Summary: It’s no secret that every once in a while, rumors begin to swirl that Kylie Jenner has had a breast augmentation procedure performed. There seems to be an awful lot of attention on this rumor, considering that Jenner is (as of the time of this writing) still a minor. Assuming that Jenner does indeed want larger breasts, it kind of begs the question as to how old do you have to be get a breast augmentation procedure? This seems like an easy question to answer, but there’s a bit more to it than you might, at first, assume.

how old do you have to be to get a breast augmentation?

Kylie Jenner’s Breast Augmentation

Rumors are swirling, as usual, that Kylie Jenner has undergone a breast augmentation procedure. These rumors crop up every now and again (seemingly, whenever Jenner wears a push-up bra or shows any type of cleavage). This is pretty normal for what most celebrities have to deal with—when they change their bodies (or their make-up), it tends to end up as front page news. But in Kylie Jenner’s case, there’s something a little darker to it. As of the time of this writing, Kylie Jenner is only 17 years old. She’s a minor. And yet, there seems to be an awful lot of ink devoted to her bust size (admittedly, this is included in that).

This shouldn’t be terribly surprising, as we live in a society which continues to sexualize youth—and at ever younger ages. To see Jenner sexualized is, unfortunately, not terribly shocking. We may not like the fact that our culture is one that valorizes youth, that makes youth sexy—but it’s the culture we live in. So while we work to change that, we have to confront some tough questions about our youth. First and foremost, of course, is how young is too young for a breast augmentation procedure. Or, said another way (perhaps the way that your teenager might ask you: how old do you have to be to get a breast augmentation procedure?

How Old Do You Have to be to Get a Breast Augmentation Procedure?

It’s a tough question—it’s a prickly question, and it’s almost like a minefield. So, let’s start with some basic facts. Minors are not allowed to get any kind of plastic surgery without the consent of his or her parents. And that consent is generally considered to be legally airtight. Parents have to sign all kinds of forms. This isn’t just to make sure the plastic surgeon is legally covered, per se, but also to ensure that the parents are making informed decisions. Under these rules, parents are aware of the risks, the drawbacks, the procedure, and the results. In other words, there’s full disclosure.

This is certainly true of breast augmentation procedures. If a seventeen year old wants larger breasts, parental consent is required. Now, this doesn’t happen terribly often. According to the website of the Minneapolis breast procedure experts at Minneapolis Plastic Surgery, most plastic surgeons don’t like to do any kind of breast procedures until the breasts have finished developing, which can sometimes be as late as a patient’s early twenties. In other words, depending on your own biology, a plastic surgeon may prefer to wait until you’re in your early twenties to discuss any type of breast procedure with you.

Exceptions to the Rule

There are, of course, some exceptions to this. Those exceptions generally have to do with breasts that are not developing in the manner they should. This is sometimes referred to as breast asymmetry—and you can infer what happens. For whatever reason—sometimes trauma, sometimes genetics—one breast ends up slightly (or largely) bigger than the other. This can create all kinds of emotional discomfort, not to mention physical discomfort. For these young women, some kind of implant may be the most sensible course of action. Special care is taken to protect young patients in these cases (for example, sometimes saline implants will be used instead of silicone implants).

Of course, that doesn’t stop plenty of teen girls from wanting breast augmentation procedures even if there are no asymmetry problems. Most plastic surgeons will deliver the same message: wait. Plastic surgery is, for all intents and purposes, a permanent alteration of your body. There’s a certain maturity of decisions that comes with age that cannot be rushed. In other words, your desire for implants may not be constant, may not grow with you, and your breasts may continue to develop. Until more time passes, it’s not easy to be sure about any of these things, and the side of caution (which you should be on) is the side of waiting.

It’s Not Always a Public Matter—it’s About You

That said, if you are younger and you have had any kind of breast procedure, it’s nobody’s business but your own. So, on the off chance that Jenner has undergone any type of breast augmentation procedure (to be fair: she’s already had her lips injected, and while that’s a far cry from a breast augmentation, her family is admittedly fond of plastic surgery), it’s really not our business. And we should respect that. For a wide variety of reasons, many women consider their breasts a vital component of their identity and their femininity. At the end of the day, the only person who should be in control of that, assuming you’re an adult, is the patient.