Should Teens Under 18 Be Allowed To Under Go Plastic Surgery

According to The American Society Of Plastic Surgery, in 2003, four percent of those people receiving plastic surgery are the ages 18 years and younger. The American Society Of Plastic Surgery has verified that over 330,000 teenagers 18 and younger have under-gone some kind of plastic surgery in 2005 (Plastic 2). Teens should be able to make the mature decision of whether or not to have surgery, because it is healthy that teens know they have control over the appearance of there body. Also, it helps teens feel better about themselves, in which, branches off into more positive reasons on why teens under 18 should have the right to chose to get plastic surgery. Generally, plastic surgery was meant to fix deformities, but in our society it is being used as a luxury to change an unhappy appearance. Beauty is not in the eye of the beholder, but in the eye of the media. The standards for a perfect body have been getting higher and higher, and teens and college students are reacting to the pressure of getting plastic surgery.

Plastic surgery should not be performed on teens under 18, unless it is to correct a medical defect because, it is not safe for teens. In our time, shows like “I Want A Famous Face” and “The Swan” influence teens on having plastic surgery. On television plastic surgery might look harmless, but in reality, that is not the case. Even with a board certified plastic surgeon there are risks. Some of these life-changing risks are, brain damage, heart attack, blood clots, stroke, and even death. The National Cancer Institute claim that, “women and teens that receive implants were twice as likely to die from brain cancer, three times as likely to die from lung cancer, and four times as likely to commit suicide” (Wihite 2). Nineteen year old, Kasey Long, received breast implants in 2001. After her surgery she began to suffer from hair loss, chromic fatigue, muscle tremors, memory disturbances and other symptoms. When she had her implants removed two years later, she was still paying for them to be put in (Davis 4). Insurance companies rarely cover these procedures, but if they do cover then the insurance company will not pay for any problems that come with the procedure (Wihite 3). If a 16-year old girl gets implants and thirty years later she develops breast cancer, then she will be forced to pay out of her own pocket, because the insurance company will not pay for it. “I wish I had never done it. I couldn’t lift my arms. It disabled me within a year” exclaimed Kasey Long who received breast implants in 2001 (Davis 2). A few of the patients’ lawyers feel that teens are naive about what risks come with plastic surgery and that they should not go through with it because, teens are “literally” not done maturing physically (Davis 3).

Plastic surgery should not be performed on teens under 18, unless it is to correct a medical defect because, teens are not emotionally or physically matured. A few cosmetic surgery experts believe that teens are liable, and believe that teens should wait until they are older to make mature decisions. These opponents in the field of sociology, who study adolescent behavior, feel that, teens have not fully grown into their bodies both physically and emotionally. “As a 22-year old, I think back on the body I had six years ago, and the rather different body I have now. The amount of change that a young woman’s body experiences between the ages of 16 and 21 should be enough reason for any teenager not to go through with the procedure” (Wihite 3). Dr. Helen Colen, who supposedly turns down most teens that come to her for plastic surgery claims, “I’ve had kids who come in and want their old nose back. Or bring a picture of what they use to look like and say that they want to restore it” (Teens 10). Some critics think that teens that want cosmetic surgery are obsessed with a dissatisfied part of their body, and when they mature, they might accept that part of them that makes them different, in a positive way (Teens 9).

Plastic surgery should be able to be performed on teens under 18, because studies have shown that surgery is better performed on a young person because, their emotional and physical stability should not be determined by age since every person is different. Teens and parents talk with a surgeon and discuss in a mature way, about what the teen have decided what they want to change about themselves, and why they want to change it. Also, doctors acknowledge the fact that in the teen years, the body heals faster and a teen’s individuality is still being molded, which is a great time to have a surgery. “I’ve had a young man who came back to me after he was grown and told me that fixing his nose when he was 15 was the catalyst that changed his life for the better,” says William Little, a plastic surgeon in Washington (Hunker 2). Teen surgery is beneficial because knowing that there is a quick fix that could potentially prevent eating orders would make today’s teens healthier. “Rather having disorders, they’d rather deal with one body area than starve themselves all over” (Hunker 12). Studies have proven that as long as teens live a healthy life style, eat right and exercise regularly, they will be emotionally and physically successful after surgery.

