Technological advancements have provided the world with significant communication systems, healthcare, and education. However it has also brought the world cosmetic surgery, a controversial practice. Despite many rejecting the idea, in the US alone, around eighteen million people get plastic surgery annually and in 2020, 230,000 cosmetic procedures were performed on teens. Therefore, it is still prominent in our society.
From a young age, individuals are taught not to judge a book by its cover. Still it is no secret that judging strangers based on looks is a normalized practice. Studies from YMCA England & Wales found, ¨55% of young people have been bullied about the way they look, with two-fifths of those experiencing this bullying at least once a week.¨ The consistency of looks-based bullying proves the impact that looks have on adolescents. Furthermore, their social scars contribute to their vulnerability and desperation to fit in while offering an idea as to why they would permanently alter their appearance.
Aside from bullying, impossible beauty standards centered around “perfection” provoke some teens to undergo cosmetic procedures. Supermodel Bella Hadid opened up in March regarding how her insecurities influenced her decision to undergo a rhinoplasty or a nose job. She explained to Vogue, ¨I wish I had kept the nose of my ancestors. I think I would have grown into it.¨ This exemplifies how even some of the most recognized people in the fashion and beauty industry feel insecure about their natural appearance and that altering it so young could lead to regret in the future. Despite their influence, celebrities are not to blame for teen insecurity or plastic surgery. It is for teens and their parents to decide for themselves whether or not they want to alter their appearance. Also, Hadid´s anecdote proves that celebrities were not the ones that created the beauty standard. Rather, they are victims of the pressure to keep up with it.
One of the most sought after cosmetic procedures for teens are rhinoplasties. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) warns, ¨teens need to be emotionally mature enough to understand the complications that come with surgery. Though there aren’t additional risks for teens, potential side effects of a nose job, for example, including bleeding, infection, poor wound healing, or scarring.¨ In other words, attempting to ¨improve¨ features can potentially harm the body that you will have to live in forever. Therefore, before opting to get a procedure, be aware that you may have to sacrifice physical health.
The desire to feel beautiful on the outside is not negative. For example, putting on jewelry or wearing a nice outfit may help someone feel put together or even boost their confidence. It is more so the harsh societal standards that are responsible for the stigma surrounding plastic surgery rather than wanting to feel confident in your own skin. Society demands individuals to look ¨perfect¨, but at the same time demands it must be all natural. Bullying or lack of self-esteem regarding physical appearance would be less of an issue, perhaps even nonexistent, if the world were not as judgmental.