Robert M. Wald, Jr., MD - The Aesthetic Institute
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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.

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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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