Plastic surgery should be able to be performed on teens under 18, because it’s healthy that teens have control over their body. The consciousness with body image starts before puberty, for girls. When researchers talked to 9-year-old girls they founds that “40 percent of the girls have a fear of getting fat; 81 percent of 10-year old girls said the same thing” (Nipped 5). Due to surgery as a possibility, teens should not fear of becoming over weight considering that there is a simple solution. According to Seventeen Magazine and Procter & Gamble, 14 to 18 year olds have a problem with their bodies and would consider plastic surgery (Teens 1). Teens are emotionally sensitive about their bodies, and the relief of plastic surgery can improve social acceptance and self-esteem. All the pressure pushed by the media sends teens to plastic surgeons with pictures of Jessica Simpson’s nose, Pamela Anderson’s breasts or Jennifer Lopez’s butt. Listening to the media is not all that bad, found Allen Rosen, who is a plastic surgeon in Bloomington, New Jersey, “It’s healthy that teens now feel that they have more control over their appearance” (Hunker 2). If teens are aware that they can change their bodies if they are uncomfortable with them, they know surgery is an option.

Plastic surgery should be able to be performed on teens under 18 because it boosts self-esteem. Bruce Freedman, M.D, who is a plastic surgeon in Washington D.C., led a study that plastic surgery can change your mood in a positive way. Medical Director, Bruce Freedman has proven that, “The effect of cosmetic surgery could be strong enough to help people get off antidepressant medications” (Doheny 1). Surgery on teens has been proven to provide a positive boost in self-acceptance. Once teens fix what they felt needed to be fixed, they no longer had to worry about their old insecurities, which brings them into social circle that they have been excluded from. Supports of plastic surgery for teens found that, plastic surgery does improve self-esteem and help teens interact with their peers in a positive way (Teens 11). Allen Rosen, who is a plastic surgeon in New Jersey and an assistant clinical professor argues that most teens are not trying to portray porn star breasts or amazing looks but, “At this age, kids don’t want to stand out in any way. The ones that come to see me just wan to look normal” (Hunker 2). The American Society Of Plastic Surgeons reports that teens do not get surgery to stand out, they just want to fit in (Doheny 2). Kenneth Francis, who is a board certified plastic surgeon, who has discovered from his personal experience has found that, “Sometimes it brings them out of a social shell that they’re stuck under. I’ve seen a number of teenagers become extroverts after having been introverts their whole life” (Teens 11). Psychologists conducted a study on teens that had plastic surgery, and found that the ones interviewed were satisfied with their appearance after the surgery, and no longer worried about their appearance.

In conclusion, plastic surgery is healthy in terms of eliminating eating disorders and helping with depression. Even though some opponents believe that teens are not emotionally mature to make such an intense decision in their teen years, every teen is metally different. Having plastic surgery as an option, lets teens know that there is a way to help them feel good about themselves. If teens are aware that they can change their bodies if they are uncomfortable with them, they know surgery is an option. Teens under 18 should have the oppotunity to help boost their self-esteem by having the choice of whether or not to have plastic surgery.

