most beautiful girl in the world is not happy with the way she looks.
She picks herself apart in the mirror every day. She's disgusted
with what she sees as her flabby thighs, her too small breasts, her
muffin top and her “pelican” nose. You look at her with love,
you tell her she's phenomenal, you praise her daily and she is still
hung up on her looks. Your 14 year old daughter... and now, she can
do something about it. Heck some of her friends are doing it, why
can't she? Wouldn't it be a great sweet 16 birthday gift? Plastic
to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS),teenagers who want
to have plastic surgery usually have different motivations and goals
than adults. They often have plastic surgery to improve physical
characteristics they feel are awkward or flawed, that if left
uncorrected, may affect them well into adulthood. Teens tend to have
plastic surgery to fit in with peers, to look similar. However,
adults tend to have plastic surgery to standout from others. The
ASPS states, more than 219,000 cosmetic plastic surgery
procedures were performed on people age 13-19 in 2008.Plastic
surgery amongst teens is becoming more commonplace. In a podcast
transcript from Today in Plastic Surgery (an ASPS radio show), the
patient (who remained anonymous during the interview) said, “My
biggest reservation on having plastic surgery was that I didn’t
want to be placed in the stereotypical high school graduation gift of
plastic surgery from my parents.” Stereotypical? Gosh, I got a
pen when I graduated. Are we becoming too lackadaisical about using
a scalpel to make changes in our lives?
are real risks involved in plastic surgery. The ASPS reminds us, not
every teenager seeking plastic surgery is well suited for an
operation. Teens must demonstrate emotional maturity and an
understanding of the limitations of plastic surgery. The ASPS
cautions teenagers and parents to keep in mind that plastic surgery
is real surgery. Parents and children also should be aware that
guidelines do exist for younger patients. Facial plastic surgery
generally should not be done on anyone until facial growth is
complete. For a female, that happens by about age 14; for a male,
it’s about age 15. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration will not
allow breast augmentation to be done on anyone younger than 18, and
most surgeons will refuse to perform liposuction on anyone younger
than 17 or 18.And, please don't forget, in many cases, we do
have options. TeenHealth.com reminds us,
before moving ahead
with any kind of plastic surgery, parents and teens are encouraged to
remember that surgeries are never risk-free. We should read up about
any possible complications and be sure we can handle the risks
involved. A real awareness of the risks can prompt parents and
children to pursue non-surgical options for changing body image, such
as diet and exercise. Unfortunately body dysmorphic disorder,
also known as BDD and "imagined ugliness", the disorder
affiliated with plastic surgery addiction, is also rearing it's ugly
head with teenagers. In an article in the Washington Post, plastic
surgeon, Dr. Csaba L Magassy noted that some of his patients undergo
more than one surgery - often at the same time. A common combo is
getting a smaller nose and bigger breasts. And, of Dr. Massey's 100
teenage girls he has given breast implants to in the past year, 20
of them had an accompanying tummy tuck or liposuction.What do
we do now? We talk about it. We exercise our rights to love
ourselves, and as women – we set the example. If we don't practice
acceptance with ourselves, then how can we expect our daughters to do
so? TeenHealth.com offers some very good suggestions in how
to get this conversation started. Here are a few things to think
about if you're considering plastic surgery:
all teens (and many adults) are self-conscious about their bodies.
Almost everyone wishes there were a thing or two that could be
changed. A lot of this self-consciousness goes away with time. Ask
yourself if you're considering plastic surgery because you want
it for yourself or whether it's to please someone else.
person's body continues to change through the teen years. Body parts
that might appear too large or too small now can become more
proportionate over time. Sometimes, for example, what seems like a
big nose looks more the right size as the rest of the person's face
catches up during growth.
in good shape through appropriate weight control and exercise can do
great things for a person's looks without surgery. It's never a good
idea to choose plastic surgery as a first option for something like
weight loss that can be corrected in a nonsurgical manner. Gastric
bypass or liposuction may seem like quick and easy fixes compared
with sticking to a diet. Both of these procedures, however, carry
far greater risks than dieting, and doctors should reserve them for
extreme cases when all other options have failed.
emotions have a really big effect on how they think they look.
People who are depressed, extremely self-critical, or have a
distorted view of what they really look like sometimes think that
changing their looks will solve their problems. In these cases, it
won't. Working out the emotional problem with the help of a trained
therapist is a better bet. In fact, many doctors won't perform
plastic surgery on teens who are depressed or have other mental
health problems until these problems are treated first.
We will be
discussing this further in our Women on the Verge BlogTalkRadio show,
Free to Be. Please join me (Ana Lewis) along with Melissa Wardy, J.
Brianne (BRIE) Widaman and Elin Waldal as we will discuss this very
heartfelt topic. Our show is live, every Wednesday, 10am PST / 1pm
ET at http://blogtalkradio.com/womenontheverge
. Please join us and share your thoughts and experiences.
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