Cosmetic Surgery is often done to improve physical flaws or to achieve an ideality in society. In the United States, cosmetic surgery is an important concern. Nearly 219,000 procedures were performed as of 2010 (“Plastic Surgery” 1). The risks involved with cosmetic surgery can sometimes lead to death. Many scientists believe that cosmetic surgery is dangerous for developing teenagers. However, others say that teens can gain confidence from cosmetic surgery and it can raise their self-esteem. It wasn’t until the 19th and 20th century when cosmetic surgery was first established in United States and Europe.
America’s first surgeon, Dr. John Peter Mettauer, developed his own equipments and first performed cosmetic surgery in 1827. Cosmetic surgery was originally performed as treatments for skull and facial injuries during the World War I (Hait 1). Teens perform many different kinds of cosmetic surgery procedures. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, Rhinoplasty, more commonly known as nose reshaping, is the most operation done by teenagers. ASPS also goes on to say that “nearly 35. 000 rhinoplasty [nose job] procedures were performed on patients age 13-19 as of 2010.
” In otoplasty, another type of cosmetic surgery, ears that stick out are pinned back. ASPS states that otoplasty make up about “eleven percent of all surgical procedures with more than 8,700 procedures. ” Otoplasty may be performed anytime after the age of five (1). Teenagers who seek cosmetic surgery have different reasons than adults. Teens often have cosmetic surgery wan to look similar with other peer and want to blend in if they have any physical flaws (“Plastic Surgery 1”). In addition, teens are not satisfied with their looks and a lot of times have insecurities (Winkler 16).
Heidi Montag argues that she was “teased when she was younger” because she was not pretty (qtd. in Garcia 83). Although there are some teens that want to blend in, there are other teenagers that want to be perfect and stand out. Teens want to feel better about them and look flawless (Garcia 84). Some teenagers seek cosmetic surgery because of psychological burdens they might be having. They constantly worry about their looks and beauty. In addition, there are discriminations against unattractive teens that might motivate teenagers to consider about going under the knife.
Dr. Berschield’s studies in the 1970s and 1980s conclude that good looks have a major impact on people’s lives and those attractive people were assumed to have “an array of desirable qualities” (qtd. in Kuczynski 86). Kuczynski states that “students who are pretty are known to be smarter” (87). The discriminations may cause teenagers to have cosmetic surgery. When teens decide to have cosmetic surgery procedure, teens have to consider and figure out how much it would cost them or their parents beforehand.
Cosmetic surgery procedures are usually a lot of money for teenagers to pay for themselves (Winkler 50). However, health insurances can cover some of the procedures but only when it improves their body function (“Plastic Surgery” 1). For example, health insurance can cover breast reduction because it causes sever back and neck pain. So is the case for otoplasty, however, the reimbursement typically occurs only in extreme cases. The most important things for teens to remember before going through a procedure are risks and dangers. Two types of risks exist; physical and psychological.
Teens have to think about many different kinds of physical risks before they go under the knife. They have to remember that their body is still developing and that their body can still change. Ali goes on to say that there can be permanent numbness and blood clots after the surgery (Ali 2). After the surgery, teens may come across some serious side-effects such as headache after a Botox injection, blurred visions, and breathing troubles (Kuczynski 48). Sometimes, too much cosmetic surgery may slow breathing and teens might need an oxygen mask.
These risks can always lead to the ultimate risk: death. When teens are having a big cosmetic procedure, doctors may have to use anesthetics which numbs bodies and teens may never wake up from it (Winkler 47). In addition to physical risks, psychological risks can also hurt teens. Many teens go into the surgery room, expecting them to be perfect when they wake up from anesthetics. However, that is not always the case. Winkler states that “teens realize there will be no life-changing results” (1).
Jamie Feusner M. D., a psychiatrist who heads UCLA’s BDD Research Program state that “about 5-10 percent of people who seek plastic [cosmetic] surgery suffer from BDD, which is when people see a distorted image when they look in the mirror” (qtd. in Garcia 88). Teens have to consider different risks before they have a surgery. On the other hand, some scientists believe that there are some beneficial factors for cosmetic surgery. Teenagers who usually seek cosmetic surgery think that they are ugly and unattractive, causing them to eventually go under the knife.
Some people argue that teens can increase their self-esteem after the surgery. Teens can also be accepted by their peer groups perhaps preventing them from getting bullied (Winkler 25). Dr. David says that “cosmetic surgery can help teens improve their self-esteem and self-image” (qtd. in Winkler 25). Cosmetic surgery can also help teens feel better about them, Cosmetic surgeries among teens cause a great concern in the United States as well as other countries around the world.
While some people believe that cosmetic surgeries can gain teenagers’ self-esteem, it is in society’s best interest to prevent teens from having cosmetic surgery. Teenagers that consider cosmetic surgery should always think about the risks and the costs and figure out if cosmetic surgery is going to worth it. They should also understand that their bodies are still developing. Teenagers need to keep in mind that their natural personalities and physical characteristics are what make them unique and special in their own little way.