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Teenagers and Plastic Surgery

Should Teenagers Have Plastic Surgery?

As a teenager, I was involved in a minor car accident. Since then, I've had a little bump on the top of my nose. And while I possibly could have had it fixed along the way, I now consider the imperfection unnoticeable — a unique part of me.

Today, the New York Times published an article on the topic of teenage plastic surgery. According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, procedures for those under 18 have tripled in the past 10 years, with breast augmentations occurring six times as much — surprising figures, eh?

Some argue that the problem is more about low self-esteem, causing young girls to feel they must change their bodies to be accepted. Others view plastic surgery as a self-esteem booster, with supporters claiming it can actually prevent destructive behaviors such as eating disorders. What do you think? Is teenage plastic surgery just too risky, or are you all for it?


Join The Conversation
shayela shayela 8 years
cadi -- thanks! that sounds horrifying ): but yes, also falls into the non-cosmetic/acceptable area.
Jude-C Jude-C 8 years
"I always *did* want to get my eyelids done... but that's because my eye lashes poke my eyeballs sometimes." But see, that's more out of physical discomfort than why the girls I know did it, which was just to look more...white.
vivosergirl vivosergirl 8 years
I always *did* want to get my eyelids done... but that's because my eye lashes poke my eyeballs sometimes. Two sisters at my school had cosmetic done over one summer (one was breast reduction, one was rhinoplasty). It shocked everyone because they didn't seem like they had self-confidence issues or anything. They were outgoing and popular. Everyone sort of understood that the breast reduction was in fear of back problems later. The younger one was just in 9th grade at the time, though, so it was a big deal.
HoneyBrown1976 HoneyBrown1976 8 years
No, unless it's medically necessary.
Glittersniffer Glittersniffer 8 years
Shayela, I actually looked this up, and there have been applications of Botox in younger individuals to treat abnormally sweaty palms and underarms, and to calm facial tics (like occurs in Tourette's). I personally can handle that. I knew a girl in school whose palms sweated so bad that she had to use a fine point sharpie to take her notes, because pen would bleed and pencil smudged, because her palms sweated so much. That just goes along with the "if it's to treat something, ok, but if it's solely cosmetic, nyet".
itsme3683 itsme3683 8 years
I agree with most of the posters here-- I don't think it's a great idea because neither your body NOR your brain are fully developed until at least your early twenties. That said, I had a breast reduction when I was 16 and it was the best decision I've ever made. Of course it was primarily for medical reasons (I guess it kindof fits in the "deformity" category some people have mentioned lol!).
shayela shayela 8 years
question: why would a teen ever need botox? isnt that for wrinkles and such? also, most people with botox look ridiculous anyways, because it's really obvious and weirdly puffy.
shayela shayela 8 years
i often hate on my bod and a lot of my features, but for us teens? or for anyone?? in my opinion, never. well obv. not if it's medical, but just 'cause you don't think you look good enough? stupid. especially for teenagers, who aren't done growing yet -- it's a fact. they'll probably end up looking worse.
pixelhaze pixelhaze 8 years
soapybub - you're right. I think sugar should have been more clear because there are two types of plastic surgery, reconstructive and cosmetic. I'm all for reconstructive, but not at all for cosmetic. I know for my part when I was a teen I hated pretty much all of my body and would have had every surgery under the sun if I could have. Now I have grown into my body, learned how to take care of it and I love it. I'm so happy my parents never let me have that boob job.
reactionary reactionary 8 years
during my junior year of high school one of the girls got a nose job. everyone in the school knew about it. she even posted a picture on her facebook of her old nose compared to her new one. i think she is an idiot. wtf? you haven't even finished growing yet. let your nose mature a little. i HATE my nose, but i don't think i'd ever get plastic surgery, cause i prefer my face actually being my face.
Jude-C Jude-C 8 years
I've just thought of a lot of Asian families my family knows, who pay for their young daughters to get the Asian eyelid surgery. That's always bothered me. If I'd had the opportunity when I was an insecure teenager, no doubt I would have done it, but I didn't, and now my eyes are my favorite feature.
Natalie-Love Natalie-Love 8 years
I'd say no, unless it was an accident, or if the poor girl has something really wrong with her face, as a mutation, or whatnot. I think a girl having her nose fixed after a car accident is perfectly reasonable, simply having a boob-job, isn't.
sidra5397 sidra5397 8 years
Yes, for medicinal reasons and no for self-esteem issues. It's not the outside teens should be working on but the inside if they dislike the way they look that much.
Glittersniffer Glittersniffer 8 years
