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The Psychological Causes and Effects of Cosmetic Surgery on Teens

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Rall, Brittany. “How Photo Editing and Filters Can Impact Your Body Image.” Cleveland Clinic Newsroom, Cleveland Clinic Newsroom, 31 Mar. 2021,

This article discusses the prevalence of photoshop and filters that enhance natural features in social media. The dangers of this are that people are becoming obsessed with their body image because they don’t meet the unrealistic standards that are being set by the filtered images they see on social media. Dr. Bryne, a specialist in facial plastic surgery, says “to remember what you see on your phone, computer or laptop isn’t always reality”. He expects that his patients will be critical of their appearance but that he is more concerned with those that could have body dysmorphic disorder.

This article is credible as it comes from a reliable source, it is also written very recently so one can be sure that the facts and statistics used within the article are up to date.

Rodgers, Rachel F., et al. “A Biopsychosocial Model of Social Media Use and Body Image Concerns, Disordered Eating, and Muscle-Building Behaviors among Adolescent Girls and Boys.” Journal of Youth and Adolescence, vol. 49, no. 2, 2020, pp. 399–409., doi:10.1007/s10964-019-01190-0.

This article discusses the effects that social media have had on adolescents and its association and predictableness with body image concerns. The article goes in depth to discuss a study that aimed to fill the gap in the lack of models that test “relationships between social media use and body image concerns and disordered body change behaviors, such as dietary restraint and muscle-building behaviors” (399). The study tested a biopsychosocial model that surveyed a sample of 681 adolescents who were instructed to complete a questionnaire assessing social media use, depression, self-esteem etc.

This is an academic, peer reviewed, article with 49 references. A very large sample size is used to conduct the study so the results are reliable. The article was also published in 2020 so the information within is recent.

Singh, Kuldeep. “Cosmetic Surgery in Teenagers: To Do or Not to Do.” Journal of Cutaneous and Aesthetic Surgery, vol. 8, no. 1, 2015, p. 57., doi:10.4103/0974-2077.155091.

This article marks the differences between cosmetic surgery for aesthetic reasons as opposed to reconstructive issues that may affect health. The article highlights the question “should cosmetic surgery in teenagers be banned” (57)? Some topics discussed are informed consent as well as the positive psychological aspects of undergoing breast reconstruction during teen years. However, it is strongly suggested that cosmetic surgery in adolescents is only to be done above the legal consenting age with parent supervision as well as a substantial amount of time to rethink the procedure at hand.

This is a reliable source as it has over 9 references. As well as statistics from credited associations such as the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

Whitlock, Jennifer. “Understanding the Risks of Plastic Surgery.” Verywell Health, 7 Jan. 2020,

This article goes into detail of the health risks of plastic surgery. Some misconceptions of plastic surgery are that they are not just as serious of a procedure as any other as they are elective. However it has some serious risks such as, infection, hematoma, necrosis, bleeding, seroma, blood clots, anesthesia issues, and even death. Some ways to reduce the risk of complications are to “choose the surgeon who performs your surgery wisely” and

This article is credible because it is medically reviewed and comes from an accredited source. The article is also fairly recent so the information being presented is up to date.

Zuckerman, Diana, and Anisha Abraham. “Teenagers and Cosmetic Surgery: Focus on Breast Augmentation and Liposuction.” Journal of Adolescent Health, vol. 43, no. 4, 2008, pp.

318–324., doi:10.1016/j.jadohealth.2008.04.018.

Some topics discussed in this article are the controversies surrounding liposuction and breast implants on teenagers. The review article goes on to describe the changes in “teenagers’ body image as they mature” (318), and the complicated relationship between mental health and cosmetic surgery, as historically plastic surgery has carried the implication that it is meant to create a better quality of life. The article notes how mental health issues need to be assessed before surgery, and if they occur or worsen after surgery then it is worthwhile to ask what is the root of the patients’ problems.

This academic review article is reliable because it lists over 45 references. That are then used to describe several studies that evaluate the effects of cosmetic surgery on adolescents.

Zuckerman, Diana. “Teenagers and Cosmetic Surgery.” Journal of Ethics | American Medical Association, American Medical Association, 1 Mar. 2005,

This article’s focus is on elective cosmetic procedures performed on seemingly healthy adolescents with no birth defects or illness. A large concern is that most teens do not have fully matured bodies and are likely to undergo weight gain between the ages of 18 to 21. This could affect their desire for plastic surgery. Another concern is that teens are not rationally considering the risks, studies show “most women have at least one serious complication within the first 3 years”. One attempt that has been introduced to combat this is to screen patients using psychological tests. They are meant to weed out those who are not making mature decisions or decisions for themselves, such as wanting a procedure to please a boyfriend/girlfriend.

This is a credible source because it has 12 references. The article is written by a doctor with a PhD in psychology who specializes in women’s health.

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