Evaluationand Ethical Argument
Inthis contemporary world, everyone is under pressure to look his orher best. However, the new trend has influenced people to start usingplastic surgery to change or improve some of their physicalappearances. On the other hand, the media has overly emphasized onphysical appearances, especially that of celebrities who are usingplastic surgery to match up to the trend (Lusted 44). The socialmedia today has made it possible for people to connect easily allover the world, but it has also brought a new trend where people areposting pictures of themselves over the social media (Singh 57).However, the exhibitionist lifestyles are emphasizing too much onbeauty, which is starting even at a younger age than ever before.Therefore, people are using Photoshop, filters and other enhancementsto ensure the best looks. Consequently, plastic surgery becomes thenext step in perfecting one’s looks permanently. However, plasticsurgery has gone out of proportion as it has become very common.Plastic surgery was once fashionable to older adults, but now it hasbecome popular among teenagers who dislike some of their physicalappearances (Singh 57). Approximately 64,000 teenagers get plasticsurgery each year, and most of the surgeries are performed during thesummer vacation to allow enough time to recover (Pesce). Young peoplemostly undertake operations on ears, noses, acne scars, and breasts.Plastic surgery can be suitable for teenagers, but it also has itsshares of disadvantages, which makes it also dangerous to someextent. Cosmetic procedures offer teenagers some benefits such asimproved body image, correcting some noticeable physical flaws, andboosting the self-esteem. However, the procedures can be risky due toinfections, complications, unsatisfactory results, and the need forrepetitive surgeries throughout one’s life, which can be addictive.
Advantagesof Plastic Surgery among Teenagers
Accordingto research, plastic surgeries help teenagers to fit in with othersor make their lives easier. The surgery improves the body image byconcentrating on a particular facial feature or body part that hassignificant discrepancies that need correcting. Plastic surgery hasphysical benefits to the patients as they can look their best andconform to the society’s standards of beauty. Consequently, itimproves one’s self-esteem by giving them the courage to interactwith others (Sweeney). The teenagers can gain self-esteem andconfidence when some of the problems on their physical appearancesare corrected (Lusted 46). For example, some teenagers seek outplastic surgery to correct noticeable physical flaws to change a bodypart, which if left unchanged can cause prolonged psychologicalsuffering (Sweeney). Furthermore, procedures that give the patientssatisfactory results boosts their self-esteem and makes them feelbetter about themselves thus, resulting in better emotionalwellness. Accordingly, successful surgery may reverse the socialwithdrawal among teenagers who feel different, which if leftuncorrected may affect them even during adulthood (Sweeney).
Disadvantagesof Plastic Surgery among Teenagers
However,it is important for the young patients to understand the process, thelikelihood of complications, and the possibility for more surgeriesin the future before opting for any surgical procedures (Singh 58).Plastic surgeries increase the risk of infection and complication.Some of the procedures are risky as they can lead to complicationhence, putting the teenager’s life in danger. On the other hand,pre-existing conditions such as obesity, heart disease, diabetes, orsmoking habit can interfere with the procedure and causecomplications putting the patient’s life at risk. Surgery resultsin some level of scarring that can cause complications or problemsfor some patients (Pesce). Plastic surgeries also carry potentiallyserious risks such as damaged skin, vital organs, or nerves, andinfection. These complications can lead to blood and fat clotsfurther putting the patient’s life at risk. Some patients areallergic to anesthesia that may further complicate the process orslow the healing process (Pesce).
