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Attitudes of Adolescents About Cosmetic Surgery

Pearl, Anne*; Weston, Jane MD

doi: 10.1097/01.SAP.0000054365.54173.95
Original Articles

Although the number of teenagers choosing to have cosmetic procedures is increasing at a rapid rate, few studies have been published describing their attitudes about aesthetic surgery. To understand better their beliefs about cosmetic surgery, voluntary, confidential surveys were sent to the entire junior class of a suburban high school. Although two thirds of the respondents knew someone who had undergone cosmetic surgery, only one third would choose it for themselves. Those who desired aesthetic surgery described people who have cosmetic procedures as “motivated,” whereas those who would not choose this option believed individuals who do so are “vain.” The most desired procedures were liposuction, rhinoplasty, and breast augmentation. The main reasons for not proceeding were health risks, cost, and fear of a bad result. The most common source of information about plastic surgery among the students was teen magazines and television.

A survey of the junior class of a California suburban high school showed that one-third of respondents would consider undergoing cosmetic surgery. This one-third described those who have such surgery as “motivated”, whereas the other two-thirds tended to describe them as “vain”.

Received May 22, 2002 and

in revised form Nov 8, 2002.

Accepted for publication Nov 8, 2002.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Ms. Anne Pearl, 17110 Pine Avenue, Los Gatos, CA 95032.

Presented to the annual meeting of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, November 5, 2001, Orlando, FL; the California Society of Plastic Surgeons 51st annual meeting, May 26, 2001, Monterey, CA; and awarded Best Overall Paper, California Society of Plastic Surgeons 51st annual meeting, May 24–28, 2001, Monterey, CA.

Pearl A, Weston J. Attitudes of adolescents about cosmetic surgery. Ann Plast Surg 2003;50:628–630

© 2003 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.