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he distance between the top lip and the base of the nose tends to be shorter in women, and when the mouth is open and relaxed, women tend to show 2 – 4 mm of their upper teeth while men tend not to show any upper teeth at all.

Female lips are also, on average, a little fuller than male lips. You can see this in the profile pictures below – the female lips bulge forwards a little more than the male lips – in other words they are slightly more “pouty”.

Feminine lower lips also appear to have a slightly different shape – they are a little more “V” shaped while masculine lower lips have more of a “U” shape. I suspect this is not a very significant factor in gender recognition.

Surgical Options to Lift the Upper Lip:

You can shorten the lip-to-nose distance with a procedure called a “lip lift”. There are 3 types of lip lift procedure:

1. Bullhorn Lip Lift:
Also called the “subnasal lift”. This is the most common lip lift type in FFS and involves making an incision at the base of the nose, removing a section of skin, then closing the gap you have created to lift the lip. The downside of this procedure is that it always leaves a visible scar at the base of the nose. See “questions” section below for more on this.

The incision for a bullhorn lip lift is only as wide as the nose so it can only lift about the middle third of the lip. This is not generally a problem unless you have very downward-pointing corners to your mouth. If you do have downturned corners, then a lip lift can emphasise it and you then need to find a balance between lifting enough to feminise your mouth, but not lifting so much that you over-emphasise the downturned corners.

2. Gull Wing Lip Lift:
Also called a “vermilion advancement”. This is where a strip of skin is removed from along the top edge of the lip and the gap is stitched shut lifting the lip. I strongly advise against this procedure because the scar is long and is in a very noticeable place. If the scar is also very clear, the effect can be very disfiguring.

3. Corner Lift:
This is for people who have downturned corners to their mouths and involves taking out sections of skin from above the corners of the top lip to lift them. It has the same scarring risk as the gull wing lift except that it leaves 2 shorter scars rather than one long one. I don’t recommend it.