• Body and Mind Still Developing During Teenage Years • Is It All Right To Seek Surgery With Unrealistic Expectations • Regrets • Legal or Illegal • Conclusion Introduction A desire among teenagers to undergo cosmetic surgery has been on a rapid rise. This can mostly be contributed to these new reality television shows that now air on a weekly basis that they have become addicted to watching. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) (2010) stated, “More than 219,000 cosmetic procedures were performed on people 13-19 in 2008.
” Although some believe administering cosmetic surgery on teenagers is all right, teenagers are too young and not mature enough to foresee the consequences of their actions. Some reasons teenagers seek cosmetic surgery are to find one’s own identity, a beauty enhancement or peer acceptance, the desire or need to fit in. All these reasons along with many others are not good reasons why a teenager should undergo cosmetic surgery. Growing up from childhood to adulthood is a process.
After filling one of these needs during their teenage years while physically and mentally underdeveloped, he or she may take the risk of having regrets later on in his or her life. Body and Mind Still Developing During Teenage Years It is common knowledge for most to know that a teenager’s body can still be going through a development stage all the way up until their late teens and early twenties. It mentions in the Growth Problems section of the Teens Health website, teenagers go through a stage in their lives called constitutional growth delay; or what some may classify this group of children, “late bloomers.
” (Dowshen, 2007, para. 7) During this time, a child’s growth rate is normal in his or her younger years, but slows down in his or her later years which cause a delay in puberty. If young girls were to have a breast augmentation, (enhancement), and their breasts have not fully developed, there is a chance they may end up larger than anticipated. In addition to physical development, there is the issue of mental development, maturity. Depending on a child’s maturity level at the time he or she is exploring different surgery options; they may not be capable of weighing important factors associated with cosmetic surgery.
One should know the risks involved with cosmetic surgery, like the wound not healing properly after surgery due to an infection occurring. Complications might arise while in surgery causing heaving bleeding. One also should consider the success rate and understand how to properly care for them self post surgery. One should not rush recovery and be anxious to show the world their new look. They take the risk complications arising which could place them back in the hospital. Last, one should be seeking surgery for all the correct reasons.
Is It All Right to Seek Surgery with Unrealistic Expectations If one is seeking cosmetic surgery because he or she is trying to fit in or be accepted by their peers, get the attention of the opposite sex or thinking he or she can look like a celebrity, look famous, these are all reasons that have unrealistic expectation. Surgeons should send the patient seeking cosmetic surgery back to re-evaluate what is most important to them as well as help feed their parents a dose of reality if they are on board with the teenager’s decision.
Dr. John Grossman is one of many doctors who agree with the idea of teenagers receiving plastic surgery with unrealistic expectations. He is the chairman of the plastic surgery department at Rose Medical Center in Denver. According to Simons (2004), author of the article titled, TV’s Magic Makeovers Might Scar Kids’ Thinking, (para. 12), Dr. Grossman said, “If a teen’s appearance has affected their ability to make friends and participate in school life, a cosmetic procedure is appropriate.
” He also said, “But if it’s anything less than that, I’d advise waiting until the teen is emotionally mature. ” Not being able to make friends and participate in school life is not a reason one should seek cosmetic surgery. It may be very well accredited to the fact that one is not emotionally mature enough or their communication skills may not have fully developed therefore, he or she is not mature enough to decide that cosmetic surgery would be the fix for their social dilemma.
According to, Marianne (2003), author of Cosmetic Surgery Is Okay for Teenagers, (para.1), she says, “Of course combing your hair and having a rhinoplasty [nose job] are two different things – but if one gives you better self-confidence, and it isn’t hurting another – what’s the problem? ”
Some sort of self confidence sometimes does not come until a certain level of maturity has been reached, another reason why one should not consider cosmetic surgery while in their teenage years. There was a television show that appeared on MTV called, I Want a Famous Face. It featured teenagers and young adults wanting to look like a celebrity. Some had cosmetic surgery performed on their body to obtain their celebrity look.
These young minds do not take into consideration that their genes are what make them who they are today and changing a feature on their face is not going to make them look exactly like someone else. Sadly, if after having surgery, their goal to look like a person has not been accomplished, he or she may be left with regrets. Regrets Surgeons can do their best to give the patients exactly what they ask for, but he or she cannot determine what the outcome will be as one cannot predict what will happen next. As previously mentioned, one may regret having surgery if the result of their appearance is not what he or she expected it to be.
