“I want a nose job for my 18th birthday.” She said it with an indignation that left me dumbfounded. I had no idea that my daughter was so unhappy with her nose. In fact, I had no idea she had even been considering plastic surgery for anything. Yet, after her revelation to me, I needed to find out more about teens getting plastic surgery, find out whether or not it was safe, but most of all, to figure out if I was going to fall on the “yes” side of the new nose.
Cosmetic Surgery Statistics
As I dove deep into the cosmetic surgery information pool, I found out that my daughter isn’t alone in having a certain disdain for her face. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons reported that over 210,000 cosmetic plastic surgery procedures were performed on teens ranging in age from 13 to 19 in 2009 alone. Instead of answers, all of my ‘research’ left me asking: What’s the deal with teens getting plastic surgery?
A News Story About Plastic Surgery that Caught My Eye
As I read on, I came across a story about 14-year-old Nadia Ilse from Georgia who was so bullied because of the size of her ears that she opted for plastic surgery to get the tormenting stop. And while I feel for her, I still had more questions.
Is plastic surgery really the way out? Are cosmetic surgery procedures really what we should shrug off to our daughters as being normal? What is the cost of vanity on substance?
Cosmetic Surgery Procedures Most Popular Among Teens
I looked up the teenage plastic surgery statistics and information from the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery for 2010 and found that rhinoplasty (nose jobs) are the highest on the teenage plastic surgery request popularity spectrum.Everyone was doing it, and everyone was doing it safely — it seemed.
Yet, despite the fact that “everyone was doing it”, I felt myself leaning toward “no” on the nose.
And it wasn’t because I didn’t want my daughter to be happy. I want her to be happy, confident and feel good about herself.
It isn’t that I have a problem with plastic surgery, per se. I have thought about plastic surgery for myself at some points in my life.
It isn’t that I don’t see the benefits of it for people who are horribly disfigured or who need it in order to feel good about themselves. I think it’s great for people who really “need” it. Yet, I didn’t think my kid was one of those people. For me, the decision about plastic surgery for my daughter was more than skin deep.
My “Something Else”
I have spent 18-years telling my daughter that she was beautiful just the way she is. If you have a daughter, I imagine that you probably say the same thing to her. And, if you are like me, you probably also tell your daughter that she is one of a kind, unique and flawless on a fairly regular basis. I imagine lots of moms and dads repeat this same ritual with the young ladies in their lives. Yet, regardless of this passionate praise, over 9.2 million cosmetic surgical and nonsurgical procedures were performed in 2011. Seems counter-intuitive, doesn’t it? In fact, it seems kind of vain.
Vanity. It’s one of the deadliest of sins. All the same, it is something we worship in droves; something we (consciously or unconsciously) teach our daughters to worship. We follow trends. We fix whatever we (or they) don’t like about themselves with make-up and plastic and uncomfortable procedures, instead of embracing uniqueness. We value beauty over substance in much of our daily lives. We believe that beautiful people are nicer, kinder and smarter than people who aren’t so lovely. We are falling into a trap where everyone will slowly begin to look and think the same. Where everyone will end up being “plastic”. And that’s not a world I’m sure I’d like.
My answer to my daughter’s new nose request? No. At least for now, anyway.
What would you tell your daughter if she wanted plastic surgery?
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