Summary: Plastic surgery is growing in overall acceptance and it has been for years. That might be part of why it seems to be getting more popular with teens as well. Indeed, plastic surgery for teens is on the rise, and while we might—at first—find that a disturbing statistic, there’s more to the story than our simple and initial reactions. So why are teens lining up for plastic surgery? Well, a lot of the answer lies in the way they feel about themselves and how comfortable they are in their own bodies. Just like everyone else.
Teen Plastic Surgery for Back to School
Fall is on the horizon. Before you know it, the leaves are going to start turning and the kids are going to be on their way back to school. Which means that the kids are getting their plastic surgery right about now, doesn’t it? Now, this might sound like a joke (it should), but you’d actually be surprised. In fact, according to some numbers, something like 64,000 teens had plastic surgery last year, mostly during the summer months (to allow adequate recovery time). Now, it’s easy to write off a lot of this as kids getting reconstructive plastic surgery, but that’s not necessarily the case.
In fact, many of these numbers are purely aesthetic plastic surgery cases. You heard that right. That includes rhinoplasty, breast augmentation, Botox and Juvederm, and lip injections. Now, it’s tempting to react quite emotionally to this, to write off as outrageous or disgusting or even immoral. But let’s take a closer look at this phenomenon, because once you start talking to teens, their motivations make sense. It’s also not as though plastic surgeons thoughtlessly give a procedure to anyone who wants it. Rather, plastic surgeons are as deliberate as we might be: that is, they want to be careful with teens as well.
So let’s take a look at some of the most popular procedures and see why teens might want them.
Rhinoplasty, otherwise known as the “nose job,” is the most popular procedure for teens. Some teens get rhinoplasty because their noses have been broken in the past. In some cases, this happens repeatedly. Modern high school sports (and even younger) are tougher and harsher than they’ve ever been, so it’s no surprising that the nose gets hit more often than not—hit, and broken. A broken nose can alter the shape of the nose, leaving it permanently swollen and crooked.
Rhinoplasty can fix that, straightening the nose. For many teens, getting their old nose back is an emotional fixation, and once it happens, they can move on with their lives again.
Breast augmentation for teens isn’t something we usually think of as appropriate. However, in some cases it may make sense. Some women, as they mature, simply never develop breast tissue. For some, this doesn’t matter, but for others it does. Breasts that match the proportion of the rest of the body can improve confidence, self-esteem, and even the way that clothing fits. In other words, for particularly flat-chested teens, breast augmentation may provide an avenue to confidence and self esteem (not the only avenue, by any means).
Plastic surgeons are usually very careful with this one, quick to turn away patients who either have unrealistic expectations or who demonstrate a certain lack of maturity towards the process (indicating that they may not be making the best decision for themselves). These procedures are, generally, only performed when it would improve the emotional wellbeing of the patient.
According to the website of the Twin Cities breast augmentation experts at Minneapolis Plastic Surgery, breast augmentation in teens may also be sometimes performed in cases of breast asymmetry development.
Thanks to Kylie Jenner, lip augmentation is a procedure that is growing in popularity. These are popular among teens because lip injections are usually non-invasive and temporary. But they can definitely give the look of a plumper, rounder lip. That said, lip injections aren’t necessarily cheap. And most cosmetic surgeons will be just as discriminating in terms of patients who do not have realistic expectations or the maturity necessary to make such a decision.
Don’t Forget About Parental Consent
No minor can ever get plastic or cosmetic surgery without parental consent. I think it’s important to remember, then, that whenever a teen is getting one of these procedures performed, it is with the informed consent of his or her parents. And I don’t think parents, generally, are going to let their children do anything that is overly hasty or thoughtless—certainly not when it’s as expensive as plastic surgery! So we need to keep that in mind, if only to better understand the motivations of the parties involved–and to remind ourselves to be a little less judgmental.
Indeed, plastic surgery for teens is something that continues to grow in popularity. Much that popularity is due to the changing ways that we think about and discuss plastic surgery in public. That is, there is much less stigma attached to plastic surgery today than there was, say, ten years ago. And if patients feel better about their bodies afterwards—more comfortable in their own skin—it’s difficult to blame them for opting for this option.