Should Teenagers be Allowed to Undergo Cosmetic Surgery?
Cosmetic surgery, known as ‘a medical specialty concerned with the correction or restoration of form and function.’ ( Wikipedia Dictionary) Perhaps since the beginning of the time, self-improvement have been essential to the humankind. So, it is not surprise that the cosmetic surgery may be one of the world’s oldest healing arts. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), as far back as 4000 years ago, documented evidence exists of medical treatment for facial injuries.( ASPS, 2012 ) The first plastic surgeon was an American doctor, Dr. John Peter Mettauer. He carried out his first cleft palate operation in the year 1827 with instruments he handcrafted by himself. (Costhetics, 2009 ) Today, cosmetic surgery has been increased dramatically in the medical field as everybody seems to be obsessed with the Hollywood celebrity style image. Teenagers, especially girls, always find the ways to enhance their appearance for the reason of please someone else. The ASPS reports that there have almost 219,000 cosmetic procedures done on people age 13 to 19 in 2009. There are many reasons that could affect a teenager to seek cosmetic surgery. The common reasons for cosmetic surgery among teenagers are peer pressure, media stereotypes, Body Dysmorphic Disorder and depression. (Pitsilis, 2009)
Although cosmetic surgery may improve the confidence level of teenagers, it should not be allowed due to negative effects in terms of the physical, psychology and financial aspects. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to point out the incomplete physical, incomplete psychology and the financial burden of teenagers who seek cosmetic surgery.
Teenagers should not be allowed to undergo cosmetic surgery as many teens’ body are still growing. The incomplete physical status may cause the teenagers have to redone the surgery as their body grew. Many adolescent girls who want to carry out the breast augmentation procedure due to breast asymmetry which means the size of one breast is different with other. (ASPS, 2012) In order to get the best result, the patient should delay the surgery until breast mature. It is because the benefits of surgery would be negate if the surgery carried out on a feature that has not yet full-grown. Besides that, another example of a surgery that is not advisable to do for the young teens is liposuction. Liposuction is a procedure that suck out excess fat under the skin. This procedure does not make sense to do because young teens may lose their weigh as they grew. Therefore, teenagers should not undergo the cosmetic surgery when they are young and the cosmetic surgeon should not touch the body that is not yet full-grown.
Although there are no clinical tests on the safety and long term effects of the cosmetic surgery for young teens, teenagers should not allowed to undergo cosmetic surgery. It is due to the surgery may cause harm later. Studies by implant manufacturers report that most women have at least one serious complication within the first 3 years, including infection, hematomas and seromas, capsular contracture, loss of nipple sensation, and hypertrophic scarring.( Zuckerman, 2005) Therefore, teenagers should not be allowed from doing cosmetic surgery as a premature surgery may cause many problems to teens in future.
Another reason that the teenagers should not be allowed undergo cosmetic surgery is their psychology incomplete. Most of the teenagers could not make a mature decision as they do not have the realistic expectation about the cosmetic surgery. They believe the surgery can change their life dramatically, such as a change in popularity status.( Odunze, 2011 ) Such unrealistic expectation will disappointed the teens even the result of surgery is acceptable. So, the cosmetic surgery is not a wise choice for teens who do not know the limitation of surgery. Furthermore, most of the teens do not have experience about the cosmetic surgery as it is their first time to get the cosmetic surgery. Therefore, they have no idea how pain of the incisions and how long of the recovery time. ( Odunze, 2011)
Cosmetic surgery is a dangerous idea for teenagers as their decision always based on impulse. They are going to see the positive but never think about the negative. (Woinarowicz, 2007) They do not realize the risk of surgery even they are going to it. Therefore, the cosmetic surgery should not be carried out for teenagers as they do not know the negative. Moreover, teenagers should reconsider if they want to undergo cosmetic surgery. It is because they always neglect the views of society that may be the pressure of them after they got the surgery. They may receive less respect from their peer and even squeezed out by their friends. ( Crump, 2012 )So, the cosmetic surgery should not should not easy access by the young teens.
Another reason that the cosmetic surgery should not be an option to teenagers is that they are obsessed with their looks. Most teenagers have some kind of dissatisfaction with their bodies. Then, they may seek cosmetic surgery as they believe that it can solve their problem. The peers also could affect how the teens view their body. When a friend says a negative comment to a person’s body, that person will believe it and find a way to change it. Doubtless, the cosmetic surgery would be the effective and fast way to solve the dissatisfaction. (Woinarowicz, 2007) However, they do not realize that their body will grow and change in a couple years. Then, it is not necessary to get the cosmetic surgery as the factor of surgery had disappeared. So, the teenagers should not be allowed to undergo cosmetic surgery as they would not get the result they wanted if they are aiming perfection.
The costs of cosmetic surgery are substantial is the final reason why young teens should not be allowed to undergo the cosmetic surgery. The large bill that results from cosmetic surgery probably could not afford by the young teens since the health insurance rarely cover this surgery. ‘ If a teenager had a struggle paying for the first procedure, then he or she will probably not be able to pay for the procedures that will be needed in the future.Â ‘ ( Woinarowicz, 2007) In other hand, the money should spend for other important cases such as education instead of cosmetic surgery that cost thousands of dollars. The cosmetic surgery is not the only way to improve quality of life. Therefore, the teenagers should not to seek the cosmetic surgery as they are not financially stable.