Additionally,plastic surgery can be addictive. Most patients start out with asimple surgery and later find more parts of the body that areimperfect according to certain standards. Therefore, they end upundertaking more procedures to achieve a perfect appearance, whichbecomes addictive (Neligan and Gurtner 46). Research also shows that15 percent of cosmetic surgery patients suffer from a psychologicaldisorder where they become obsessed with imaginary flaws in theirphysical appearance. Furthermore, there is a possibility that thepatient might get disappointing results. Once a person goes throughcosmetic surgery, they cannot take it back even if they getunsatisfactory results. Research conducted by the Aesthetic SurgeryInstitute found that a third of the patients are usually unhappy withthe outcome of the plastic surgery. If the results are contrary towhat the patient expected, there are high chances that he or she willhave more self-esteem issues, which will cause them more unhappinessthan they were before the procedure. Besides, some patients areusually unsatisfied with the results of the procedure even after atechnically successful procedure (Neligan and Gurtner 47). Somecosmetic procedures such as breast implants last for only ten years,which means that the teenager will require repetitive surgerythroughout her life. Teenagers are still in their puberty, whichmeans that their bodies are still developing, and these changes maycontinue even after the age of 18. Thus, altering the body at a youngage may be disastrous (Lusted 49).
Inaddition to psychological and physical risks, the economic costs ofplastic surgery are substantial. Cosmetic surgery is rarely coveredby health insurance, which makes them expensive to ensure that onegets good results as expected (Pesce). For example, nose job costsapproximately $10,000, breast reductions range between $10,000 and$12,000, breast implants range from $8,000 to $10,000. Besides,plastic surgeries require touch-up procedures if the patient is notsatisfied with the results, which adds up to the total expenses ofthe procedure (Pesce).
Thesociety has accepted plastic surgery and to some extent even erasedthe stigma previously surrounding the topic. Today’s culture hasmade it socially acceptable for people to seek plastic surgery.Similarly, the celebrities have created the notion that beauty andperfect looks will make someone loved and famous, thus, teens areeasily associating plastic surgery as a solution to feeling betterand having a more fulfilling life. Mainly, the reasons for cosmeticsurgery range from getting better physical appearances to improvingjob prospects. Despite the documented risks of plastic surgery, thepublic has inflated the sense of benefits, which makes teenagersoblivious to the potential risks. Psychologists associate the urgefor perfection as a psychological and emotional issue that parentsshould try to solve before opting for plastic surgery. Therefore,people should learn to address the issues of self-esteem. On theother hand, it is crucial for the surgeons to assess the patient’semotional, physical, and psychological maturity before they canperform the plastic surgery. Thus, it important for a patient tounderstand that the surgery might improve their body, but notnecessarily their self-image and it does not guarantee happiness. Asmore teenagers pursue the plastic surgeries to improve various partsof the body, it is crucial for the parents and providers tounderstand the psychological aspects of these procedures. The youngpatients also need to understand the procedure, possibility ofcomplications, and likelihood for more surgeries in the future beforeundertaking any surgeries. Nonetheless, everyone has to appreciatethat the world is experiencing massive social change as peopleincreasingly become comfortable with the reality that differentpeople have diverse rules, moral systems, and desires, which must berespected so that we can all co-exist peacefully.
Iconsidered writing about the general issues of plastic surgery, but Idecided to narrow it down to teenagers. Currently, there is adisturbing trend showing that teenagers are willing to take up moreintensive body changing cosmetic procedures, which motivated me toresearch the issue. During the research, I was pleased with theamount of information I found through both scholarly articles andindividual opinions. However, most of the information sources werebased on personal opinion and not necessarily derived from thoroughresearch. Nevertheless, I overcame the obstacles by substantiatingthe information I got from personal websites and blogs using the datain some medical studies and scholarly articles.
Lusted,Marcia A. CosmeticSurgery.Edina, Minn: ABDO Pub, 2010. Internet resource.
Neligan,Peter, and Geoffrey C. Gurtner. PlasticSurgery: Volume 1.London: Elsevier, 2012. Internet resource.
Pesce,Nicole L. “Teen Plastic Surgery Peaks before Heading Back ToSchool.” NewYork Daily News24 Aug. 2015. Web. 21 March 2016.
Singh,Kuldeep. Cosmetic Surgery In Teenagers: To Do Or Not To Do. Journalof Cutaneous and Aesthetic Surgery,8.1(2015): 57-59.
Sweeney,Camille. “Seeking Self Esteem Through Surgery.” TheNew York Times14 Jan 2009. Web. 21 march 2016.