The texts in section A focus on cosmetic surgery on teenagers. Write a paper (700-1000 words) in which you answer the following questions. Answer the questions separately.
1. Give an outline of the various views on plastic surgery for teenagers, which are presented in texts 1 and 2 2. How dies Valerie Ulene engage the reader in the subject in text 1? Illustrate your answer with examples from the text. 3. Taking your starting point in text 3, discuss whether cosmetic surgery on teenagers should be banned.
Both given texts, “Plastic surgery for teens” by Valerie Ulene and “Seeking Self-Esteem Through Surgery” by Camille Sweeny, have very similar views on plastic surgery for teenagers in America. They both hold the view that teenagers are pressured by set beauty standards, which are displayed by media and other industries.
In the first text “Plastic surgery for teens” Valerie Ulene, the author and a specialist for preventive surgery in the US, says that America’s teenagers feel the need to undergo plastic surgery because they think of the beauty standards as the given norm and want to achieve those norms. Ulene is of the opinion that plastic surgery shouldn’t be the alternative to diets and exercise, because most teens are very impatient and change their opinions quickly, so they might regret their choice shortly after. She believes teens will obtain a better view on themselves, as they grow older and go through the process of growing up. It’s not entirely unwise to get a plastic surgery, according to Valerie Ulene, she thinks some teenagers, who have had the wish for a long time, should have the opportunity, but preferably when they are legally aloud to sign consent, until then parents and doctors should determine whether or not the teen should turn to a surgeon’s knife.
The second text “Seeking Self-Esteem Through Surgery” by Camille Sweeny, the author is of the fairly same opinion as given in the first text. Sweeny also believes that the growing figures of teenage plastic surgery emanate from unreachable beauty standards. She quotes critics who think that the growing number of plastic surgery, especially among adolescent girls, stems from the fact, adolescents have low self esteem and because plastic surgery has become easy to access. Sweeny also thinks a lot of teenagers are unaware of the long-term effects, like pain or follow-up surgeries. She feels it is important to challenge the given standards and preach different ones, also it is important to accept one’s own appearance.
Valerie Ulene engages the reader by telling about herself and how she “disliked [her] nose as a teenager would be an understatement” (l.1), this way the reader feels like she is honest and respectable. Furthermore she uses pronouns like “I” (l. 2, l. 3) to make clear that she states her own opinion. Ulene also makes use of modern terms like “getting it “done””(l.3) and “fixed” (l. 62) and by doing that she seems closer to the teenagers, whom she wants to reach. Ulene appeals to logos and persuades the audience by reason, an example of this is “The American Society of Plastic Surgeons estimates that more than 330,000 adolescents (…)” (l. 6) where she uses data from a respected American institution and thus the reader trusts her and her opinion and she seems credible.
Expressive adjectives like “ridiculous” (l. 17) or “tremendous” (l. 60) underline her statement on plastic surgery or beauty standards. Later on in the text she makes use of pathos to appeal to the readers’ emotions and convince them to believe in her argument by creating an emotional response. “With a 14-year-old daughter of my own, I recognize how difficult that [saying no to plastic surgery] can be. While I’d like to think that I’d dissuade – if not forbid – her from having cosmetic work done”. (ll.58-59) With this quote the reader empathizes with Ulene, because it’s now a lot more understandable why she’s against plastic surgery on teenagers, and in the next paragraph she uses another example from her life where she diminishes the wish for plastic surgery by saying “as far as my own nose goes, I’ve never really grown to love it. I have grown used to it, however, and have no regrets that it was never fixed” (ll. 61-62).
“If they aren’t old enough to sign their own surgical consent for a medically necessary procedure, then they shouldn’t be able to induce their parents to do it for cosmetic surgery which is a personal, subjective, value-based decision, not a decision of medical necessity.” – Dr. Pete Costantino
According to this quote, the ban of cosmetic surgery for teenagers is a good idea. The topic of plastic and cosmetic surgery has been open for a lot of debate. The question whether it should be banned or not bears more than one problem and can be viewed from different sides. The main question is though, where a medically necessary procedure ends and becomes cosmetic surgery?
On the one hand, there is the problem of the promoted unreachable beauty norms, which teenagers are exposed to everyday. These norms make some teenagers believe that their features are ugly or an abnormality, but they are mostly completely normal. A general ban of cosmetic surgery could help them rethink the view on their bodies. Also, a lot of teenagers are very impatient, and if they don’t have access to these kinds of surgeries, they are forced to wait and maybe they’ll rethink their decision.
In contrast to this, some teenagers are so unbearably unhappy with their features that they don’t go to school, don’t interact socially or are confronted with bullying from their classmates. If cosmetic surgery is prohibited for citizens under 18 years, they don’t have any chance of improvement in their lives. Often, parents have very different morals and convictions than adolescents, and wouldn’t understand their child’s struggle, and in the long run the adolescent is the one who has to live with the given facial or physical features.
All in all, I am only partly for a general ban of plastic surgery for minors. I think there should be a certification that the person undergoing plastic surgery is completely aware of the consequences the procedure will have and that this person has considered positive and negative effects of this decision. What I don’t agree with is that the government decides what distinguishes necessary medical surgery from cosmetic surgery. It’s not always visible if the person needs this surgery or not, there are often mental problems linked to the choice that is made.
Words: 963 (without quote)
1) Later on in the text she makes use of In diesem Satz war ein Kongruenzfehler, denn in der 3. P singular “she” muss dem Verb ein “s” hinzugefügt werden. 2) By doing that she seems closer to the teenagers, whom she wants to reach. Hier muss “whom” verwendet werden, da es sich auf das Präposition “to” bezieht. 3) Nächstes mal werde ich in meiner Outline darauf achten, keine bis wenig Flüchtigkeitsfehler zu machen, um meine Sprache zu verbessern. Auch die grammatischen Strukturen möchte ich mehr beachten, so dass sie komplexer, vielfältiger und korrekt sind. Auch von dem Inhalt her möchte ich versuchen ein wenig mehr auf Standpunkte einzugehen die ich eventuell nicht als wichtig empfinde. Um den Text leichter lesbar zu machen, versuche ich alle dargestellten Haltungen klarzustellen und genau zu erläutern. Beim zitieren versuche ich nächstes mal noch mehr auf das Integrieren in den Text zu achten, damit er fließender zu lesen wird.
Courtney from Study Moose
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