Teens and Plastic Surgery

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Teenagers Going Under The Knife I often wonder what happened to the days when society was not so fixated on outward appearance. Our teenagers today are growing up in world in which there is enormous pressure to look a certain way and conform to an ideal set forth by others. In 2009 alone, teenagers 18 years and younger accounted for 2% or 203,308 surgeries of the almost 10 million performed nationwide (The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, 2009). Teenagers have an unrealistic view of the ideal body and undergo cosmetic surgery because of influence from personal relationships, media, and their mental health. Family should be a main source of strength and guidance for teenagers; however sometimes this relationship may not be so picture-perfect. Teenagers seek parental approval and attention, but if what they receive is criticism and neglect, this will definitely have a negative influence on the way they view themselves (Zuckerman, 2005). According to WebMD (2001), “More teens may be undergoing cosmetic surgery today because their parents have undergone it…” (Is Your Teen Right for Plastic Surgery? , para. 8). Parents need to be aware of their actions as well as verbal and nonverbal cues as this may provide a factor in their teenager undergoing cosmetic surgery. Acceptance and approval by their peers is very important to teenagers (Henrie, 2010). With this knowledge, people may find an understanding of how peers may provide an influence on why a teenager wants cosmetic surgery. If their peers believed a thin body was the ideal, then teenagers would adopt this ideal for themselves as well (Dohnt & Tiggemann, 2006). Another factor that may contribute to a teenager considering cosmetic surgery is the bullying or harassment they endure by peers both in school and out of school. According to the Cosmetic Surgeon (2008), “Children are very cruel and there’s a lot of stigma attached to appearance. ” This statement may be true; however for a child to consider cosmetic surgery because of bullying or harassment endured by one’s peers is absurd. In reality, it is the person or people doing the bullying who need to change, not vice versa. Today’s teenagers are very much into popular culture and keeping up with the latest trends; whether it is clothing, music, or the hair styles. Teenagers are also very susceptible of idolizing celebrities and wanting to be just like them. Young women who watch television shows that feature women with “curvaceously thin” bodies are likely to accept this as their personal ideal body type (Zuckerman & Abraham, 

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