Summary: Finding out which teens want plastic surgery is not always an easy task. There are so many pressures on young people, especially when it comes to how they look. Finding out who wants a rhinoplasty and why takes a lot of effort. That’s why a new survey—one that focuses on bullies and the bullied—is so interesting, especially with what it has to say about plastic surgery patients.
Finding Out Which Teens Want Plastic Surgery
That teenagers want to look good is likely no shock, but which teens want plastic surgery as a way to ensure those good looks? If you follow plastic surgery (and, perhaps, even if you don’t) you might be aware of the occasional news story about a teen who was bullied getting plastic surgery. There’s even a non profit that, on occasion, will help bullied teens get a rhinoplasty (for example).
That bullied teens might want plastic surgery is not a surprise. I was bullied as a child and if I could have changed one thing back then, I might have—especially if it helped me blend in a little bit. I get the sense that bullied teens just don’t want quite so much attention as they’re getting—and a little plastic surgery to help them blend in might do the trick.
But a recent survey produced a surprising result about this topic: it’s not just bullied teens that want plastic surgery. The bullies want plastic surgery too.
Why Do Bullies Want Plastic Surgery?
This raises some immediate questions. First, it’s worth pointing out that most plastic surgeons will proceed with extreme caution when it comes to teenagers and plastic surgery. That caution extends so far that many of those surgeons simply refuse to see any patients under the age of 18. But there are some circumstances where it makes sense.
In most cases, surgeons will want to make sure that the physical body has stopped growing and that the teenaged patient has the emotional maturity to understand the permanence of the results. A signed parental consent is always required, as well.
So why do bullies want plastic surgery? Well, it’s worth pointing out a few things:
- Bullies and the bullied are not mutually exclusive; in some cases, teens who are bullied will then proceed to bully someone else
- There has been significant research performed on the low self-esteem of bullies generally
- We live in a society that is rather shallow—by that I mean that any faults in one’s personality are often seen as manifested in physical features
- To many people, how you look is more important than the elements of your personality
It’s worth noting that these are broad brushes we’re painting with here. The reasons why anyone would get plastic surgery are complex, usually with many different motivations interacting with each other.
When Should Teens Get Plastic Surgery
We’ve talked about which teens want plastic surgery, but it’s also worth noting the types of surgeries that teens most often get. We’re not necessarily talking about reconstructive plastic surgery—which is a bit more universal. But the study that revealed the information about the bullies basically said this: 11% of bullied teens strongly want plastic surgery, along with 3% of bullies who are teens. Those numbers are significantly higher than the 1% of teens (who are neither bullied nor bullies) that want plastic surgery.
What procedures are these teens most interested in? Generally, those procedures can be broken down into a few broad categories:
- Rhinoplasty: One of the most popular procedures among teenaged patients, rhinoplasty is a procedure that changes the size or shape of the nose. In teens, it’s quite important to ensure that the nose has stopped developing (along with the rest of the face) in order to ensure balanced proportions moving forward.
- Otoplasty: Sometimes known as “ear surgery,” otoplasty is designed to change the overall shape of the ears. This is especially true when the ears are overly large or when they protrude from the head too much.
- Breast Augmentation: In the cases of teenaged patients, breast augmentation procedures are most often used to correct asymmetry in the breasts, rather than increasing the size of both dramatically. It’s important to make sure that the breasts are finished developing before performing this procedure.
Careful with Teens, Especially When Bullying is Involved
According to the website of Dr. Charles Polsen, a Clear Lake hand surgeon and plastic surgeon, it’s important to take the time to get to know all of your patients—whether you’re treating carpal tunnel or performing a facelift. That’s especially true when you’re meeting patients who happen to be teens.
Again, most surgeons proceed quite carefully with teenaged patients. The parents are always involved. And most surgeons will do mental health screening (to ensure, for example, that being bullied is not the primary source of motivation). That’s because something you find unattractive in your youth could become sometimes you find unique and awesome as you get a little older and wiser.
When it comes to plastic surgery—even plastic surgery that teens want—sometimes it’s best to take things a little slowly.