Saturday, July 11, 2009

Sue Scheff: Teen are having more plastic surgery

Teens are having more plastic surgery.

I’m not talking about reconstructive surgery, I’m talking about plastic surgery for cosmetic reasons: Breast enhancement. Botox. You know — procedures that are supposed to “improve” one’s looks and, many people assume, bolster one’s self esteem.

According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, the number of plastic surgery procedures (among teens 18 and younger) has increased from 59,890 in 1997 to more than 205,119 in 2007. That number includes surgical procedures such as breast reduction and nonsurgical procedures such as laser hair removal, micro-dermabrasion and chemical peels. Nearly 8,000 breast augmentation procedures were performed on females 18 and younger in 2007. The most frequently performed surgical procedure among teens was otoplasty (having ears pinned or reshaped).

In “Real Girls, Real Pressure: A National Report on the State of Self-Esteem”, a survey of more than 1,000 girls in the United States showed that 70 percent of girls ages 8 to 17 believed that they “are not good enough or do not measure up in some way, including their looks, performance in school and relationships with friends and family members.” Distressing, yes? If you combine this information with the information about plastic surgery increasing…well, you see where I’m going.

Forget the word cosmetic and remember the word surgery.

Teens bodies are still changing. Their facial skeletal structure is still changing. Is it possible that what bothers them today will change and NOT bother them when they reach adult-hood? I would just raise this issue and ask if we are projecting our definition of adult beauty onto younger and younger girls (and boys). Here are some other articles on this subject you might be interested in:

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