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TEENAGERS HAVING PLASTIC SURGERY | Erica Ives | Mental Health Awareness

Updated: Aug 27, 2019


written by Erica Ives

There is much controversy surrounding the topic of teenagers having plastic surgery, specifically elective cosmetic plastic surgery. There are many factors to take into consideration when making a decision that is truly of great magnitude.

In addition to the physical dangers for anyone who chooses to undergo elective cosmetic surgery, there are also so many emotional dangers involved for teenagers that receive plastic surgery for cosmetic and not health reasons. As if developing an identity, striving for increased autonomy, building a sense of self, dealing with the immense physical changes and the tumultuous mood changes, along with evolving peer relationships, is not enough to deal with being a teenager. Bringing cosmetic plastic surgery in the mix is a decision that ought to be made with great caution and professional direction.

Seeking and gaining acceptance from those outside the family is extremely common and of quite important to teenagers. This may contribute to making plastic surgery an appealing idea. Fitting in and gaining approval from their peer group is very important. According to Erik Erikson, a prominent psychologist, the developmental task that adolescents are faced with is identity and role confusion. Adolescence is a stage in which an individual is no longer a child nor an adult.  Life is definitely getting more complex as we attempt to find our own identity, struggle with social interactions, and grapple with moral issues. Being a teen is a very turbulent time and decisions are often driven by emotions instead of rational thinking. Making a major life decision, such as teenagers having plastic surgery, based primarily on emotions can lead to potential regrets further down the road. Teens are also very egocentric, meaning they have difficulty seeing things outside of their world.

The need for immediate gratification is another trait that is very visible within the teenage years and they have difficulty looking any further than what they want or yearn for in that moment. This can lead to making impulsive decisions that may in fact be self-destructive decisions. This may all result in the inability to identify long-term consequences of immediate decisions. Consequences are not of grave importance and in fact, many adolescent do not believe these “consequences” will happen to me.” There is this sense of invincibility during the adolescent years. With all of this being said, one can hopefully understand that it is often more difficult to do the necessary introspective work before making major life changing decisions.

Another critical reason to take into consideration when making a decision of teens and elective plastic surgery, is to thoroughly assess the teen and the relationship to their changing bodies. During the teenage years, their bodies are in incredible turmoil and changing immensely. Teenagers are just beginning to “grow into” their bodies and elective plastic surgery can be extremely dangerous. In addition, the development of healthy body image is already compounded by ideal expectations which come from media and our culture. The teenager years are turbulent times overall, so adding in the idea of teenagers having plastic surgery may be a very risky idea.  For more on this topic please read an informative article in which I was also quoted on this topic, Teens turn to plastic surgery; experts tackle the when and why.

Always remember though, you are beautiful just the way you are….



To check the most recent statistics provided by The American Society of Plastic Surgeons please visit

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