Larger breast may bring unwarranted attention, leaving her not feeling comfortable in her own body, as with Kate Birch-Davis, one of the interviewee’s for an article titled, Nip and UN-tuck: Why we regret our teenage cosmetic surgery. (Nicolas 2008). After her surgery she had begun covering up, especially at the gym or at work to avoid the male attention. After reaching maturity and fully understanding the ramifications of one’s choices, regret may set in which may spark another, different episode of self esteem issues that could have been avoided if the teenager would have waited to reach a higher level of maturity.
Louise from Romford, Essex says now older and wiser that as a teen one is too young to make an important decision such as whether or not to have cosmetic surgery. (Nicolas 2008) With some regrets, disappointment may follow and because people are not able to predict the future, one does not know what affect cosmetic surgery will have on them. Deciding on cosmetic surgery during one’s teen years should not be met with an overnight thought. Decisions with such great importance should take a process of counseling for both, parent and child, and pre-operative informative and support groups. Legal or Illegal.
President elect of the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons stated, “At age 16, a girl is legally entitled to have a breast augmentation or any other surgery without the consent from her parents. ” (Dan Childs (2008)) In another part of the world, it wasn’t until just last year the ABC News Medical Unit; Dan Childs (2008) reported Australian state bans cosmetic surgery for teens. Although there may be no simple solution to completely ban cosmetic surgery on teenagers here in the states, limitations must be set in place by the government to avoid unnecessary cosmetic surgery on teenagers.
To completely outlaw cosmetic surgery among teenagers would be wishful thinking because; there are some exceptions in which cosmetic surgery on a teenager is considered acceptable and legal. Female teenagers with an over abundance of breast mass and tissue often find it necessary to reduce the size of their breasts in order to have an active, healthy adolescence. Oftentimes, the parents and physicians agree with this choice. One would have to look into the issue of deformities and the use of corrective surgery to fix a defect.
A teenager in essence is still somewhat of a child although some mature more rapidly than others. Conclusion In summary, human life is a process. One is born as a child and ends as an adult. Knowing, understanding and accepting that the body continues to go through changes as it develops, matures and ages is to know that after an alteration has been done to the body, more changes are to come. One should allow him or herself time to become a mature adult before subjecting him or herself to a life altering decision.
Although, children may feel as if he or she is making the right decisions for him or herself, the probability of regretting what has been done is too high of a risk and should be always monitored with the highest level of professional input. If one can wait until this time, they could avoid facing the possibility of having regrets or going into surgery with unrealistic expectations. Currently, the law in the United States prohibits teenagers under the age of 18 to have cosmetic surgery, but there are some that slip through the cracks as seen in the 2009 reports provided by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, ASPS.
There needs to be some limitations as well as updated laws and guidelines for those that seek and undergo surgery as well as for those surgeons who perform surgery. References Briefing, P. S. (2010). Plastic Surgery for Teenagers Briefing. Retrieved February 1, 2010 website: American Society of Plastic Surgeons: http://www. plasticsurgery. org/Media/Briefing_Papers/Plastic_Surgery_for_Teenagers. html Childs, Dan. (April 21, 2008). Australian State Bans Cosmetic Surgery for Teens. Retrieved December 19, 2009 website: http://abcnews. go. com/Health/BeautySecrets/story? id=4694079&page=1 Dowshen, S.M. (2007, April). Growth Problems.
Retrieved February 1, 2010, from Teens Health: http://kidshealth. org/teen/diseases_conditions/growth/growth_hormone. html# Mirianne. Cosmetic Surgery Is Okay for Teenagers. Teens Decisions: Body Image. Ed. Auriana Ojeda. San diego: Greenhaven Press, 2003. Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center. Gale. Apollo Library-Univ of Phoenix. 2 Feb. 2010 website: http://find. galegroup. com. ezproxy. apollolibrary. com/ovrc/infomark. do? &contentSet=GSRC&type=retrieve&tabID=T010&prodId=OVRC&docId=EJ3010304202&source=gale&srcprod=OVRC&userGroupName=uphoenix&version=1. 0
Nicholas. Sadie. (2008, April). Nip and UN-tuck: Why we regret our teenage cosmetic surgery. Retrieved February 25, 2010 website: http://www. dailymail. co. uk/femail/article-555010/Nip-UN-tuck-Why-regret-teenage-cosmetic-surgery. html Niel. (April 7, 2008) Can The Kids Still Dance? Retrieved February 1, 2010 website: http://www. the-cosmetic-surgery-directory. com/2008/04/can-kids-still-dance. html Simons, Janet. (July 10, 2004). TV’s magic makeover might scar kids’ thinking. Retrieved February 1, 2010 website: http://legacy. signonsandiego. com/uniontrib/20040710/news_1c10makeover. html.