these treatments.”

Baumann, who is based in Miami, says she sometimes discourages patients from trying to change their looks.

“Some people call me Doctor No because I talk people out of more things than I tell them to do,” she told Kosinski. “But it’s just so important to know when to stop.”

AFP - Getty Images file

French actress Emmanuelle Beart in 1987.

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