Cosmetic surgery is one of surgical and medical techniques to improve physical appearances. It is reserving normal appearance, repairing it or enhancing it exceeds the usual physical looks with regard to some aesthetic essence. A shocking data shows that a lot of teenagers, 18-and-unders, had gone under the knife. According to the American Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons (ASPS), more than 219,000 cosmetic procedures were done on patients aged 18 and younger in 2008 (Mann, 2011). Todays society really concerns about this issue since the age of 18 and under are considered still too young to do procedures.
Nowadays, it is very common to have a cosmetic surgery done in order to improve and enhance physical appearances or any other so-called imperfections. People choose to go under the knife as an easy way out. Nips and tucks are apparently increasing everywhere. The top 7 countries with most cosmetic surgery are: South Korea, Greece, Italy, Brazil, Colombia, The USA, and Taiwan (Conley, 2012). In South Korea, 41.1 percent of teens are willing to do plastic surgery for beauty. They have a desire to look better; it even can be an obsession. Many kids at the age of 14 would like to have an “eye jobs”, a surgery to have bigger eyes, as their graduation gift from their parents (Dubroff, 2011). In the United States of America, those teenagers who are unhappy and not satisfied with their physical looks choose to change them permanently through the risky and dangerous cosmetic surgery (Mann, 2001). In 2009, about 8,000 girls age 13 to 19 had their breasts enlarged last year, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. And 2,953 of them were age 18 and younger (Thompson, 2010).
After going through so many frightening news about teenagers with their obsessions to look good until they choose cosmetic surgery and the dangers that can come along, the society starts questioning, should cosmetic surgery be banned among teenagers, 18-and-under? This question has resulted in dissimilar views on this issue and certainly causes a series of arguments from both sides of the stand.
The purpose of this research is to show that cosmetic surgery should indeed be banned among teenagers due to its danger and teenagers are unaware to
evaluate risks. Moreover, at young age, teenagers should focus on school and their future. Having cosmetic surgery done for unnecessary reasons is non-essential.
This report will clearly point out why cosmetic surgery should be banned among teenagers by providing several evidences to reinforce this belief.
2.0 BODY OF REPORT
2.1 Cosmetic Surgery is Highly Dangerous
Going under the knife is very risky and dangerous, but people don’t seem to be aware nor take into consideration about the danger. Psychologists and surgeons are afraid that many patients do not completely understand and know the potential risks of the operations (Sheng, 2012). Cosmetic surgery and its risks and dangers come in one package, so it is prominent for those who are thinking to go under the knife to acknowledge them.
The major risk or danger that are associated with cosmetic surgery is that pain and discomfort (Zemanta, 2013). Even though not every cosmetic surgery procedure leads to lack of physical comfort and ache, but many of them do. Although the patients’ ache and discomfort can be treated with pain medicines that they can get without prescription or an ice pack, it may disturb the patients’ daily activities. Moreover, the pain may be really painful that those teenagers cannot bear and end up won’t not be able to come to school to study.
The chance that complication may be the result of cosmetic surgery is another danger (Zemanta, 2013). Most patients do not necessarily consider that complications may arise. When anesthesia is given to a patient, there is a possibility that the anesthesia used to put the patient to sleep for the procedure, could give a reaction to the patient (Palmer, 2006). Even though this happens relatively rare, it’s able to be life-threatening and even deadly. One famous case is the death of Kanye West’s Mother. She actually died from the anesthesia (Adato, 2007).
Another certain thing that teenagers should know about what can happen if they are undergoing cosmetic surgery is, at the age of 18 and below, the body has not yet matured to its final shape (Mann, 2011). Procedures like breast enlargement, liposuction, and breast reduction are surgeries that should wait until reaching adulthood. Until 18, breasts might not be fully-grown, and saline-filled breast implants (the type typically used for cosmetic enhancements) aren’t even permitted for under-18s (DiscoveryHealth.com, 2012). Having cosmetic surgery at young age may give them more risks.
The scariest risk a patient should take into his/her consideration to have a cosmetic surgery procedure is death. Cosmetic surgery has been proven a killer. One of the famous cases is Stephanie Kuleba’s case. She was a pretty and popular girl who went for a breast augmentation. She died after suffering from the complications (Rivero, 2008). 1 in 1000 cosmetic surgery procedures in the United State of America results in complications, which lead to everlasting injury. Studies show that 7 to 12 percent of cosmetic surgery patients die from the procedure. 20 percent of patients suffer from injection and bleeding (Top 10 Hidden Dangers Of Cosmetic Surgery, n.d.). Hence, teenagers should be aware that cosmetic surgery is not as safe as most people believe it to be.
