The Plastic Surgery Craze: Is It Going Too Far?

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 It encompasses both reconstructive surgery, which is performed on abnormal structures of the body caused by birth defects, developmental problems, injuries, infection, tumors, and disease; and cosmetic surgery, which is performed to reshape or restore normal structures of the body to improve appearance and self-esteem.


Women, increasingly teenage girls, are nipping and tucking, injecting and implanting, all in the quest for better looks. In the past Egypt may have lagged behind in catching the plastic surgery wave, held back by cultural hang-ups. But now, cosmetic surgery is booming throughout. In earlier years, plastic surgery was seen as a Hollywood extravagance – something that only a Hollywood star would do. Most people were in awe at the facial and body changes and unnatural youthful appearance of celebrities.


Now this couldn’t be farther from the truth. When people turn on their TV sets they’re inundated with best-dressed lists and makeover shows. Judging by these shows alone, viewers are led to believe no virtue is greater than a perfect body. Make-up and fashion overhauls aren’t enough; plastic surgery is utilized to turn them into replicas of Barbie Doll fashion models. It’s undeniable plastic surgery has become an accepted element of society.


The increase in cosmetic surgery reflects a harmful trend that seems to be invading our culture:  the glorification of rail-thin, large-breasted women. Young girls spend a lot of time watching TV and they’re bombarded by the media with these unrealistic images of what they should strive to look like. But this image is an unnatural body type that is rarely achievable without surgery.


The culturally loaded issue today is the number of teenagers looking to remake themselves to look more like the images that they see on TV. These images have fueled the desire of adolescent girls to alter their bodies permanently. Breast implants and liposuction are now bestowed by parents as graduation or birthday gifts. Teenage girls, who tend to be both obsessed and dissatisfied with their looks, are too young and shortsighted to understand the implications of surgery, particularly the risks that implants may pose and the long-term maintenance they require.  Having cleavage may be the most important thing when your 18, but it’s not anymore when you’re 25.


Teens view plastic surgery as a way to fit in and look attractive to friends and peers.  Almost everyone wishes there were a thing or two that could be changed. A lot of this self-consciousness goes away with time. A person’s body continues to change through the teen years. Body parts that might appear too large or too small now can become more proportionate over time. Getting in good shape through appropriate weight control and exercise can do great things for a person’s looks without surgery. In fact it is wrong to choose plastic surgery as a first option for something like weight loss.

That’s not to say that all plastic surgery is wrong. Many reconstructive procedures correct defects on the face or body. These include physical defects like ear deformities, traumatic injuries like those from accidents or burns, or post disease treatments like rebuilding a woman’s breast after surgery for breast cancer. However the jump in amount of plastic surgery procedures that we are seeing today has little to do with this type of reconstructive surgery and a lot more to do with simply being unsatisfied with your self – or at least with the image that you project.


There seems to be this whole myth of transformation that’s very powerful surrounding plastic surgery: namely that plastic surgery will give you a new look and quality of life.  But what kind of a message is that? Surely, it’s more important to have confidence in yourself and your abilities rather than a “perfect” body. Women who feel the need to resort to major surgery as a quick fix solution for popularity, self-esteem, or who are counting on surgery to change their lives will inevitably be let down. Rather than focusing on our outer appearance, it’s important we feel good about our inner selves -that’s what will really carry us through life. 


If you do decide that plastic surgery is the only alternative, then it is important to make an informed decision regarding cosmetic procedures:




  • Do carefully review all reasons why cosmetic surgery is desired: Procedures should be considered to correct genetic or acquired physical scaring, or for conditions that dramatically impair a teen’s sense of confidence and self-esteem.
  • Do make sure procedures are safe and effective for teens under 18: Procedures such as laser surgery for acne scars are proven successful for teens; however, liposuction and breast implants are discouraged for anyone under 18 because their body has not stopped growing yet.
  • Do choose a certified dermasurgeon to perform the procedure: Always be sure that the doctor is board certified in dermatology and can perform any type of skin related procedure. Undergoing a procedure at the hands of an unqualified doctor can lead to infection, scarring and permanent body damage.




  • Don’t undergo a cosmetic procedure on a whim: Elective surgery is sometimes chosen based on a trend among teems. Teens need to realize that there is more to cosmetic procedures than what is perceived on TV and through the media.
  • Don’t rely on a procedure to increase popularity: It's not uncommon for teens to believe that by enhancing their appearance they may become more popular among their peers or get someone to notice them—but this isn’t reason enough to undergo a serious surgical procedure.
  • Don’t thing any procedure is risk free:  Even the most commonly performed cosmetic procedures carry side effects such as redness, swelling and pain. More serious complications can include infection, permanent scarring and sometimes death.


Whether for vanity or ego, we all want to look better, younger, and more fabulous. 

The quest for beauty is part of the human condition that will never go away. By the looks of things, many of us aren’t satisfied. Some want Nicole Kidman’s nose, more than a few covet Angelina Jolie’s pouty lips. We all like to feel good about ourselves and be sexually appealing to others, but there are many other things in life to strive for than this unattainable standard of beauty. Someday we’ll all grow old and no amount of plastic surgery will conceal the inevitable changes to our bodies.


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