Is Plastic Surgery a Teen Thing?
For some teens, plastic surgery can be a godsend. But it has to be for the right reasons.
Why Teens Turn to Plastic Surgery
There are many reasons that plastic surgery is increasingly accepted among
all ages, from teens on up.
"First, the surgery is safe; there are very few significant
complications. Second, our society places a high premium on physical
attractiveness and rewards those who are slender, youthful and handsome,"
conclude study authors Mary H. McGrath, MD, MPH, and Sanjay Mukerji, MD,
plastic and reconstructive surgeons at the George Washington University Medical
Center in Washington, in a recent issue of the Journal of Pediatric and
"Third, we live in a culture that emphasizes competition and legitimizes
self-improvement as a way to gain a competitive edge and lastly, plastic
surgery lives up to its expectations."
In places like Brazil, sometimes called the new capital of plastic surgery,
nips and tucks are fairly common -- especially among beauty pageant
contestants. Juliana Borges, 22, the new Miss Brazil who competed in the recent
Miss Universe pageant, had plastic surgery four times and underwent 19 smaller
cosmetic procedures. Borges had liposuction, chin surgery, fixed her nose and
ears, and also had breast implants. In fact, some were suggesting that if she
did win the Miss Universe title (Miss Puerto Rico won), the accolades should
really have gone to her plastic surgeon.
Is Your Teen Right for Plastic Surgery?
When it comes to teens, part of the challenge is deciding on appropriate
candidates who can not only benefit from cosmetic surgery but also understand
"Teens who are encouraged to have surgeries by families and friends when
they are not interested are poor candidates for plastic surgery," Malcolm
D. Paul, MD, president-elect of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic
Surgery and a plastic surgeon in Newport Beach, Calif., tells WebMD.
"The motivation should come from within and not without," he says.
"It has to be for the right reasons, not because mom and dad feel that it's
something a child should do."
Darrick Antell, MD, a New York plastic surgeon, says before he performs many
procedures on a teenager he tries to make sure that the concern is