Red:It's easy to call someone's concerns regarding their
appearance "shallow" if you haven't walked in their shoes. Other
kids can be incredibly cruel to someone who has a facial deformity, scars from
an injury, or birth defect. Whether it be a cleft palate, crooked nose,
protruding lower jaw or any other thing that makes a person markedly different
from his or her peers, the teasing and mocking can become too painful to endure,
even if it is something that seems rather minor to adults.
I can tell when I've entered Utah again after having driven to, say,
Wyoming. The radio ads go from being about the price of beef to a plethora of
"I did it for ME" plastic surgery ads. They're all over the
billboards, too. This shallow message of "you deserve the perfect you"
is not lost on our teens. In pre-internet days as a teen, my media influence
came from magazines. Christie Brinkley and Cheryl Tiegs had tiny, thin lips and
mine were large. I remember as a teen asking my orthodontist if he had the
capability of sucking some of the excess fat out of my lips, because that's
how much it bothered me. How glad I am I didn't even have the option
(thanks to sensible parents) of lip surgery, and how glad I was to have Julia
Roberts arrive on the fashion scene to make larger lips en vogue. With rare
exceptions, teen plastic surgery for purely cosmetic reasons is something
I can certainly see why it would be justified to perform cosmetic or plastic
surgery for a teen in the case of an accident, reconstructive surgery, or to
correct congenital deformities. Also, the ethics of performing surgery on teens
concerns me. Physical maturity of the face is not the only concern in performing
surgery for teens, also emotional maturity must be taken into consideration. I
will generally only perform cosmetic surgery on the ears and the nose for a
teenager under the age of 18, and only after a thorough consultation with the
teen and his or her parents. As for the bullying, there are anti bullying
programs that could and should be instituted in schools, they are in some
schools. This is a systemic problem that should be dealt with equitably.Dr
Rhys BranmanLittle Rock Cosmetic Surgery Center
Free agency has a age requirement. You can't be as stupid as you want until
your 18. I hope that the student lones don't pay for it.
I let my 5 year old son make the decision to fix his ear that was born folded in
half. When he noticed it, I told him it could be fixed, but that it would hurt
a lot and take a long time to heal up. I didn't want him teased or bullied
- I had enough of that myself in school for other reasons. He chose surgery, I
just told him his options and that it didn't matter to me what he chose.
We've never regretted it - he's now grown up and has flat to his head,
very normal looking ears. You'd never know. I think people should be very
careful judging each other's decisions with this. It's not your body
or your kid.
I have no problem with any ADULT doing surgery for any reason they want. We may
not think they need it, or agree with it, but it's up to every individual
to make the decision that's right for them. However, with a minor,
it's very different. For things that are from accidents like the girl
mentioned, I'm ok with that, or to fix abnormalities sure. But, if
it's just for pure vanity sake, like a nose job or breast implants on
someone under 18, I say no way.
I think its funny that picture associated with the headline is of an absolutely
perfect face having lines drawn on it for renovation. The Message: Nope, not
even her face is good enough.
At first I was going to say that the obsession with body image is largely a
product of our generation's fixation on celebrities, false advertising,
etc.... Then I remembered that girls have been stuffing their bras with fruit or
pig bladders since pioneer times, and probably well before (in fact, I seem to
remember a Little House on the Prairie episode that saw Laura Ingalls stuffing
apples in her dress to appear bustier). So the desire to "improve"
one's body image isn't new; the methods have just gotten more advanced
(and more dangerous and permanent).
It could be argued makeup does the same thing, although less expensive. I have no problem with someone wanting plastic surgery and paying for
Happiness comes from other places then the shallowness of your appearance.We need to help everyone understand that before we start celebrating the
rise in teens getting plastic surgery.We have a Zillion people in
Hollywood to use as an example. They are attractive but hate life because they
know it is hollow so they turn to drugs etc.Beauty is skin deep.Find joy in being nice to others rather than becoming self absorbed.