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Teenage Plastic Surgery Essay

2352 words - 9 pages

Teenage Plastic Sugery

In 2003, teenagers 18 years old and younger represented 4 percent of those receiving cosmetic plastic surgery in 2003. Although the percentage may seem small, it represents over 330,000 school-aged youths who had some kind of cosmetic surgery or procedure, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS).

The standards for a perfect body have been getting narrower, and teens and college students are reacting to the pressure. According to the ASPS, plastic surgeons preformed over 8.7 million total cosmetic surgery procedures in 2003, a 33 percent increase from last year.

Kat* is a 19-year-old sophomore at Northeastern University who has seriously been considering breast implants for the past year. Kat is 5’9 and wears an A-cup bra size. She feels that implants would make her body more proportional.

“It would boost my personal self-image and self esteem a lot,” said Kat. “Even though I know it’s something social… I would feel so much better if I had boobs.”

Kat said that both male and female friends have teased her about her small chest. This and the pressure and stereotypes of perfect bodies from television and movies have affected the way Kat says she feels she should look.

“I think it is a combo of both… but more personal friends because that is your real life.”

Kat has not researched the procedure, but plans to do so extensively to minimize the risks of it. She also said that to get the procedure soon she would need either to start saving now or take out a loan.

Kat said she has heard horror stories and I would invest a lot into it to make sure that everything goes well.

She said that her mother knows of her plans and is supportive of it but she has not yet told her father.

The most popular cosmetic surgical procedure in youths 18 and under is rhinoplasty, or nose reshaping, with over 42,000 young people receiving the procedure in 2003, according to the ASPS. The second most popular, with about 16,000 youths receiving it in 2003, is octoplasty, or ear surgery. This procedure, to reshape or keep ears from sticking out has been preformed on children as young as 4.

About 4,000 girls, 18 years old and younger, received breast implants in 2003 and about 3,000 boys under 18 had breast reductions.

The surgery that carries the most risk in both youths and adults is breast implants.

Medical journals have discussed recent studies that have disproved the notion that breast implants increase the risk of breast cancer; implants can interfere with the accuracy of mammograms. It is hard to detect incongruities because the implant itself is in the way and the scar tissue that tends to form around it. The implant can also make it difficult to physically take a mammogram because of its shape and size, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Some women can to breast feed after implants, but some cannot, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Getting implants...

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