The view of a young Aesthetician on Aesthetic treatment and teenagers.
There’s been a lot of controversy about the Kylie Jenner lip enhancement story as she was just 17 years old when she had them done.
In some ways you can’t blame her, growing up in the limelight and having sisters such as Kim Kardashian, who openly spend thousands on their appearance every year. But is this something that’s going to become more normal as the years go by?
Young people, including myself, feel the constant pressure to look our best and with celebrities setting ridiculously high standards, it’s easy for them to feel like cosmetic treatments are the only way to achieve beauty.
These 2014 statistics from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASAPS) show some incredible numbers for the 13-19 year old age range in the USA having cosmetic treatments:
- 63,538 had cosmetic surgery
- 160,541 had minimally invasive (non-surgical) cosmetic procedures
- The most popular was rhinoplasty with a total of 30,127 opting for this procedure and breast augmentation being carried out 8,040 times
- The most popular minimally invasive procedure was laser hair removal clocking up a total of 71,650 teens
- Botox injections were performed 19,170 on this age range and hyaluronic acid fillers (such as you’d get in the lips and facial areas) were administered 3,210 times, up 6% from the previous year
- The grand total coming to 224,079 cosmetic procedures for teens
This is rather an alarming amount for such a young age group, but it is worth bearing on mind that this number will also include people that may have had treatments due to birth defects, scars or sports injuries e.g. broken noses. The more reconstructive side of plastic surgery.
However, the vast majority is going to be teenagers who have actively spoken about wanting these cosmetic procedures done.
I’d like to point out that most well accredited practitioners will put a blanket ban on treating anyone under the age of 18 for purely cosmetic reasons. At the clinic where I work we stick to this unless there is a medical reason for treatment such as excessive underarm sweating or migraines.
We and most other aesthetic clinics in the UK will not treat anyone under the age of 18 for interventions such as lip fillers or Botox for muscle relaxation. There are unfortunately however clinicians (both medical and non-medical), and surgeons who will perform cosmetic procedures on young girls, and can also do them wrong.
Now, personally, I had lip filler done at the age of 20. Some people may say that this is too young, however I would disagree.
In my personal opinion if a young person from the age of 18+ really wants a cosmetic procedure doing because it’s effecting how they feel about themselves, then there is nothing wrong with that at all. What I do oppose to is when it’s taken too far. Beautiful young ladies end up wanting every surgery and injectable treatment under the sun to try to fit into an unrealistic stereotype depicted by the media. Cosmetic treatments should be seen as something to help to improve your appearance, not to make you look like a completely different person, or outlandishly unnatural, and I think this is where young people are going wrong.
At the clinic where I work we deal with cases of body dysmorphia and often turn these clients away as they simply do not need the treatment, or have unrealistic expectations of what they want to look like. They need counselling, not cosmetic treatment. There have been times when we’ve even had clients bring in photos of Angelina Jolie and ask for her exact lips, which of course is not possible.
I love my job because every day I get to help people feel better and love themselves more, in the end that’s the most important thing!