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Elizabeth Goldblatt, Jones, and Luana Dumitrache, Glenbrook South

These days, it can seem like everyone’s striving to be something they aren’t. With social media painting a picture of what beauty is, along with dozens of apps that use filters, photoshop and effects to change your appearance, what makes plastic surgery so appealing to teens isn’t much of a mystery. According to The American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, the number of patients under 18 who have had cosmetic surgery has more than tripled in the past ten years.

Highland Park freshman Maggie Henson described her own experience with getting nose reshaping surgery a week and a half before the beginning of school. “I kind of talked about it for a while,” Henson said. “I said it again to my mom and she told me to ask my dad. We had a consult with the doctor. We decided it was what I wanted to do and they supported it. My dad was against it at first but opened up.”

While the surgery was also used to correct her deviated septum, Henson described her choice as cosmetic more than anything else. She admitted she wanted to look different, and is now much happier with her appearance. Though she expressed that the recovery has been painful, Henson also stated that the outcome completely makes up for it.

In contrast to Henson’s positive experience with plastic surgery lies the opinion of Glenbrook South Senior Maya Patel, “personally I think it’s a little bit early for people to be getting plastic surgery while they’re still [teenagers], because, quite honestly I think the purpose for plastic surgery itself is [for] when you’re older and maybe you’re not looking how you used to look and you want to look more youthful, maybe that’s a way for you to seem younger and more lively. I don’t think people should get it at such a young age because you’re changing the natural person that you are and taking away the actual person you are and adding in fake things to change your appearance. In itself, it simply just changes other people’s perceptions of you, but I don’t necessarily think it’s always for the better. Simply put, it’s changing who you are and trying to fit in with another person’s standards, which isn’t really good.” According to plastic surgeon

According to plastic surgeon Dr. Andrew Miller, a parent consultation is beneficial for the patient, as well as the doctor. Surgeons make sure that a patient is mature enough to go through with the procedure, and do so largely by evaluating their reasons for wanting to do so. “Y

“You get a feel for what the patient’s motives are [during the consultation],” Miller said. “If in general the patient is pretty happy with themselves, but just would like to improve a certain feature, then that’s very reasonable. If they’re saying, ‘I’m depressed and I need this rhinoplasty so I won’t be depressed anymore,’ that’s not the right motivation for doing a procedure like this.”

Joanie Henson, Maggie’s mother, said that she wasn’t hesitant to allow her daughter’s procedure. “I think the decision of plastic surgery is based on the individual. Maggie is the most grounded, down to earth girl that I know. Her dad and I both feel that way. She was born with a bump on her nose. It did not define who she was, but gave her an unnecessary insecurity.” While plastic surgery has been a common practice for many years, it does seem like plastic surgery has become a more common trend recently. The media has had an immense impact on the motivation of some teenagers to go under the knife, especially with Kylie Jenner’s infamous lips and other examples of plastic surgery making their way into newspapers and magazines.

While plastic surgery has been a common practice for many years, it does seem like plastic surgery has become a more common trend recently. The media has had an immense impact on the motivation of some teenagers to go under the knife, especially with Kylie Jenner’s infamous lips and other examples of plastic surgery making their way into newspapers and magazines. Dr. Miller spoke on the media’s impact, saying that it has definitely influenced a change in what is perceived as the norm. However, he advises potential patients to take a step back and realize that not everything on TV is applicable in the real world.

With regard to patients who simply want to change a feature because they think it will have a positive impact on their confidence, Miller said that a small change can often make a big difference. “Theoretically we’re supposed to be happy with ourselves,” Miller said. “Sometimes all the psychiatry in the world doesn’t matter, you can’t convince someone to be happy with a feature they don’t like. If they’re otherwise in good shape, improving [a feature] can really bring someone out of their shell, it really does wonders for their confidence and allows kids to blossom after having this done.” While teenagers can potentially strive after undergoing plastic surgery, New Trier Sophomore Jessica Werner, who had a blemish removal for

“Theoretically we’re supposed to be happy with ourselves,” Miller said. “Sometimes all the psychiatry in the world doesn’t matter, you can’t convince someone to be happy with a feature they don’t like. If they’re otherwise in good shape, improving [a feature] can really bring someone out of their shell, it really does wonders for their confidence and allows kids to blossom after having this done.” While teenagers can potentially strive after undergoing plastic surgery, New Trier Sophomore Jessica Werner, who had a blemish removal for

While teenagers can potentially strive after undergoing plastic surgery, New Trier Sophomore Jessica Werner, who had a blemish removal for non-cosmetic purposes, discussed the potential downsides. “I think it’s a good thing to a certain point… If you were making a drastic change in yourself when you were really young, you might grow up to regret it.” Jessica Werner shed light on the quickly changing “media” culture of teenagers, and how they may not realize the lasting impact of their decisions. “I think that people should wait. If people are doing it just because they don’t like the way that they look. I think that’s not necessary when you are a teenager.”

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