However, there are still groups of people who are think that the cosmetic surgery should be allowed for teens. The common argument is that the cosmetic surgery can improve physical characteristics. The intention of teens to get cosmetic surgery probably due to peer pressure. They want to be seen differently by their peers or just want to fit in. Cosmetic surgery as a ‘self-esteem lift’. They can achieve gain in confidence when they improve their physical characteristics by undergoing a cosmetic surgery. ( Patriot-News, 2009 ) Besides, the cosmetic surgery also can help to reduce depression. ‘According to a study by ASPS, a significant number of patients stopped taking antidepressant medication after getting cosmetic surgery.’ ( Nauert, 2006 ) It is because the surgery can help patients be more happier by taking control over something that has truly bothered them.
In actual fact, although the cosmetic surgery may really can improve their physical characteristics, most of the teens are undergoing the surgery with wrong reason. Cosmetic surgery is not a only way to fit into their peers. In contrast, the surgery may lead to further emotional scars because the teens will grow and wonders if the surgery was a wise option. Furthermore, the short-term benefits of cosmetic surgery also may decrease over time. It may due to common complications of surgery, weigh gain, or even aging. (Zuckerman and Abraham, 2008 ) The surgery also contain a lot of risks that the teenagers do not know. Parent have the responsibility to advise their teens as look are not everything. The young teens should learn to accept theirselves which is valuable, especially when it can prevent the teens to get the cosmetic surgery that cost thousands of dollars.
Opponents also argue that the cosmetic surgery is a reasonable action to teenagers as it is a way to avoid bullying. Bullying is a new trend in the lives of teenagers. In an attempt to solve this trend, there have non-profit organization such as Little Baby Face Foundation that aims to help the teens who born with facial deformities by providing free surgery. ( Diller, 2012 ) By getting the surgery, the teens obviously benefit from it. It is because the surgery can improve their social success and also improve their quality of life. Then, the teens could having their life much more happier and easier and get their newfound confidence from it.
Although the cosmetic surgery may beneficial for certain teens, the bullying still can be tackled via other ways. It is more important to teach the skills that can combat the bullying rather than undergo cosmetic surgery. Parent play an important role in this problem. They should educate children admire and embrace difference since they were young so that the trend of bullying can be reduce. Besides that, teens also should be know that the confidence should to come from within as inside important than appearance. ( Discovery Institute, 2011 ) Moreover, the teens who get the surgery also more likely to being bully. It is because the bullying is a fact and there have no guarantee it will end with surgery. They still have the probability of make fun or tease by their peers as the reason that being the target of bullying is not based on legitimate reason. So, going under the knife could not really stop the living nightmare of bullying. Therefore, the cosmetic surgery is not a reasonable action for young teens who want to combat bullying.
The opponents also argue that the cosmetic surgery could effectively reduce the problems of psychological disorder in particularly Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD). ‘Body dysmorphic disorder is a condition that involves obsessions, which are distressing thoughts that repeatedly intrude into a person’s awareness.'( Lyness, 2010 ) The surgery could correct flawed appearance of young teens so that they would not feel depression on their look. The study of TeensHealth show that many people with BDD may consider or attempt suicide due to depress on their look. In addition, the obsessions that due to BDD can interfere the life of teens. For instance, the teens might spent a lot of money and time to make up to cover the problem. The life of teenagers would be transformed after they get the surgery as they could gain confidence from it.
However, the cosmetic surgery would not improve the BDD as the condition of obsessive still present. So, the teens who have BDD will not be satisfied with the outcome of surgery even everything looks great. ( Lukash, 2010 ) Then, the patient often will request another surgery but is less likely to feel satisfied with the result . It is because they are too obsessed with a flaw that they convinced. Consequently, they will have more and more surgery that are not able to help them relief from it. So, the cosmetic surgery could not address the BDD but can be treated by an mental health professional. The treatment that given by the professional can helps to correct the pattern that causing BDD so that the person can fully enjoy their life as the BDD truly interfere them.
All in all, the costly and risky cosmetic surgery should not be undergo by teenagers as they are incomplete physical, incomplete psychology, and the large bill of surgery can be the financial burden of them. In addition to that, parent should take a more serious view on this matter and take over the responsibility of educate their teens since they are young so that the surgeries that done on teens can be decreased.
In conclusion, the teenagers should not be allowed to undergo the cosmetic surgery if the teens do not have serious problem that can interfere their daily activities. It is due to the teenagers are too young and cannot made a rational decisions for themselves. Therefore, in order to decrease the cosmetic surgeries that done on young teens, the related department should strengthen the laws as it approve the teens get cosmetic surgery before they are both mature in physical and psychology. Besides, the cosmetic surgeon also should ensure the patient is fully understand the risks and limitation of surgery so that the cosmetic surgery performed on the patient can be beneficial. All in all, the cosmetic surgery should not be done on teenagers who at young age.
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