>> Oct 31, 2013
Is there an excuse for teenagers to get plastic surgery?
No matter how bad things may seem, changing one's appearance slightly can only make so much difference. Millions of children and teenagers are teased and chided every day over appearance-related matters. Some still manage to grow up to find that they love the very 'unique' characteristics which were once the banes of the social existences. In a recent blog post by Joseph A. Mele, M.D., F.A.C.S. of the San Francisco Plastic Surgery Blog, he discusses the demographics of his clients, wherein 5% are teens who chose to go under the knife.
It's Not All Hollywood Starlets
Contrary to the conservative side of popular opinion, it's not just Hollywood starlets who are prematurely mutating themselves into large breasted 'plastic dolls' and seeking out plastic surgery. This narrow view neglects the real faces and stories behind teens who decided that plastic surgery is the right choice for them.
The most common procedures in his practice for the 13 to 19 age group, states Dr. Mele, or rhinoplasty, gynaecomastia (reduction of male breasts), breast augmentation, otoplasty (reshaping of the ear), and minimally invasive procedures like laser hair removal, laser skin resurfacing and laser treatment of veins in the legs.
Anyone who lived through their own teenage years can recognise the symptoms leading to the decision to perform plastic surgery. It is considered as some as the most difficult and painful which accompany puberty and beyond. A person cannot know that he or she will experience abnormalities of the breasts until puberty begins or might not elect to perform surgery to reshape a nose or ear until it becomes a factor preventing normal, comfortable socialisation. Ridding one's face of acne scars can take years and laser treatments today makes the problem vanish nearly instantly. Technology is making it easier to be a teen, although plastic surgery is still a controversial means of correction.
Who Gets a Say in When Plastic Surgery is NOT to be Performed?
In most countries around the world, the parents or guardians of children and teenagers get the final say when it comes to plastic surgery until 18 years of age.
What Parent Would Agree to Teenage Plastic Surgery?
Apparently, most of them would agree to plastic surgery in extreme circumstances. While non-parents or opponents of plastic surgery might think that only a foolish or cruel parent would allow such a thing, a recent survey conducted by RealSelf shows that 68% of parents agreed that they would allow a child to have plastic surgery to prevent him or her from being bullied.
This attitude truly puts to the test the old adage that 'appearance doesn't matter'. On the one hand, a child learns that it really doesn't matter what you look like so a surgical procedure that could improve your life by changing your nose is not as valid as one that removes a suspicious mole (that could or could not be harmful in the long run). On the other hand, it teaches children that appearance is everything in this world, and a more attractive appearance will help them socially throughout life.
For now, the debate will be one each family will have to resolve independently by deciding just how important it is for its own teens to have surgery before 18 years of age. It is likely to become more, and not less, popular to undergo cosmetic surgeries at younger ages, fueling an ongoing debate as to how young is just plain too young.
Sharon Freeman is a professional freelancer who writes about plastic surgery and the latest surgical trends in the plastic surgery world.