Experts Discuss Effects of Plastic Surgery on a Teen’s Self-Esteem

j0439569Undergoing plastic surgery for cosmetic reasons has become the quick-fix solution for improving one’s looks, increasing self-confidence and even improving self-esteem. However, some experts believe that this quest for beauty is taking its toll on the teenage girl population in the United States, and may be putting the ‘pressure to be perfect’ on these girls at a very young age.

Dove recently conducted a study involving 1,000 girls living in the United States as part of Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty in partnership with the Girl Scouts of America. According to the results of the “Real Girls, Real Pressure: A National Report on the State of Self-Esteem”, more than 70 percent of girls between the ages of 8 and 17 believed that they “do not measure up in some way, including their looks, performance in school and relationships with friends and family members.”

Some teens turn to their parents to help them pay for a cosmetic procedure so that they can feel better about themselves. However, many plastic surgeons don’t feel that this is an effective way to bolster self-esteem. Dr. Yan Trokel of the Yan Center for Corrective and Cosmetic Surgery recently interviewed with Lylah Alphnse of the Boston Globe, and states that “I would be reluctant to perform a surgery purely for aesthetic reasons, such as liposuction, without first having counseled them on necessary lifestyle changes such as improved diet and exercise to achieve optimal, long-lasting results… a surgeon should properly assess physical/anatomical and psychological maturity of a potential patient and discuss possible risks and side-effects before proceeding with any form of treatment/procedure.” (Source:

Teenage girls may not need to pursue cosmetic surgery, but focus instead on other areas of their lives where they can improve their self-esteem. This may include more time with family members, setting goals for their future and working towards them, and building healthy relationships with their peers.

Still, in today’s beauty-obsessed culture, it’s easy to see why many teens begin to believe that plastic or cosmetic surgery is the ultimate answer to their problems.

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