Teen Plastic Surgery on the Rise. Why?

istock_plastic-sugery.jpgWhen Oprah high fived Kate Winslet and proclaimed “God bless your real breasts!” I smiled and felt a little bit prouder for women with real breasts everywhere. Not everyone has huge, perky, volleyballs on their chests and it’s about time someone recognized it. Maybe it’s silly that it took a reminder from Oprah Winfrey that breasts move, but after the article in the New York Times yesterday, it looks like more women need to be reminded.

The latest figures show that “the number of cosmetic surgical procedures performed on youths 18 or younger more than tripled over a 10-year period, to 205,119 in 2007 from 59,890 in 1997.” That is an astronomical number!

I know I shouldn’t be surprised being I can name more than a few people who have been offered a pair of silicone implants wrapped in a red bow come graduation day, but that number really shocks me.

I understand that beauty and perfection have been something that women have constantly strived for and I also understand that cosmetic surgery has become more acceptible in our society. I mean, just turn on the television and I bet you can find at least three makeover shows on right this minute, and at least one re-run of Dr. 90210. Still, maybe we should be wondering why young girls are inceasingly begging and pleading for new noses, breasts, chins, teeth, ears, tummies and every other resize-able, reshape-able body part.

Self esteem is a huge argument for teens when trying to convince families to take the life-changing plunge into cosmetic surgery. I don’t necessarily say life-changing in a postive light either. Not only are there serious risks associated with these surgeries, but sometimes they require upkeep, which means a life under the knife.

It makes me sad to think that girls think they need to look a certain way to fit in. The media may not show it, but noses have bumps, girls have bellies (we have organs in there!), breasts are big and small and pointy and round, and ears stick out – that is what is normal. At one time or another we were all part of the itty-bitty-titty committee… it’s part of growing up. Eventually your body changes, and if it doesn’t, at some point you start to love it for what it is. If only we all had Oprah on speed dial; I think we would remember this more often.

What do you think? Should we do anything we can to feel better about ourselves, or just learn to love what we have?

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