While the millions of men and women between the ages of 18 and 35 that undergo plastic and cosmetic procedures each year have been deemed the “target market” for many plastic surgeons, a recent study reports that teenagers may soon be fueling some of the demand for popular procedures.
The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery reports that in 2008, more than 160,000 teens age 18 years or younger underwent some type of cosmetic surgery. The most popular procedures for this group included Botox injections, liposuction and breast augmentation. While these teens do need their parent’s permission to undergo plastic or cosmetic surgery, experts point out that many parents are fine with letting their teens have their procedure, and do understand the risks involved.
According to Donn Chatham, president of the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, “boomer parents may themselves even be undergoing cosmetic surgery and may feel for our children that it’s not a stretch.”
Popular procedures for baby boomers include anti aging treatments such as laser skin resurfacing and skin rejuvenation procedures, Botox injections and facial plastic surgery. Other in-demand procedures include breast implants, liposuction, skin tightening treatments and body lifts.
Still, many experts believe that plastic surgery for teenagers is often misguided and is a dangerous attempt to increase the teen’s self-esteem. Since many teenagers struggle with body image and self-esteem issues through their young adult years, “fixing” the problem with surgery alone isn’t necessarily the resolution. For many, counseling and support groups can help the teen increase their self-esteem by striving for things unrelated to their looks.
Experts say that much of this “demand” is driven by the media’s idea of perfection in both men and women, so it’s only natural that more teens would rather go under the knife to achieve the ideal. Unfortunately, this pressure to be perfect can also lead to a number of destructive behaviors.