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Teens choose plastic surgery

It is no secret that plastic surgery is a phenomenon in America and around the world. Everyday we are bombarded with images in the media about the latest celebrity boob job, nose job or face lift.

But, what effect do these images have on our own perceptions of self? The American Society of Plastic Surgeons says that "teenagers who want to have plastic surgery usually have different motivations and goals than adults. They often have plastic surgery to improve physical characteristics they feel are awkward or flawed, that if left uncorrected, may affect them well into adulthood. Teens tend to have plastic surgery to fit in with peers, to look similar."

Although it is not unknown that celebrities are constantly improving their appearances, a more taboo subject may be that many teenagers (The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery provides more information on this subject.) are going under the knife. In fact, it has become a trend for parents to encourage plastic surgery by giving it as a gift for high school graduation.

So if all of these people are having plastic surgery, why is it so taboo? In the past few years, with celebrities having cosmetic procedures, plastic surgery is no longer an "unmentionable" and has become mainstream and trendy. So much so that parents are giving their daughters breast augmentation instead of a new car for high school graduation.

The number of teenagers having plastic or cosmetic surgery is on the rise. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, 335,000 people 18 years and younger had plastic surgery in 2003, up from about 306,000 in 2000. And the number is growing every day- and thats just for teenagers. More than 10.2 million cosmetic plastic surgery procedures were performed in the United States in 2005, up 11 percent from 2004, according to statistics released by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. The top five surgical procedures were liposuction (324,000), nose reshaping (298,000), breast augmentation (291,000), eyelid surgery (231,000), and tummy tuck (135,000).

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Copyright 2006 Katie Blasewitz. All Rights Reserved.