The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) worried about increasing number of young patients who want plastic surgery.
Body image is an ever present topic in society and is linked with self-confidence & self-esteem by most, especially young people. BBC Newsbeat reported Ella, 18, having self-esteem issues due to her chest size since 12, reporting that it made her feel “quite inadequate”, “really ashamed and embarrassed.”
“Maybe I wasn’t good enough, maybe I wasn’t attractive enough, maybe I would never be desirable.”
Ella thinks having cosmetic surgery will help with the pressures on body image, as it has always been something she wanted to change.
An online questionnaire conducted by BBC Newsbeat revealed that the most common cosmetic procedure chosen is breast implants, while dermal fillers and nose jobs come next.
The same questionnaire also indicated that although most people who had had plastic surgery were happy with it, psychologist Emma Kenny said that in the long term, people are not often contented when they have just altered their physical appearance.
“To alter their physical image will not alter their emotional experience.”Emma KennyPsychologist
Young people such as Ella often refer to the media as the source for the pressures of body image, as they tend to focus on the external issues, portraying images of success & attractiveness.
However, it is important for young people to address the internal issue of self confidence, Emma Kenny stressed “You need to work heavily on that [self-esteem issues] before you think about going and having these kind of [cosmetic] procedures.”
This is supported by the case of Rebecca, 22, who had a breast lift. She still has self-esteem issues after the procedure. Rebecca expressed that after the surgery she did not feel the difference regarding her self-esteem. What helped her instead was counselling, making her feel “much happier and stopped focusing so much on body worries.”
President Elect Michael Cadier of BAAPS pointed out there are other areas than cosmetic surgery young people should explore. Since they still have a lot of room to grow and explore before they decide to alter their physical appearance, in the mean time, they can opt for alternatives without needing any medical procedures, such as wearing make-up.
From the video shown on the Newsbeat website, the make-up artist demonstrated how to “achieve different shapes to the face without turning to the knife.”
There are always going to be pressure on how people think of their own bodies and others’ bodies, especially from the media. It is important for young people to realise there is more to the appearance of celebrities that they see as role models, who are often worked on by a team of make up artists. Psychologists have suggested that accepting yourself as an individual can potentially make a greater difference in your life.
Read more at the BBC Newsbeat article, also watch Ella telling her story and the tricks of make-up in achieving needle-less tranformation.