Mon. Jan 17th, 2022

Thanks to the advent of shows like “The Swan” and “ExtremeMakeover,” the idea ofplastic surgery is being removed from the realm of Hollywood and placed in the backyard of adolescents across America. Getting liposuction or breast implants isnʼt as notorious as it used to be, and plenty of stories about teenagers going under the knife are easily recounted everywhere from MTV to someone you meet at a party on campus. But the seemingly growing number of teens getting plastic surgery has some people worried. Is surgery just one more step in a never-ending quest for perfection, or does it actually have some merit? According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, the number of girls in 2003 under 18 getting breast implants nearly tripled, from 3,872 (in 2002) to 11,326. Plastic surgeon Dr. Win Pound notes, “When I was in high school, you were lucky if you got a car when you graduated. These days, kids are getting cars, plus theyʼre getting plastic surgery.”And the idea of getting plastic surgery for a graduation gift isnʼt unheard of anymore; an easily recognizable example is Sarah from MTVʼs “The Real World: Philadelphia.” Calling her breasts her “most expensive accessories,” she tells the housemates how she received them as a graduation present.

Some critics feel that teenagers are too shortsighted in their dissatisfaction towards their looks to worry about the risks that getting plastic surgery may impose. Others fear that the rise of adolescents getting surgery at a younger and younger age, some as young as 14, will lead to it being viewed much less seriously than it actually is. Surgeon Scott L. Spear remarks that “at 18, most girls donʼt really know what theyʼre doing… itʼs more than just having yourears pierced.”

But do teens who go through with plastic surgery really deserve all this concern and stigmatization? Some people believe that plastic surgery can be beneficial for teenage patients, boosting physical and emotional development.

Everyone knows how awkward the teen years are, and how self-esteem can take a nosedive when cruel comments are taken a little too close to heart. There are some who can brush them off, but for others, the teasing and emotional scars can follow them for a long time. Whoʼs to say that if someone truly believes that plastic surgery will help them with their confidence, self-image, and generally to feel better about themselves, that they shouldnʼt go ahead with it? Some may disagree with the two girls on MTVʼs “True Life: I Got Plastic Surgery,” who are back at the plastic surgeon ʼs wanting their lips, noses, and chests done but not everyone has such a checklist of body parts or a burning desire to be perfect enough to be featured in “Playboy”. When it all comes down to it, plastic surgery is a personal choice.

However there are definitely wrong reasons for doing it: to look better for someone else, for example, or thinking it will solve all your problems, but it would be foolish to say that there are absolutely no good, solid reasons a person could have to get it done. Itʼs a choice you have to make on your own–an informed choice, helped by a reputable surgeon, of course-and not merely a trend from the latest reality TV show.

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