le romantique, gotta say, being against all plastic surgery is kind of rough. For example, my mother lost over 100 lbs...she had a tummy tuck to get rid of the LARGE amount of excess skin, and she had a breast lift and augmentation because she was Tube Sock Tessie (her words). My younger sister has an A cup breast on one side, and a full C on the other. She's saving up to get them evened out to Bs. Should people always stay as they are, in spite of the fact that they aren't/weren't happy that way? Things like rhinoplasty aren't the same as a totally cosmetic breast augumentation...the nose is done actually actively growing around puberty (the old wives' tale that ears and noses never stop growing is a misnomer...the cells do divide, which is what growth really is, but the actual size of the body part doesn't change's just cells replacing those that have died). So having a bad bump or a crook in your nose fixed (or a deviated septum, which is considered by some physicians to be cosmetic because it does tend to change the shape of the nose) isn't going to ruin your face at adulthood because you did it before you were 18. Oi, sorry for the long post...I'm in school for this, so I want to explain where I'm coming from...blame it on professors who layeth the smacketh downeth if you can't support your points!
Talldiva45 Talldiva45 8 years
Nope - only exception is if it is for real health related reasons. If they really want the surgery they can and should wait until they are at least 21. As a teen they are still developing, hormonal and going through a lot. What they thing they need in teen years may change once they have a more mature prespective.
soapybub soapybub 8 years
I definitely felt confident clicking "yes" because I do believe that teens should be able to get plastic surgery if it is to fix an area where a possibly pre-cancerous mole had been (I totally had that done, it's not a big deal), to fix deformities from an accident, or to have a breast reduction (a friend had it done, she was experiencing major back problems from her awkward breast-to-body ratio). But then I realized that many people have been clicking "no" and just putting these acceptable procedures into their "exceptions". I wish I could see the stats on what these teens are getting done, because if the majority of those things are what I had mentioned above, then shouldn't the collective answer be "yes"? I mean, I've already done some minor searching, but those articles that boast "many" high school students have been getting implants aren't specific enough for me. I will continue to search for articles with more approx. numbers and less generalities.
pink-elephant pink-elephant 8 years
I knew a girl when I was 17 who had been in a horrible car crash and left a huge dent in her forehead which left her extremely self-conscious and she's had to have corrective surgery to help fix it. I'm glad that she was able to get plastic surgery but teenagers having plastic surgery for little things that aren't even wrong to begin with? no I don't think so. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
LoveSarah LoveSarah 8 years
Unless there is an actual medical need to change something through plastic surgery, than no. At 16 I would have changed basically everything about my looks if I could have. Now, I love every flaw and imperfection I have. You need time to grow into your body and learn to love it for how it is. If you still hate something when you are in your 20's, then getting surgery. But as a crazy hormonal teenager? Heck no.
bluestitch bluestitch 8 years
They're too young to have plastic surgery. Their parents should let them understand the risks involved in the procedure and it's an expensive one too. If they have low self esteem and are conscious of the way they look they should be informed that the models they see on magazines are airbrushed to perfection which can only be achieved with adobe photoshop, that the media places too much importance on beauty and youth, and that the real world is not as materialistic as it is made out to be in hollywood. They should not want to look like someone else they're not, because their beauty is unique to themselves. However, if there is a valid medical reason to have plastic surgery, like if he/she were in a car accident and got disfigured or something like that then it's alright.
le-romantique le-romantique 8 years
I'm against all plastic surgery. I just find it sad. Plus, I agree with many of these replies: Parenting sucks these days... I'm afraid to see the world 15 years from now...
neonbee neonbee 8 years
No. However, if there's some sort of a major problem, then why not. If there's none and the reason for plastic surgery is for vanity, then that's just absurd.
CYL CYL 8 years
Only if its a deformity from birth that makes it difficult for them to have a 'normal' life or if they get into an accident and need reconstructive surgery. Otherwise, to look pretty?! NO way! Work with what you've got and work on the a society we don't do that enough.
ModernGraceKelly ModernGraceKelly 8 years
No, never. They have so many hormones running through them that they just don't think straight. It's medically a proven fact that they cannot. One day their nose is bumpy and the next their too fat. It goes on and on. I don't think it would stop with just one surgery, and at that age your body is still growing. What if they get it and their body changes, making the surgery pointless in the end anyway. I think they should tough it out. It's not like you have three eyes or anything, live with yourself. Sometimes that's the hardest thing, just accepting what you've got.
blondey blondey 8 years
I feel the same way that most of us do in here - teens shouldn't have plastic/cosmetic procedures unless there is a serious congenital deformity. Teen girls really need reassurance and/or reinforcement that they need to love their bodies the way they are and to love who they are on the inside most of all. The differences in us all makes us unique and not to fall into the theory that a woman has to be tall, stick thin, big boobed and what the media portrays as the perfect body (like the avatar I chose for this sight). What we carry in our hearts and our compassion and wisdom is TRUE beauty. We are all unique and THAT IS WHAT MAKES US BEAUTIFUL.
chow chow 8 years
everyone has self esteem issues. surgery is not the answer.
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