More teenagers are having surgery to enhance their looks and meet various goals such as ‘to fit in’, to look like a favorite celebrity, and even to stop being bullied. One of the latest trends is having cosmetic surgical treatment to ensure a better selfie! Lip fillers, eyebrow fillers, and cheekbone enhancement are common procedures among young people driven by social media pressures.
According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, up to 219,000 American teens had plastic surgery last year. Procedures undertaken ranged from dermabrasion to eyelid surgery, with rhinoplasty and breast augmentation topping the list.
While many are open about their goals, one report points out that not all teens are so forthright. They are concerned about what other people might think about them if they had an aesthetic treatment and said they would worry if a family member was against it. Many opt to have a procedure to meet specific needs such as to correct disproportionate breasts or to enhance a facial feature and improve their self confidence. They have realistic expectations about the outcome and carefully weigh the pros and cons of a treatment before making the decision to go ahead. If having the procedure contributes to their psycho-social well-being, it could help them become a better adjusted adult. For such candidates, plastic surgery can be a life-changing experience.
The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) does not have any formal position about plastic surgery for teenagers, but states that as with any surgery, parental consent is required for all plastic surgery procedures performed on teens younger than 18. ASPS advises parents to evaluate the teenager’s physical and emotional maturity and recommends that every individual should be carefully evaluated to ensure candidature.
According to a recent report, in Venezuela, girls as young as 12 get cosmetic surgeries like butt lifts and nose jobs under their parents’ supervision in order to look more like beauty queens. This is a dangerous trend. Teenagers should have reached a minimum age to undergo the specific treatment and have realistic expectations. They should have made the decision on their own and clearly express their desire to have plastic surgery. Teenagers should also be emotionally mature enough to tolerate the discomfort and temporary disfigurement that a surgical procedure can cause.