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Posts Tagged ‘teen cosmetic surgery’

Rutgers Psychologist Links Reality TV with Teen Cosmetic Surgery Trends

Posted by Cosmetic Surgery Review on July 29, 2010

Teenagers are known to be preoccupied with their appearance, and their changing bodies can trigger an obsession with changing the way they look. A recent study by a Rutgers-Camden psychologist that was published in the Body Image academic journal links reality television with an increased demand for teenage cosmetic surgery.

According to Charlotte Markey, an associate professor of psychology at Rutgers-Camden, reports that “When we think of cosmetic surgery, we don’t think of it as a lifetime issue. There is lots of pressure to look a certain way and I don’t blame them for succumbing; we’re all guilty of feeling vulnerable…what troubles me is that there’s no conclusive data that cosmetic surgery even makes people happier, what has been documented is that it makes repeat customers.” (Source:

The psychologists who conducted the study surveyed almost 200 participants on their responses to reality TV shows that involved extreme makeovers, and concluded that women were more likely to want cosmetic surgery than men, and that those who watched the cosmetic surgery show were more comfortable with having the procedure themselves.

The experts also concluded that many young men and women seek out plastic surgery because they are attempting to fix their outward appearance, but this approach can quickly turn into an obsession that makes them feel worse about themselves. They state that there is a strong cultural pressure to not be satisfied with the physical self, and that many teens who are influenced by the media may not have the chance to develop a healthy self-esteem.

The extreme makeover shows also set unrealistic expectations for many people, and these types of media influences don’t necessarily portray real life. The psychologists state that children today need to develop a healthy self-esteem by focusing on more positive messages about their bodies, and their lives.


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More Teens Now Undergoing Cosmetic Surgery

Posted by Cosmetic Surgery Review on June 25, 2010

The American Society of Plastic Surgeons reports that teen surgeries have doubled in the last eight years, with more teenagers undergoing surgeries including breast augmentation, rhinoplasty and liposuction to improve their appearance.

In the United States, all patients under 18 years of age must have permission from their parents or guardians before undergoing surgery. Many parents are giving their teens the go ahead to go under the knife.

In recent years, a record number of teens in North America are still considering or undergoing cosmetic surgery, reports the Globe and Mail. Many teens are influenced by the media and celebrities, and plastic surgery offers an option to boost self-esteem for many, and the idea of altering their bodies purely for cosmetic reasons seems to have appeal for a growing number of teens in the United States.

For many teenagers, peer pressure and cultural influences play a role in whether the teen decides to undergo surgery. While all teenagers must undergo a face-to-face consultation with the plastic surgeon to ensure they have a healthy sense of self-esteem and realistic expectations about surgery, many surgeons are still performing surgery for the teen who simply wants to look better. Some surgeons do refuse to perform surgery if they believe the teen may be suffering from depression or they have unrealistic expectations about the outcome of their procedure.

Teenagers currently make up about 2 percent of all cosmetic surgery patients, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS). In 2006 alone, the number of procedures performed on teens between 13 and 19 years of age was approximately 244,000, which included approximately 47,000 rhinoplasty procedures (nose jobs) and 9,000 breast augmentation procedures (breast implants).

Board-certified plastic surgeons do recommend a mental health screening to ensure the teenager is not suffering from body dysmorphic disorder (BDD), a condition where the individual believes they perceive defects and flaws that do not really exist.

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ASAPS Reports More Teens Are Turning to Plastic Surgery to Improve their Looks

Posted by Cosmetic Surgery Review on January 29, 2010

While the millions of men and women between the ages of 18 and 35 that undergo plastic and cosmetic procedures each year have been deemed the “target market” for many plastic surgeons, a recent study reports that teenagers may soon be fueling some of the demand for popular procedures.

