Summary: Typically, we want to encourage people to feel comfortable in their own bodies. This is certainly true of teenagers, who have an especially difficult time with such feelings. Let’s face it being a teen is tough. But should teens get plastic surgery? Does that seem like it’s going a bit too far? Well, it might not be, as things turn out. Teens are getting more and more plastic surgery, and it’s not for entirely invalid reasons. Why are teens getting plastic surgery? Well, the same reason as the rest of us: to feel more comfortable in their own bodies.
The Growing Trend of Teens and Plastic Surgery
We’ve written a few times on the trend of teens and plastic surgery, but it’s worth touching on again, as this trend shows no sign of slowing down. Generally, we tend to think of teenagers as too young for aesthetic plastic surgery. There are some good reasons behind that: teens generally tend to live substantially “in the moment,” that is, they don’t always appreciate the long-reaching consequences of their actions. Their bodies are also constantly changing—at sixteen, the human body is often still developing in substantially important ways. So if you don’t like one aspect of your body, there’s a good chance it will change in a couple of years.
Surgeons are also hesitant to operate on teenagers because they don’t want to mitigate any development that may or may not happen. To be sure, I don’t want to paint a picture where teenagers are wandering into plastic surgery offices and demanding breast augmentation. In almost all instances, teenagers enter into plastic surgery in a surprisingly thoughtful way—and it’s worth noting that underage patients must receive parental consent in order to undergo any plastic or cosmetic surgery procedure. Once they reach the age of 18, teens have a little more autonomy, but generally parents are involved because of the sheer cost of any procedure.
Should Teens Get Plastic Surgery?
So why would parents want their kids to get plastic surgery. It’s a complicated question. Most parents really do believe that their children are perfect. As a parent myself, that is exactly what I think. But many teens don’t think that about themselves. That is, of course, the nature of teenagers. It’s difficult to know whether your teen’s anxieties about his or her body are simply a natural manifestation of the age or a deeper discomfort caused by the shape and size of the body.
I recently read an article in which a mother is confronted by her daughter, who wants a breast reduction procedure. The daughter is incredibly uncomfortable in her own skin thanks to the size and mass of her breasts. Now, in the article, no one had made a decision one way or the other, but the daughter was adamant in her desires—adamant and clear. It’s likely that the issue won’t be going away any time soon for the daughter, and it’s worth pointing out that this problem is likely more common than we may think.
Feeling Comfortable In Your Own Skin
After all, the human body has all kinds of ways of making us feel uncomfortable, and it doesn’t all have to do with unrealistic beauty ideals (although that is certainly a factor). So parents are caught between wanting their children, their teens, to love themselves and the way they look unconditionally and giving their teens comfort. For those thoughtful plastic surgery patients who consider all of these angles, it’s always possible that plastic surgery becomes the most logical route to take, the best way to improve self-confidence and self-esteem. And it’s important to remember that it isn’t necessarily about vanity, it’s about feeling comfortable in one’s own body.
So do plastic surgeons perform surgery on teens? In uncommon cases, yes. Again, most of these procedures are not necessarily “vanity” procedures, though they may be elective. The point is that these procedures, whether it’s a breast reduction or, yes, even a breast augmentation, are designed to make the patient feel more comfortable in his or her body. So, it’s important not to jump to conclusions. Indeed, it’s not uncommon these days for patients to use plastic surgery in order to avoid endless bullying or teasing. The fact of the matter is that these behaviors exist, and for many patients, plastic surgery is the only escape.
A Conversation Between Parents, Surgeons, and Teens
That said, this is not a decision to take lightly. Whether you’re a teen looking for a rhinoplasty in Minneapolis or a breast reduction in Dallas, it’s important to proceed slowly and thoughtfully. This can begin with discussions with your parents, and can continue as discussions with a plastic surgeon. In fact, a consultation with a plastic surgeon is one of the best ways to get more information regarding any type of plastic surgery procedure.
So I guess my overall point is that we should not be terribly quick to judge those teens that are interested in plastic surgery. Yes, those cases should be handled with an abundance of caution, but it seems to me that plastic surgeons are generally inclined to do that anyway. So if your teen is considering plastic surgery, it might be worth having a discussion about body image, body comfort and everything in between.