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Teenagers. Lisa Meredith. Jennifer Emily. and. PLASTIC SURGERY. The effects of plastic surgery in the media on Teens. Television Shows like “Extreme Makeover” and “The Swan” are fueling the desire of teens to change their appearance permanently.

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the effects of plastic surgery in the media on teens
The effects of plastic surgery in the media on Teens
  • Television
    • Shows like “Extreme Makeover” and “The Swan” are fueling the desire of teens to change their appearance permanently.
    • Media has a huge impact on how teens perceive beauty.
  • Magazines
    • Covers show anorexic-looking models and celebrities who look unrealistically beautiful.
      • Teens think this is real and don’t realize that editing and manipulations go into the final photos.
      • Advertisements in magazines “promise to transform a girl’s appearance”
the effects of plastic surgery in the media on teens3
The effects of plastic surgery in the media on Teens
  • Internet
  • Teens see advertisements on popular websites, which are effective as many teens are looking for acceptance and greater self-esteem during the awkward formative teen years.
  • When teens log on to certain

search engines they see these

ads for enhancements.


Some teens seek perfection...





The cost: a serious mental disorder.


Body Dysmorphic Disorder

The standard description of BDD by the American Psychiatric Association:

The Poster Boy for BDD:

  • An abnormal preoccupation with a perceived “imperfect” body or physical defect.
  • This preoccupation causes anxiety, depression and a distorted view of oneself that affects the individual’s ability

to function in society.

  • Occurs in both males and females

Michael Jackson

Excessive grooming

Excessive exercise or dieting

Frequently comparing appearance to others; scrutinizing the appearance of others

Frequently checking appearance in mirrors & other reflective surfaces, and/or

Avoiding mirrors & other reflective surfaces

Feeling nervous & self-conscious around other people because they might see the perceived body defect

Hiding the perceived defect with clothing, makeup, posture, etc.

Questioning compliments; looking for compliments, needing to be reassured, and/or trying to convince others about the perceived defect

Frustration with those who do not see the perceived defect

Obsession with the perceived defect: touching it, picking at it, measuring it, staring at it for hours

Excessively reading or searching the internet about the perceived defect

Avoiding social situations where the perceived defect might be discovered

Frequent absenteeism from school because of “feeling ugly” or the inability to properly “hide” the perceived defect

Seeking cosmetic surgery, drugs, or other medical treatment for the perceived defect even though doctors, family & friends don’t think any procedure is necessary

Symptoms of Body Dysmorphic Disorder:



BDD can lead to steroid abuse,

Body Dysmorphic Disorder

affects 1 in 50 people– about 2% of the people in the US.

In 70% of BDD cases, the disorder begins to manifest itself before the age of 18.

Self-degrading thoughts take

over the mind until they are

ALL the individual can think about.

unnecessary plastic


statistics of cosmetic surgery
Statistics of Cosmetic Surgery
  • In 2005, there were nearly 11.5 million cosmetic procedures performed in the US. (Adults and minors)
    • Of those procedures, the surgical procedures accounted for19% and the non-surgical accounted for the remaining 81%.
  • For those 18 and under,
    • In 1997, there were 59,890 cosmetic surgical procedures
    • In 2003, there were 223,594 cosmetic surgical procedures
    • From
the most common surgical procedures in adolescents male and female
The most common surgical procedures in Adolescents (male and female)
  • Chemical Peel: 101,286
  • Microderm abrasion: 63,256
  • Laser Hair Removal: 49,573
  • Nose reshaping: 47,396 increase of 60% from 00-05
  • Ear reshaping: 13,714 decrease of 40% from 00-05
  • Botox: 11,908 increase of 357% from 00-05
  • Breast augmentation: 3,581 decrease of 3% from 00-05
  • Breast lift: 819 increase of 63% from 00-05
  • Liposuction: 3,084 increase of 22% from 00-05
trends in cosmetic surgery
According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, In adolescent boys, breast reduction (Gynecomastia) procedures numbered 4,223, in 2005. This showed an increase of 26% from 2000.

Cosmetic minimally invasive procedures are on the rise.

In 2005, cosmetic surgical procedures numbered 77,229. Non-surgical procedures (“minimally invasive”) numbered 256,134

Trends in Cosmetic Surgery
why are girls more wanting of plastic surgery than boys
Why are girls more wanting of plastic surgery than boys?

According to Dr. F. Palmer, plastic surgeon, “Everyone on the planet become more masculine looking as they age. This benefits men, but obviously not women…It is also true that society places more pressure on girls and women to constantly look good… they (women) also compete amongst themselves based on their appearance.

Adolescent boys more often find acceptance and pride in athletic achievement and social networks. In fact, boys who spend lots of time on their appearance get teased for being “pretty boys” or ridiculed for looking GAY.

The types of cosmetic procedures that many men receive (aside from rhinoplasty) are generally very new and invasive (pectoral implants, calf implants, and gastric bypass surgeries). Many doctors are unwilling to perform surgeries of this nature on patients under the age of 18 (as per the American Medical Association).

Yet, boys as well as girls can dev- elop mental disorders like Body Dysmorphia and now, Muscle Dysmorphia.



Muscle Dysmorphia

An obsession with being muscular and lean

Steroids trick the body into thinking

it is producing testosterone

This shuts down bodily functions like

bone growth, causing the ends of

bones to fuse together and stop


Steroids cause the prostrate glands in

males to become so large that a tube

must be inserted into the penis in order

to urinate

Individuals with muscle dysmorphia

will continue the use of steroids despite

this knowledge

They sacrifice their social life so that

they can go to the gym for hours

at a time

Obsessing over strenuous workouts, diet and the use of performance-enhancing drugs

(steroids) consumes them

Steroids are often manufactured

in motels & trailers and smuggled into the U.S.

The amount, strength & purity of these drugs are not regulated

ethics of teenage plastic surgery
Ethics of Teenage Plastic Surgery

According to the American Medical Association, ethical considerations regarding Plastic Surgery in Teenagers include:

  • Purpose of Surgery: Are the expected results realistic? Is the patient competent to make the decision to pursue surgery?
    • According to UPenn Psychologist, David Sarwer, “The big problem with adolescents is that they are being operated on at the most tumultuous time in their bodies. They may not recognize the permanence of what they’re doing.”
    • “It is difficult for a doctor to neutrally present both risks and benefits of a procedure that he or she is selling.

Level of Physical Maturity: Will the teen outgrow the need to permanently alter their appearance?

Social Cost: Does the patient suffer socially because of their “Problem”?


ethics patient parent decision
Ethics: Patient-Parent Decision
  • Are the parents supportive? Are parents pushing for surgery against patient’s desires?
    • “Although parents have legal responsibility for their child, the decision for surgery needs to come from the patient.”
    • “Requiring parental consent for patients under 18 does not ensure informed consent, since research is lacking on long-term risks for many cosmetic procedures.”


ethics medical effects
Ethics: Medical Effects
  • When surgery takes a unexpected wrong turn, irreparable damage can occur. Any surgery on a young, undeveloped person has the risk of complications, such a permanent scarring or infection, which may lead to death.
  • The FDA 2004 Handbook states: “Most women with breast implants will experience local complications, including pain, hardening, and rupture. Recipients should be prepared for long-term follow-up, re-operations to treat complications.”
  • From: