Cosmetic plastic surgery has been increasing rapidly in the medical field, and making its way to the top of the beauty spectrum when it comes to what is important. Teenagers, especially adolescent girls, have been exploring the new ways to enhance their external appearance, and not with just lipstick and eye shadow. In the past three decades, surgeons, magazine editors, and book authors have been investigating the consequences, good and bad, of having cosmetic surgery at such a young age and what exactly is influencing this surgical epidemic. The question is this: should teenagers be able to get cosmetic surgery at such an early age? A review of both anecdotal experiences as well as scholarly evidence will prove both sides of the question. What became apparent in the process of this review was the subsidiary surgical risks, financial expenditures, maturity level and psychological effects that contribute, as a whole, to getting a cosmetic procedure. Financial Issues
One of the first questions to ask before surgery is, what are the financial repercussions of having it performed? In this time of national recession, surgery can become increasingly expensive, especially if you are not able to obtain results without undergoing another procedure. Dr. Zuckerman claims that," Many plastic surgeons offer cosmetic surgery on the installment plan, and more than one-third of augmentation patients undergo additional surgery to correct problems within three years, therefore, many young women who need to have a broken or painful implant removed will be still paying for the initial augmentation surgery and unable to afford corrective surgery" (2008). Because the most popular forms of cosmetic surgery for teens are breast augmentations, liposuction and rhinoplasty, these procedures come with a hefty price tag. "Financial costs are higher for silicone gel breast implants compared to saline breast implants and can cost up to $10,000 a pair" (Zuckerman, 2001). In other words, Zuckerman theorizes that, as in most businesses, the more popular a surgery becomes, the higher the prices will continue to go. Some people do not realize it at times, but plastic surgery is not covered by any type of insurance, meaning that these procedures are paid for out of pocket by the patient. Because some teens are emotionally more mature and responsible than others, they begin to realize the realistic goals to obtaining a cosmetic procedure and the steps they have to take to achieve it, like saving up money. Cultural Influences
Now the question is, who is influencing these teenagers to make such a big decision at such a young age? According to Boodman, "The enormous popularity of reality TV shows such as Extreme Makeover, The Swan and MTV's I Want a Famous Face, as well as an explosion of websites that extol the virtues of cosmetic medicine, has fueled the desire of adolescent girls to alter their bodies permanently, and they are finding more surgeons willing to oblige them" (2004 ). With the media so prominent in everyday life and the fashion industry stressing that being skinny means being pretty it is taking a toll on young teenager's self-esteem. These influences also stir up emotions so that individuals are lead to believe that it is just that easy. Ads that claim to work miracles on any external imperfection to help boost confidence and popularity are really just trying to boost sales, especially in today's society. Teens start to create a picture in their mind based on the media of what is considered the perfect person, and yet they do not realize that these are not real situations.
Another aspect to consider when studying who exactly influences a young teenager is their parents and their own views on plastic surgery. "One of the main reasons for increase in visibility: today's teenagers are growing up with parents who have had cosmetic surgery, so they see and hear about it more" (Wansbrough,2003). Teens between the ages...