Although the risks and dangers that come together with cosmetic surgery have been known, there are quite a number of people who are confident that cosmetic surgery is becoming safer and safer due to the increasingly strict policies and the improvement in technology (McGilchrist, 2011). They claim that todays regulations and policies for such operation are becoming more strict so it can only be done by professionals thus it is able to minimize the danger. Conversely, this argument is not completely true. The data and survey are shown and it only shows less than 25%, but it is still a big deal. There is always that chance to become a cosmetic surgery death statistic. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons is strongly against the idea of teenagers younger than 18 undergo plastic surgery (Rivero, 2008).
From every aspect, regardless to nowadays-cosmetic surgery’s safety that is
becoming safer so there will be less risks and dangers, cosmetic surgery among teenagers is still a high-risk and dangerous thing. The evidence in this research obviously shows that there are a lot of teenagers have to suffer the bleeding and other complications that can lead them to the death after undergoing cosmetic surgery. A teenager’s live and future are priceless and worth more than $3,500 cosmetic surgery.
2.2 Teenagers Are Unaware of Evaluating Risks
Teen or adolescence is a transitional stage of physical and psychological human development (Merriam-Webster, 2012). It is the stage when a teenager is too mature to be called and treated as a kid yet too young to be called as an adult. Teens are also known to be reckless, moody, impulsive, insecure, rebellious, and argumentative (Pickrell, 2006). They might think they are mature enough to make any decisions for themselves but sadly sometimes teenagers do not think further regarding the consequences of their actions. There is a high peer pressure that boosts them to be unafraid of doing risky things just to fit it and be accepted.
Going through having doubts and insecurities about their body image is also a part of growing up that most teenagers experience. The society puts a huge significance on physical attractiveness (Wansbrough, 2013). Peer pressure to look “normal” and “good” is the driving force teens are interested in cosmetic surgery (Keyes, 2011). Britanni, a girl who had her breast implants on the age of 18 said “I didn’t have large breasts when I was younger, and all my friends did…I felt very self conscious about it.” (Wallace, 2012). 67% of average 14 years of age girls quizzed said the pressure is from boys and celebrities with perfect bodies (BBC News, 2005).
Ms Horton said that the infinite parade of thin yet curvy, surgically-enhanced celebrities has made young girls obsessed with their own normal lumpy, bumpy bodies. More over, boys’ expectations on their girlfriends to look like the perfect celebrity body model are also the pressures (BBC News, 2005).
Todays society introduces the miracle-makers as known as cosmetic surgery to teens at a young age as seeing the fact that according to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, there are more than 223,000 cosmetic procedures were performed on patients whose age were between thirteen to eighteen years old for example; breast augmentation, liposuction, breast lifts, tummy tucks, and nose reshaping (Olding & Zuckerman, 2004). It is undeniable, teen cosmetic surgery is on the rise. Unfortunately, the idea of having good physical appearance by going under the knife is not coupled by considering and evaluating the risks. Youngsters are not alert to the undeniable lasting health consequences of smoking, drinking alcohol, tanning and other dangerous behaviors, and nor likely to aware of the risks of cosmetic surgery (Keyes, 2011). They only see the magical outcome of cosmetic surgery as seen on celebrities on the cover of glossy magazines with their perfect breast, bottoms, lips, nose, eyes and everything (BBC News, 2005). They likely do not take into account the danger and risks of cosmetic surgery. They would likely to only believe that cosmetic surgery is the only way out to obtain physical perfection as the society ‘demand’. They are unable to evaluate risks as well as an adult.
The scientists discovered that the teen’s brain is more sensitive to the rewarding indicators it gets when something better than expected happens. A nerve-signaling molecule that helps the brain in processing rewards and can be involved in addictions is called dopamine. The more dopamine flowing in the brain, the more likely a teenager to feel a risky behavior is more rewarding if it ends well, than it might seem to a child or adult (Discovery, 2013).
However, some parties are against this idea. They claim that teenagers have every right to do whatever they want to do with their bodies. They should be able to make their own decision. To some extend, yes this is true. As humans, teenagers have the freedom to do anything as they please, but when it comes to do cosmetic surgery procedures, there are a lot to take into consideration as it will affect their physical looks permanently. The outcomes of cosmetic surgery are also various (BBC News, 2005). It can be just as what they expected but also can be far from their expectations.
Cosmetic surgery is a big deal and teenagers are not reliable enough to make the decision. Teenagers are greatly affected by what they see in the media. They undergo unnecessary cosmetic surgeries to achieve the Barbie standard, but sometimes resulting in regret. In 2003, it was estimated that fifteen percent of teenage cosmetic surgeries in the US was due to misinformed decisions (Olding & Zuckerman, 2004). Hence, it’s clearly shown from the facts, cosmetic surgery should be banned because many teenagers are unaware of evaluating the risks. Thus, a ban on teenagers of 18 and below should be put into place.
