Robert M. Wald, Jr., MD - The Aesthetic Institute
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Category: Teenage Plastic Surgery

How to Talk to Your Teen About Plastic Surgery

5 Minute Read: 

Two doctors performing surgery.

We live in a day and age where so much importance is put on how someone looks. There is enormous pressure on people to look perfect all the time. This is even more heightened by the influence social media has today. People, especially celebrities, post pictures and videos that are photoshopped and filtered and sell false images to their followers. This has a massive impact on young impressionable teenagers, bringing the topic of plastic surgery to the forefront. Today plastic surgery has never been more affordable and available, putting parents worldwide in a complicated position. More and more teens today are trying to convince their parents to allow them to get work done. And it can be tough to figure out how to talk to your teen about plastic surgery. So we decided to give you some tips to make it easier.

Don’t Shut Them Down Right Away

If your child approaches you with a question about having plastic surgery, don’t shut it down immediately, even if it scares you. This is a shock to most parents, as there is a bit of a stigma around plastic surgery, and they are firmly against it most of the time. But you can’t take such an aggressive attitude with your teens. It will only have the opposite effect and make them want it more. Be open to having a conversation about this with them, and be respectful. Your teens will appreciate being treated like this and will be more likely to listen to your feedback even if you disagree with them. If you are very strongly against plastic surgery, don’t tell them that they can’t do it. Instead, tell them they should wait a little longer and not rush a big decision like this.

Woman talking to a teenage boy.

Try to find out why your teen wants plastic surgery.

Find Out Why They Want the Surgery

In situations like this, it’s essential to know why your teen wants plastic surgery. You want to avoid your child wanting to permanently alter something on their body just to please someone else. As we said, teens are under a lot of pressure to always look perfect. The toxic culture in high schools can amplify this even more. Kids can be ruthless and bully others for their looks.

If you just moved into a new place and your teen comes home one day and says they want to have plastic surgery, chances are they were bullied in their new school. This is why experts at Bravo Moving advise thoroughly researching a neighborhood before you move there, especially schools. You want to make sure your kids will be in a safe environment. Try to explain to your teen that they should only consider surgery if it’s something they truly want, not because of somebody else’s opinion of how they look.

Girl looking at herself in a mirror.

Talk to your teen about plastic surgery and educate them on body image.

Talk About Body Image

Before you talk to your teen about plastic surgery, it’s crucial to have an open discussion about body image. You need to explain to your kids that the media sets unrealistic body standards and that they project a fake image. It’s crucial that your kids know this so they don’t feel bad about not looking like that. Explain that some “imperfections” on our bodies are completely natural and aren’t actually imperfections.

Talk to Your Kids About Plastic Surgery With an Open Mind

In some cases, you have to consider that plastic surgery may not be such a bad idea for your teen. This is why keeping an open mind is essential. Sometimes allowing your teen to have that surgery can be life-changing and positive. If your child wants the surgery because it would make them feel better and more comfortable in their body, then that’s a valid reason to consider allowing them to have it. It will all depend on the surgery because teenagers are still growing and developing, and not every plastic surgery is suitable for their age.

Doctor writing something.

Always consult with a medical professional.

Consult With a Professional

In this situation, consulting with a surgeon is a must. They know more about this topic than anyone else, and their feedback is priceless. Surgeons can explain all the surgery details and how that would change your teenager’s appearance. And more importantly, they will inform you about all the risks a surgery like this would carry. Let your child ask the surgeon all the questions they may have because they are probably a little unsure and confused themselves. Your teenager needs to hear this. Talking to a professional will give them a clear idea of what they are asking for.

Look for Help Online

If you still don’t know how to talk to your teen about plastic surgery, you should look for support online. You would be surprised how many blogs, podcasts, and even parent support groups exist where people discuss many parenting topics, including this one. You can read about other people’s experiences talking to their kids about this. People also post helpful tips and share things they wish they knew before talking to their teenagers about this. You can learn much from that and see that you are not the only one confused.

In Conclusion

When you talk to your teen about plastic surgery, you must be non-judgmental and understanding. Try not to look at plastic surgery as a negative thing right away because there are many pros there as well. Be open and honest when talking to them, and listen carefully to what they say. Try and figure out what makes them want to have the surgery and make sure it’s not all the wrong reasons, like bullying in school. Educate yourself and your teen about this topic and talk to a professional. And finally, don’t forget to ask other parents for advice online and in real life.

Are Teenagers Being Bullied Into Plastic Surgery?

girl being bullied by a female group Growing up in today’s world can be difficult for some teenagers. The pressure for teens to be accepted by their peers is a common obstacle some might face. When a child looks or acts differently than others, it can often lead to bullying—verbally and/or physically. Teasing from peers can include physical violence or involve relentless nicknames like “big ears,” leaving a child emotionally scarred. Many of the physical characteristics that cause an influx of bullying toward a particular child can be addressed through plastic surgery. In fact, teenage plastic surgery may not be a topic often talked about, but many teens are undergoing cosmetic procedures to restore their confidence and self-image. According to statistics from the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, teenagers made up 1.5 percent of the plastic surgeries performed in 2016.

Should Your Teenager Undergo Plastic Surgery?

Many parents might have a teenager who feels that they could find emotional relief from bullying by altering their physical appearance. Plastic surgery is serious, and it should only be an option for teens who are physically and emotionally ready for this type of surgical procedure. How do you know if plastic surgery is the right choice for your child? Before letting your teenager “go under the knife,” ask yourself these questions:

  • Are they realistic in their expectations?: Plastic surgery is meant to enhance a person’s natural features. Teenagers should understand that they will not achieve dramatic changes in their appearance but rather a more improved version of themselves.
  • Are they physically healthy?: Ideal patients should be in good health and do not have any serious medical conditions. It is recommended to have your child physically examined by his or her primary care provider before undergoing a plastic surgery procedure.
  • Are they aware of the risks of complications?: Every surgery involves some risks, complications, and side effects. Patients need to know that the results will not be immediate and may entail some residual swelling, bruising, and bleeding.
  • Do they have time to take away from activities and school?: Plastic surgery will involve a few days to weeks of recovery. Ideally, spring, summer, or winter break are perfect times of the year to book a procedure so they do not have to miss school or social activities.

Common Teenage Plastic Surgery Procedures

There are several procedures teenagers often request. Here are some of the typical teenage plastic surgeries:

  • OTOPLASTY patient of Dr. Wald Otoplasty: Children and adolescents who suffer from large, protruding ears that stick out are often haunted by nicknames such as “Dumbo” that affect their emotional well-being. Otoplasty, or ear surgery, is one of the most popular plastic surgeries for patients 18 years of age and younger. Its purpose is to pin or set back the ears so they are positioned closer to the head.
  • Rhinoplasty: Since the nose is the central feature of the face, it can affect someone’s entire facial appearance. Rhinoplasty or nose surgery is designed to correct a crooked nose, overly large nostrils, or a nose that is too big. Teenagers can feel confident knowing that their nose blends in with the rest of their facial features.
  • Liposuction: Many teenagers struggle to lose stubborn excess fat. Liposuction can effectively remove fat to provide a slimmer, more toned appearance for a variety of treatment areas.

If you think your teenager is ready for plastic surgery, schedule a consultation with Dr. Wald today! You and your child can sit down and discuss the different procedures available. Contact us by calling (714) 312-3549 or by filling out our online contact form.

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Robert Wald, MD
100 E. Valencia Mesa Drive, Suite 300
Fullerton, CA 92835

Phone: 714-312-3549
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