Works Cited

Austin, April. “More Teens opt for Plastic Surgery.” The Christian Science Monitor 30 Aug. 2000, All Edition ed. ProQuest Platinum. ProQuest. Glenbrook North High School Lib., Northbrook, IL. 30 Jan. 2008 .
Boodman, Sandra G. “For More Teenage Girls, Adult Plastic Surgery.” Washington Post 26 Oct. 2004, National and Politics ed. ProQuest Premium. ProQuest. Glenbrook North High School Lib., Northbrook, IL. 6 Feb. 2008 . Boodman, Sandra G. “For More Teenage Girls, Adult Plastic Surgery.”
Washington Post 24 Oct. 2004: A01. ProQuest. Glenbrook North High School, Northbrook, IL. 8 Feb. 2007 http;//
. I used the “advanced search” on “ProQuest,” and searched the topic “Teens” and “Plastic Surgery” to find the Washington Post article. This database is helpful to find adequate and accurate information on my topic, “Teens and Cosmetic Surgery.” This source consists of recent statistics that deal with polls and graphs pertaining to the rise of teen’s under-going cosmetic surgery across the nation. The Washington Post Staff Writer, Sandra G. Boodman says that teenage girls are influenced by the media to become rail-thin and have an unrealistic body image, which can only be portrayed by surgery. The information in the article was useful because it had a lot of information on my subject that I can use for my pro and con paragraphs. “Teens and Cosmetic Surgery” had quotes and statistics from the Pro side of my research paper, and the con side. The article was accurate and helped me trumendisly because twelve out of the fifteen pages had so much useful information on my topic, I could write a research paper just using this source.

Davis, Robert. “Teens’ Cosmetic Dreams Don’t Always Come True.” USA Today 29 July 2004, Final Edition ed. ProQuest Platinum. ProQuest. Glenbrook North High School Lib., Northbrook, IL. 28 Jan. 2008 .
Doheny, Kathleen. “Cosmetic Surgery Can Boost Mood.” WebMD Medical News 9 Oct. 2006. ProQuest Platinum. ProQuest. Glenbrook North High School Lib., Northbrook, IL. 31 Jan. 2008 .
Gerhart, Ann. “Nipped in the Bud; More and More Young Women Choose Surgical Perfection.” The Washington Post 23 Jan. 1999, Final Edition ed. ProQuest Platinum. ProQuest. Glenbrook North High School Lib., Northbrook, IL. 30 Jan. 2008 .
Health Community Coordinator, Cindy. “Cosmetic Surgery.” National Health Museum. 21 June 2004. National Health Museum. 6 Feb. 2008 .
Hunker, Paula Gray. “Pressure To Be Perfect.” Insight on the News 13 Mar. 2000. ProQuest Platinum. ProQuest. Glenbrook North High School Lib., Northbrook, IL. 28 Jan. 2008 .
McGraw, Dr. Phil. “Topic: 06/08 Teen Plastic Surgery.” Dr. Phil- Message Boards. 3 Sept. 2007. Dr. Phil. 6 Feb. 2008 .
Smith-D’Arezzo, Wendy. “Can I Change The Way I Look?: A Teen’s Guide to the Health Implications of Cosmetic Surgery, Makeovers and Beyond.” School Library Journal 7 (July 2005). ProQuest Platinum. ProQuest. Glenbrook North High School Lib., Northbrook, IL. 28 Jan. 2008 .
Spear, Scott L. “Nip, Tuck and Teens.” The Washington Post 6 Nov. 2001, Final Edition ed. ProQuest Platinum. ProQuest. Glenbrook North High School Lib., Northbrook, IL. 28 Jan. 2008 .
“Teen Plastic Surgery.” A Board Certified Plastic Surgeon Resource. A Board Certified Plastic Surgeon. 6 Feb. 2008 .
“Teens and Cosmetic Surgery.” Issues & Controversies. 26 Nov. 2004. 23 Jan. 2007 .
Tinkler, Chris, and Suellen Hinde. “Bid to Ban Teen Plastic Surgery.” Herald Sun 8 Oct. 2006. ProQuest Platinum. ProQuest. Glenbrook North High School Lib., Northbrook, IL. 6 Feb. 2008 .
Waak, Keith. “Plastic Surgery: A Poor Choice For Teenagers.” South Bend Tribune 5 Dec. 2004. ProQuest Platinum. ProQuest. Glenbrook North High School Lib., Northbrook, IL. 28 Jan. 2008 .
“What Is Plastic Surgery?” Nemours Foundation. 31 Jan. 2008 .
Zuckerman, Diana. “Teenagers and Cosmetic Surgery.” American Medical Association Virtual Monitor (Mar. 2005). ProQuest Platinum. ProQuest. Glenbrook North High School Lib., Northbrook, IL. 8 Feb. 2008 .

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