These days, cosmetic surgery or commonly called plastic surgery becomes hot topic. It happened because media has found some cases that involve kids in it. “Cosmetic Surgery Controversy in The News: How Young is Too Young?” article, written by A. Foley told us about fact that there are many kids underwent various form of plastic surgery in various reasons. Mostly, the reason for kids doing plastic surgery is to prevent bullying. However, it becoming more common for kids to do plastic surgery. Even though parents know how risky it is, they still give their permission or even encourage their kids to do plastic surgery. This issue is facilitated by a charitable donation of plastic surgery that provides free plastic surgery to kids, such as Little Baby Face Foundation. I think, plastic surgery should not consider lightly, especially for kids. It has a high risk and long term effect that maybe suffered the kids in the future.
According to American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPA) statistic, in America, 76.220 of 160.136 plastic surgeries were performed on people age 13-19 in 2012. More kids do plastic surgery is not quite good. Kids who want to have plastic surgery often are trying to improve their physical appearance. Common plastic surgery procedure that usually performed by kids are Rhinoplasty (nose reshaping), Otoplasty (ear surgery), correction of breast asymmetry, breast augmentation, breast reduction, acne scar treatment, and male breast reduction (Gynecomastia). Kids believe if they can fix their imperfect body, they can get their confidence and self-esteem to face society. This emotional thought sometimes blurs out the high risk of plastic surgery. They may think that after the surgery they will have a perfect body and gain their confident, but sometimes they forget that the result is not as expected, such as the size of the nose is not fit for their face, this may cause kids lost their self-esteems or worse, they want to have another plastic surgery to fix another part of their body. They must realize that they are still young and in growing period. They do not know yet how a plastic surgery will affect their body in the future. The foreign material that is inserted in their body can be rejected and might damage their body.
The rise of number of kids do plastic surgery is keyed to the spread of charitable donations of plastic surgery for kids, such as Little Baby Face Foundation. Like what has been written by Foley in the article, there are many organization provides free plastic surgery for kids, notably the victim of bullying. Indirectly, it may cause the rise of number of kids do plastic surgery. In my thoughts, this organization can make assumption that plastic surgery is a common thing and can be done without deep consideration. Moreover, there will be more bullying victims who consider a plastic surgery as a primary option to overcome bullying. Actually, those organizations have a good intention by helping people to reshape their body but they have to choose wisely who will get this help. I think the donation is given to kids with serious facial deformities, those born with genetic defects.
As the stated below, bullying is most of the reason for the kids to do plastic surgery. The number of the kids getting plastic surgery because of bullying has increased 30 percent over the past decade (based on Young Broadcasting of Richmond). The victims of bullying are going under the knife to stop it. It might works for some of victim, but it won’t for others. For example, Nadia Ilse case in 2012. Nadia Ilse, Georgia teen, has been bullied since in the first year for her ears. She had big ears and made her be called “Dumbo” or “Elephant Ears” by her friends. Then, Little Baby Face Foundation granted her wish by giving a free plastic surgery at the age of 14. After the surgery, Ilse feels more beautiful and she feels like her friends become friendlier to her. But remember, it is just in two years. The long term effect has not appeared.
In the other way, plastic surgery makes Sandra Annan, 18, extremely depressed. Before doing plastic surgery, she has been bullied by her friends for her nose. Then, she did plastic surgery but she continued to be taunted by her friends though she has beautiful new face. Annan spent years changing other parts of her face. Eventually, now Annan suffers anorexia –is an eating disorder that causes people to obsess about their weight and their food they eat.
Vivian Diller, Ph.D., a psychologist in private practice in New York City as a media expert on various psychological topics and as a consultant to companies promoting health, beauty, and cosmetic product, said that bullying is not a rational because even smart boys or popular girls or rich girls can become target of bullying. So, the statement from the surgeons who said you can change someone’s physical appearance to avoid bullying is not completely true.
In this case, family (especially parents) must give guidance for their kids because it can make permanent changes to their bodies and may be able to change their lives. They convince their kids that plastic surgery is not always the best option. Convincing the kids by telling them instead do plastic surgery, the fee for plastic surgery can be used to pay their school expanse or other important things. Parents should prevent their kids from doing plastic surgery as can as possible.
More important, parents better make their kids proud to be their selves. They can tell their kids that they are amazing just the way they are. God made them in a perfect shape and they must be grateful of their selves. Parents should give kids a lot of love and affection and tell them that they’re beautiful every single day so kids never feel depressed in their social life though they have hard time because of it.
However, plastic surgery has high risk, long term effect and it can’t last long. We need to think it carefully and deeply. We have to know the short term effect and long term effect. Plastic surgery is still done by human. Remember, no one in this world can beat God’s creation, and we are God’s creation. So, we have to be grateful with God’s gift and as can as possible do not change this beautiful God’s creation.
For further reading about kids and plastic surgery
Sarwer, D.B. (2001). Plastic surgery in children and adolescents. In J. Thompson & L. Smolak (Eds.) Body image, eating disorders and obesity in youth. (pp. 341–366). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
Tulisan ini dibuat untuk tugas besar mata kuliah Pemahaman Akademik Semester 2 Tahun Akademik 2013/2014.