In Her Words
Teens and Cosmetic Surgery
Where should we draw the line?
Back in the 1980s, when I was a teenager, getting a professional facial, waxing or even a manicure was a big deal. I had to drag my mother to a salon so she could experience a professional pedicure for the first time in her life, at age 79.
Now over 40, I look pretty good for my age, but I take preventive measures like staying out of the sun, avoiding smoking and drinking, and, for the most part, eating healthy. When I hit the big 40, though, I didn’t see any reason why I shouldn’t treat myself to a few tune-ups, such as tooth whitening, Lasik (I can see!), photofacials, laser hair removal and a couple of strategically placed injections. I don’t regret any of them, especially the Lasik. Other than the injections, which will fade away, the procedures were money well spent.
What I find disappointing and a little disturbing is when I see teens – I’m talking kids 12 to 17 years old – lounging on the comfy plush sofas in the spa’s waiting area, obliviously texting friends, to have anything and everything done, from lip injections to Botox to microdermabrasion to more invasive surgery like liposuction, chin and/or cheek implants, or rhinoplasty. These kids are not in there on their own accord. They couldn’t have any of these procedures done without the consent of a parent, some of whom set up the appointment as a fun mother-and-daughter bonding session.
Are teens under such intense pressure about their looks that they don’t even make it to their 20th birthday before they start having work done? The media is the biggest culprit, continuously bombarding kids with images they think they have to live up to, but what about the parents? With so many parents undergoing various procedures, does this play a role in influencing their teens’ perspectives on cosmetic surgery? Is it possible that kids endure procedures in order to gain mom or dad’s approval as well as to placate their peers? As procedures become less invasive, require less downtime and become more affordable, where do surgeons draw the line on who shouldn’t go under the knife, laser or needle?
Would you allow your teenager to undergo cosmetic procedures?