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April 20, 2015

Teens are increasingly undergoing cosmetic surgery

A study published this month found more than half of surveyed teens had been bullied about their appearance and want to change the way they look

Teenagers today are growing up in a world of social media and selfies, reality TV and airbrushed magazine photos.

It’s no surprise then that an increasing number of teens are experiencing issues with body image and cyber-bullying, and a record-breaking number are undergoing selective surgery to change their appearances. 

An recent survey on teens by the anti-bullying organization, Ditch The Label, found that more than half said they had been bullied about their appearance and want to change the way they look.

According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), 63,623 cosmetic surgical procedures were performed on people ages 13-19 in 2013, the most recent statistics available, while 155,941 cosmetic minimally invasive procedures were performed. 

Pros and Cons of Cosmetic Surgery on Teens

Proponents claim teens frequently gain self-esteem and confidence when their physical problems are corrected and successful plastic surgery may reverse the social withdrawal that so often accompanies teens who feel different, which if left uncorrected may affect them well into adulthood.  

On the flip-side, a study published in Psychology Today, which followed more than 1,500 teenage girls for 13 years, found plastic surgery didn't boost teens' self-esteem and the surveyed girls who went under the knife overall weren't happier afterward. 

In other words, cosmetic surgery should not be viewed as a quick fix.

Advice for Parents and Teens Considering Plastic Surgery

The ASPS cautions teenagers and parents to keep in mind that plastic surgery is real surgery, with great benefits, but also some risks.

Parental permission is required for individuals under 18 and teens must demonstrate emotional maturity and an understanding of the limitations of plastic surgery. 

For most parents, this topic presents a serious dilemma since their first inclination is to simply say, "No." While parents are understandably worried about the danger to their children, this is not a request that should be taken lightly and definitely not to be ignored, according to

Parents are encouraged to talk to their teens, understand the reasoning and come to a decision as a family.


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