The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery reports that in 2008, more than 160,000 teens age 18 years or younger underwent some type of cosmetic surgery. The most popular procedures for this group included Botox injections, liposuction and breast augmentation. While these teens do need their parent’s permission to undergo plastic or cosmetic surgery, experts point out that many parents are fine with letting their teens have their procedure, and do understand the risks involved.

According to Donn Chatham, president of the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, “boomer parents may themselves even be undergoing cosmetic surgery and may feel for our children that it’s not a stretch.”

Popular procedures for baby boomers include anti aging treatments such as laser skin resurfacing and skin rejuvenation procedures, Botox injections and facial plastic surgery. Other in-demand procedures include breast implants, liposuction, skin tightening treatments and body lifts.

Still, many experts believe that plastic surgery for teenagers is often misguided and is a dangerous attempt to increase the teen’s self-esteem. Since many teenagers struggle with body image and self-esteem issues through their young adult years, “fixing” the problem with surgery alone isn’t necessarily the resolution. For many, counseling and support groups can help the teen increase their self-esteem by striving for things unrelated to their looks.

Experts say that much of this “demand” is driven by the media’s idea of perfection in both men and women, so it’s only natural that more teens would rather go under the knife to achieve the ideal. Unfortunately, this pressure to be perfect can also lead to a number of destructive behaviors.

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Teenage Cosmetic Surgery on the Rise

Posted by Cosmetic Surgery Review on December 2, 2009

Millions of men and women between the ages of 18 and 35 continue to head to the plastic surgeon’s office to fix their flaws and achieve their ideal figure.

According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the number of people who are choosing to go under the knife has tripled since 1992 – and the numbers continue to increase steadily year after year. However, the baby boomer generation and Generation Y aren’t the only ones interested in the latest tummy tuck procedure, liposuction or breast implants. More teens are setting their sights on cosmetic surgery, and plastic surgeons are noticing that many are turning to breast augmentation and liposuction in order to achieve their ‘ideal.’

The American Society of Plastic Surgeons reports that the average age of patients interested in cosmetic or plastic surgery has dropped from 34 to 17 years. Nearly a quarter of a million cosmetic procedures were performed on patients under the age of 19 in 2007 alone, and many of the most coveted procedures included rhinoplasty, breast augmentation, liposuction and tummy tucks.

Experts speculate that the increase in demand for certain procedures is largely a result of an image-obsessed society, pointing to the media and celebrities.  Others say that this desire to change one’s appearance is simply rooted in low self-esteem. For teenagers, cosmetic surgery seems to be the ultimate fix that may help them gain more self-confidence and feel better about their looks.

Surgeons say that all teens still need to undergo a full consultation with a specialist to make sure they are in a good state of physical and mental health before they go under the knife. In some cases, the teen simply isn’t mature enough to handle the potential side effects and risks associated with the surgery, and may not have realistic goals about the outcome.

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Half of UK Secondary School Girls Considering Plastic Surgery

Posted by Cosmetic Surgery Review on November 15, 2009

j0443803A recent report from Girlguiding UK reveals that almost 50%of girls between the ages of 16 and 21 would consider having surgery to change the way they look. The findings indicate that more than  one in ten girls between the ages of 11 and 16 would undergo gastric band or cosmetic surgery so that they could feel better about themselves, and researchers found a strong correlation between girls’ school achievement and their attitude toward their bodies.

According to the study, 43 percent of girls attending a secondary school whose performance was either good or outstanding would not consider plastic surgery, but a high percentage of girls who were getting satisfactory or poor grades would consider it.

Other research findings show that many young girls – especially those in the 11 to 16 year old age range – were simply not happy with their appearance, and that their self-esteem appeared to drop significantly during their teenage years. Some of the most common concerns about appearance of these young girls was to alter their teeth, improve their skin or hair, or make themselves thinner. Body shape was among the most important concerns for girls in this category, which is why gastric banding and other types of cosmetic surgery were considered to be a top priority for these young women.

