AP English III
18 January 2013
How Young is Too Young?
In 2008, over 160,000 girls 18 years and younger had surgical and cosmetic procedures done to enhance, alter, or fix body parts that were seen as awkward and unfitting (Preface to). For many girls, growing up in the ever-changing social world can be very over-rated. With constant pressure being thrown at girls from television, magazines, commercial ads, and movies it is not a surprise that many believe their only option is permanent cosmetic alteration. Opting for plastic surgery can leave very harmful, even permanent damage to a developing body. Allowing girls to get plastic surgery to fix their discontent with their body image is wrong and can be contributed to the fault of modern media. Nothing has been done to improve upon the social media’s influence on the younger population growing up in today’s world. According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, “Popularity with cosmetic surgeries is rising at an alarming rate. In 2008, over 160,000 girls under the age of 18 had surgical and cosmetic procedures” (Preface to). Rhinoplasty, a form of plastic surgery performed on the nose, is the leading surgery carried out on teens with breast enhancement, liposuction, and Botox following close behind. The real shock in the growing trend of these procedures is that Botox is considered to be a surgery conducted on middle age or older women, your breasts are not done developing till you are in your 20’s, and liposuction is only a temporary fix to fat and cellulite. Most of these issues can arguably be fixed through diet and exercise. Another popular surgery is Asian eye surgery. This is a surgery that is done on Westerners of Asian descent who want to widen the appearance of their eyes. “Asians are classified by their almond shaped, low-caste eyes; so why are parents allowing their children to have this controversial procedure done when it completely destroys this definitive cultural characteristic?” (Marcus). Sometimes widening the eyes can lead to damaging effects in a later age. The only true benefit of this surgery is that it makes Asians appear more like their Caucasian counterparts, it does not improve eyesight or health; it is simply done for vanity purposes only. With the growing popularity in this field, many red flags are being sent up among the medical world as to why plastic surgery is becoming such a fast-growing trend. More than ever, we are seeing teens that are looking for a quick fix to their problems. “The girl who says, 'I'm a bit overweight, and why should I exercise or diet when I can just get it sucked out?'" (Hunker). To combat the ever-growing popularity, the government has increased their involvement in the cosmetic surgery field. Studies have been found that show teenagers would have to have psychological examinations and a three-month cooling-off period before surgery as part of the push to tighten controls on the booming industry (Kids). Cosmetic clinics would be banned from offering incentives such as gifts, discounts, or loans under recommendations from the Health Advisory Council draft report (Kids). “Dr Joanna Flynn said of the report: "The board will develop more detailed guidance for medical practitioners in relation to cosmetic medical practice if this is necessary to help the board in its core role of protecting the public" (Kids). Even though, the government is getting involved the belief that the numbers will decrease is seen by many as virtually unrealistic. As long as the media continues to support this field through magazines, television, and commercial ads, girls will still want to take the “easy way out” and get cosmetic surgery done. A large concern among surgeons and parents is whether or not the kids are doing this to please the opposite sex. When girls consider undergoing plastic surgery, it might be for all the wrong reasons. Sexual identity is a questionable concern when...
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