TEENAGE COSMETIC SURGERY
How young should some one be before they are ready to have cosmetic surgery? According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery reports “the number of girls eight-teen and younger getting cosmetic surgeries, such as breast augmentations has nearly tripled from 3,872 in the year of 2002 to 11,326 in the year of 2003“ ( Farrell 1 ). The increasing number of teenage girls under twenty having cosmetic surgeries should be aware of the risks, know that their bodies aren’t ready to go under such procedures and that they should not allow the media or low self-esteem influence their decisions. One cause for teens participating in cosmetic surgery is because the media portrays an unreality view of beauty. Magazines such as Teen Vogue and Seventeen has a big influence on the surgery. Together photographers and magazine editors alter the pictures of models. They change the models’ body appear to make them “picture perfect.” These “picture perfect” changes include airbrushing, enhancing the size of their breast, or taking inches off of their waist in seconds. “ All sorts of editing, and manipulating can go into the final photo that teens see in magazines…“ (Palmer 1). When teenage girls turn the pages of magazines and see these slim perfect bodies on every page they get the idea that their suppose to look that way too. The images teens see in magazines are not the only visual that influences them the increasing popular TV shows
like Extreme Makeover and The Swan help with the unrealistic view of beauty. “Most experts agree that popularity of TV shows like the Swan or Extreme Makeover are to blame foe this rise in teenage plastic surgery; that and the constant commercials bombardment of these so called perfect looking Teen-Idols that create unreal expectations in these young minds.” (www.ebreastaug.com) These TV show make cosmetic surgery seem simple, and encourages adolescents to pursue surgery to improve their physical appearance. “Teens see the perfect people in magazines, movies, and TV and don’t realize these are not real situations. “ (Palmer 2) These ideas that teenage girls have in their mind is that beyond skinny is how they need to be, which causes them to a low opinion of themselves. Many people would never think of a mother influencing their daughters to have cosmetic surgery, but some do weather they realize it or not. Young girls sometimes hear their mother saying that talk about their weight or how unhappy there are with their bodies. In a survey “More than half of girls said their mothers “worried and moaned’ about her own weight. While a third said they were attractive or beautiful, 15% said they thought they were “very unattractive” and 7% “yuk” (Horton). These dissatisfied mothers tell often joke about getting plastic surgery and how it would fix all of their problems their daughters may think that’s a way to fix their problems, too. Self-respect is confidence in your own value as an individual which goes hand in hand with your self-esteem. Low self-esteem pays a large role in teens getting cosmetic surgery. “Teenagers who are thinking about having plastic surgery to change the way they look are often addressing issues of self-esteem,” says psychotherapist Dorothy Brown 4
Ratusny. “Between the ages of 13 and 19, there’s a lot of emphasis on peers and what others think of you. It’s also a time when things such as not being part of the popular crowd, changes in financial situation and divorce can negatively affect a teenager’s self esteem.” (Wansbrough) Teenage girls that feel their bodies are not how they want them to be use cosmetic procedures as a way to change their appearances and believe these changes will help them feel better about them selves. “If teens feel inadequate before surgery, they will most likely feel disappointed afterwards. “ ( Bietz 1). In reality having cosmetic surgery doesn’t help their self-esteem; in some case the teenage girl may feel...
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