The Girlguiding UK report concludes that, “Few girls up to the age of 16 consider using surgical methods to change their appearance, but once that becomes a genuine option at the age of 18, cosmetic surgery far outstrips all others as their procedure of choice…girls aged 16-21 demonstrate a high level of self-awareness when it comes to risky behaviors.” Even though many of these girls deal with issues surrounding alcohol, eating disorders and irresponsible sexual behavior, they are also often tackling issues surrounding their appearance and body image.

The full report from Girlsguiding UK can be found here.

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Researchers Question If Teens Mature Enough to Choose Cosmetic Surgery

Posted by Cosmetic Surgery Review on March 13, 2009

j0438733Rapid weight gain, acne and hormonal changes that trigger skin disorders often occur during puberty, and many teenagers develop a poor self image during this pivotal time.  Some turn to plastic and cosmetic surgery in hopes of ‘fixing’ their appearance but some researchers believe this could be detrimental to their emotional health and well-being.

While cosmetic and plastic surgeons require a parent or guardian’s consent to perform surgery on teenagers, many parents still give the go-ahead to their 13-18 year olds and may not understand the physical and emotional impact that their teen experiences.  Adolescents are often struggling with low self-esteem and still developing their self-image, and researchers believe these factors are significant when it comes to choosing plastic surgery. Many teens simply insist on going under the knife to correct their flaws – perceived or real.

According to, studies do show that teenagers begin to feel better naturally as they progress through adolescence, and the flaws that once bothered them tend to become less important.  Since teenagers are not physically mature until they reach the age of 16 or 18, making drastic changes to the body with cosmetic surgery can be dangerous.  Breast implants, liposuction and nose reshaping surgery may provide dramatic results, but the body is still changing and developing; once the teen has fully matured, the results can be very different.
Many teens are simply not emotionally mature enough to handle the consequences of surgery, and fail to realize that these procedures won’t eliminate real problems in their lives.

Dr. John Canedy, president of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, points out that surgery should never be a response to pressure from friends or family members.  Teenagers also need to understand all of the risks involved, and how any complications or side effects may play out in their daily lives.

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Asian Children Undergoing Cosmetic Surgery for ‘Westernized’ Look

Posted by Cosmetic Surgery Review on February 5, 2009

asian-childThere is still a heated debate about whether teenagers should be permitted to undergo plastic surgery after their parent’s permission, but children the age of 18 may also be at risk for the dangers associated with cosmetic enhancements.

The recent publication of the Hastings Center Report shows that more Asian children are undergoing medical procedures such as blepharoplasty, liposuction and breast enhancement so that they can imitate the ‘Hollywood’ ideal in the west.  Asian eye surgery is one of the most requested procedures in this demographic, a procedure that changes the entire shape of the eye so that it has a a more almond-shaped appearance. Asian children who may have been adopted by U.S. -based parents may feel a sense of cultural shock or even be embarrassed by their looks; for many, cosmetic surgery helps to alleviate these stresses.

Experts contend that these types of enhancements are done for superficial reasons only; some children and teens may be suffering from low self-esteem because of their exotic appearance, and parents may approve the surgery to help the youngsters feel better about themselves.

Researchers also point out that children may suffer from a type of identity disorder if their real needs of acceptance are not addressed.  Going against nature to enhance their appearance may do more harm than good; the same issue arises in cases of gender modification surgery.

Alice Dreger, a professor of medical humanities and bioethics at the Feinberg School of Medicine of Northwestern Univeristy explains that there is not enough evidence to indicate whether a child or teen may suffer from sever identity disorders throughout their life because of surgery. (Source: Medical News Today)

Changing one’s natural appearance so drastically could have several negative ramifications throughout the patient’s life, and may also  interfere with their abilityto appreicate their own culture and heritage.

Still, statistics show that Asian children are much more likely to pursue plastic surgery to change their appearance.  Ultimately, the decision lies in the hands of the parents, and the change may require some form of psychotherapy intervention or counseling to ensure the patient adjusts to their new look without taking away their sense of cultural identity.

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