Studies show that 290,000 cosmetic procedures were performed on teens between the ages of 13 and 19 in 2017.
These included surgical procedures such as nose jobs, breast lifts, breast augmentation, liposuction, and tummy tucks.
Shockingly, to date, minimal studies have been carried out to fully examine and determine the risks for teens of these increasingly popular surgeries.
There is no question that reconstructive surgeries can be hugely beneficial. Surgical procedures to correct cleft lips and palates are vital. However, are reality television shows and social media contributing to unrelenting pressures on teens to conform to beauty standards?
Is it making it increasingly difficult for our teens to have any idea of what a “normal” appearance is?
Ex-Love island star Meghan Barton-Hanson recently opened up about her journey with cosmetic surgery.
Appearing on the Victoria Derbyshire show, Megan said: "I had procedures done solely for me and my first was at 17, I had my ears pinned back. Then at 19, I had a boob job and rhinoplasty. It was all for me... Then when I was on TV, everyone was like "this is her before, this is her after. She's so fake!"
"Plastic surgery has made me happier. Obviously it didn't fix all of my problems and I had to work on myself..."
"I wasn't aware of the fact that I was being trolled because I had so much plastic surgery. I think it's sad."
"That's the kind of attitude that makes young people not do their research and rush into it because they're scared to tell their family and friends that they want to go and get this procedure done in fear of being judged."
Another massive issue is the fact that young women’s bodies are still maturing. Growth charts indicate that the average young woman gains weight between the ages of 18 and 21 which could change their want or need for things like a breast augmentation.
Unfortunately, social media and the influence of persuasive advertising is stimulating demand.
One of my biggest concerns is where is it that we draw the line? Is it difficult for teens and our younger generation to understand why it is acceptable for you to get a haircut, change the colour of your hair, get braces to change the shape of your teeth?
But if there was something you didn’t like about your physical appearance then that is a no-no?
I am all for teaching our children to love themselves and love their bodies and we are all beautiful. But, when something they feel self-conscious about starts to really impact their lives, I find it a fundamental growth experience to allow them the opportunity to change it.
Information, education and talking about cosmetic procedures, in my opinion, is what is going to change people’s opinions and obsessions with them. It will stop teenagers going to back street clinic and getting botched jobs and it should take the taboo out of the equation.