2.3 Teenagers Should Focus On Their Future
Teen is the stage where the future is based on because in this stage teenagers are on their pursuit of anything they want to be. Most teenagers have goals to be achieved someday in the future. Achieving those goals and making dreams come true are more important and useful instead of enhancing physical appearances, which only skin deep.
The significance of education can be explained very easy. Without education, it is difficult for human beings to survive properly. Through education, one’s potential can be utilized to maximum extent. Education teaches men how to make decision, how to work properly, and how to think. Through education alone can make separate identity. It became a necessity just like foods, clothes, and shelter.
It is very usual for teenagers to wonder how their career will be. In the future, most people want to own a car, a house, and have family. Each of these things would not be easy to afford on a minimum wage salary. Many drop-outs have earned minimum wage and live just above the poverty line (Bloom & Haskins, 2010). Therefore, through higher education, people will be brought to a bigger career opportunities and a higher payroll. Education is a productive and beneficial aspect in one’s life. The training of a human mind is not complete without education.
All these facts clearly shows that there are many other things that are more important to be concerned about instead of enhancing physical appearances.
Moreover, plastic surgery, just like drugs, alcohol, and cigarettes, it can be addictive especially if a patient starts at a young age (Pruitt, 2009). According to Tom Horvath, addiction is marked by three fundamental symptoms: repeated involvement in an activity; an act brought on by cravings; and one done despite negative consequences (Rettner, 2010). Most patients who have undergone cosmetic surgery and had a good outcome would most likely to go for another procedures hence it becomes continual. This could probably lead to even more demand for a nip here and a tuck there (Pruitt, 2009).
One thing that most teenagers tend to forget these days is beauty is only skin-deep. What’s within them, which is their personality are more important than the physical looks. Beauty cannot be quantified or objectively measured; it is the result of the judgments of others. The concept is difficult to define, as it is equated with different, sometimes contradictory, ideas. When people are asked to define beauty, they tend to mention abstract, personal qualities rather than external, quantifiable ones (Freedman, 1986; Hatfield & Sprecher, 1986). Beauty ideals are created and maintained by society’s elite (Saltzberg & Chrisler, 1995). This does not mean that physical looks are not important, but this means that it’s not the most important thing and many other things are more important than that. Thus, it is wiser to concern more about the future than the physical looks. Hence, cosmetic surgery should be banned among teenagers.
Look at how critical this issue at hand is, what the government should do is to establish age limitation to undergo plastic surgery. This plastic surgery refers to the unnecessary one not the reconstructive plastic surgery. Hence, only those who are ready physically and mentally can undergo cosmetic surgery procedures. Moreover, after going through so many researches, the root of teen’s cosmetic surgery has been discovered. It is low self-esteem due to society pressure on physical looks. Thus, creating a platform where teenagers are encouraged to showcase their skills and talents is important. Such skills and talents eventually will be an asset that they are proud of. Instead of being acknowledged by their peers through their looks, they could
actually gain the acknowledgment through their achievement. In a nutshell, these achievements will replace the needs to polish their appearance in particular by having cosmetic surgery. Moreover, teenagers also should be educated how scary and dangerous the dangers of cosmetic surgery that’s why it requires a lot of thinking and taking all consequences into account when making decision to go under the knife.
As it can clearly be seen, teen cosmetic surgery is highly dangerous and risky as the patient has a great possibility to suffer from bleeding and complications after doing the procedures. This may cause them to lose their lives. Moreover, teenagers are likely unrealistic decision makers because they do not take into account further bad possibilities that may occur from post cosmetic surgery. Nevertheless, as a teenager, one should focus and be putting their concentration on building up their future and achieving long-term goals instead of enhancing their physical appearances. Thus, it is prominent to ban unnecessary cosmetic surgery among teenagers.
Although there is a great improvement in technology and teenagers have their rights to do anything they want to do, there are still many possibilities a patient to die from the procedures. So, it is wiser to give the teenagers some kind of protection by banning teen cosmetic surgery.
BBC News. (2005). 40% of teens want plastic surgery. Retrieved from http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/4147961.stm Bloom, D. & Haskins, R. 2010. Helping High School Drop-Outs Improve Their Prospect. Retrieved from http://www.brookings.edu/research/papers/2010/04/27-helping-dropouts-haskins Conley, Mikaela. (2012). Nip/Tuck Nations: 7 Countries with Most Cosmetic Surgery. Retrieved from http://abcnews.go.com/Health/niptuck-nations-countries-cosmetic-surgery/story?id=16205231 Discovery. (2013). Teen brain wired to take risks. Retrieved from http://news.discovery.com/human/teenager-brain-risky-behavior.htm DiscoveryHealth.com Writers. (n.d.). Are teens too young to go under the