girl gratitude positive self imageby Jillian Bietz

In our beauty-obsessed society, people take drastic measures to attain glamorous beauty and a flawless exterior. Plastic surgery has become so commonplace, that every year patients are becoming younger and younger. Teenagers are turning into adults before they are out of their teen years. Rhinoplasty (“nose job”) is probably the most common teen surgery, but breast implants are quickly becoming a popular high school graduation gift.

Teens who are preparing to undergo cosmetic surgery often have unrealistic expectations.

The growing numbers of “makeover” television shows which make cosmetic surgery seem simple, have encouraged adolescents to pursue surgery to improve their physical appearance. As a result, more teenagers are going under the knife to achieve a desired look. Some teens get implants or liposuction to appear more sophisticated and mature. In actuality, it is not a very mature decision to choose plastic surgery at such a young age.

It’s a Big Deal

When teens feel the need to have plastic surgery, they believe that it is not a huge deal, but they may not be mature enough to make such a life altering decision. If teens feel inadequate before surgery, they will most likely feel disappointed afterwards. Not only is surgery complex and risky for mature adults, it is extremely perilous for younger people, and some doctors are performing these procedures on kids as young as fourteen!

The cost of procedures can add up to thousands of dollars.

Insurance does not cover the costs of these procedures. Teenagers often pay for surgery themselves – a very costly purchase for a young person. Not only can surgery become addictive for insecure teens, the aftermath can be disappointing.

When surgery takes an unexpected wrong turn, irreparable damage can occur.

Any surgery on a young, undeveloped person has a risk of complication such as permanent scaring or infection, which can lead to death. Even if there are no complications, there is no guarantee that surgery will provide the “perfect” nose or sculpted body. No matter how minor the procedure, it is not as effortless as it appears.

Of course, there are cases where plastic surgery is appropriate.

If a child has a serious injury or scarring from an accident, it can be beneficial. In all cases, parents must be involved in the process for the welfare of their child, and must guide them in the right direction. Fortunately, parents or legal guardians must sign documents allowing their child to have plastic surgery. Doctors also need to be a pertinent part of the decision.

Most experienced and trust-worthy physicians turn down the opportunity to operate on a teenager unnecessarily. In extreme situations, it is best to involve a counselor to help out an unsure patient with the imperative decision.

Plastic surgery is a life-changing experience.

Hopefully, more teens will realize that there is more to a person than physical beauty, and learn to accept themselves for who they are.

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Jillian Brietz

Jillian is a fashion design and journalism student.

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