Plastic Surgery: Let The Criticism Rest

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Art by Anna Ho

As more of the younger generation undergoes medical and cosmetic procedures, the criticism surrounding plastic surgery simultaneously rises. Rushing into scrutiny offers no benefit, advancing hatred rather than understanding.

Eva Smedeby, Opinion Editor

There is this negative stigma surrounding plastic surgery in high school, one that insists all is done based on rash decisions made by young, insecure, and unstable minds.

That stereotype is closed minded, and reeks of bitter nature.

How is it fair to allot teenagers so much responsibility, but not trust that they know their own face? That they can get behind the wheel yet not understand the difference between “a teenage insecurity” and a hardship that has held them back for years? Moreover, scrutiny adjoining surgery fails to recognize the potential of medical necessity. 

If you are capable of paying for it, are in a good mental state, and the idea has been thought upon for a long period of time—which in most situations is the case—there should not be a problem with getting work done. 

Yet teenagers across schools, including SJHHS, have to lie or hide these decisions from their peers, decisions which have simultaneously improved their lives whilst being a source of scrutiny in the eyes of others.

“In my situation, for getting a breast reduction, most people regret not getting it sooner,” said anonymous student 1. “I couldn’t do anything. I wasn’t allowed to bend over, I couldn’t run, I couldn’t jump, because all of that stuff could throw out my back and cause me to injure myself.”

Physical obstacles are certainly not the only struggle that moves individuals to surgery, as appearance also makes teenagers a target for adolescent sexualization, and can serve as motivation for operations. 

“Everybody I was around was constantly sexualizing me like all of my nicknames were sexualized and around my body,” student 1 said. “It has been something that I have dealt with my entire life to the point where I kind of became numb to it and I just normalized it.”

Post surgery, now without the constant chronic back pain and other struggles with their body, student 1 can feel confident with their life-changing decision. 

This negative outlook on surgery however, unfortunately remains, where this helpful thing remains a secret; one that people are so willing to shame before attempting to understand”

— Eva Smedeby

This negative outlook on surgery however, unfortunately remains, where this helpful thing remains a secret; one that people are so willing to shame before attempting to understand.

For other students, plastic surgery has served as more of a cosmetic change, a reason just as valid as any other. 

“I felt like I was pretty confident in myself so I got  [lip injections], and it just makes you feel so much better about yourself,” anonymous student source 2 said. “It’s not hurting anyone or anything, it’s just about yourself and no one else.”

Especially when it comes to enhancing facial aspects, even if it is just one difference, the backlash individuals face is all the same. 

“I didn’t tell anyone. I definitely felt like I had to defend myself and be like ‘this is why I am justifying it and this is why I am doing it’ cause I felt like I needed to give an explanation to everyone. I couldn’t just be like ‘oh I got this done and I’m happy.’”

Mature students should be given the same respect as many adults. Just because you may be young, does not mean you lack the ability for opinions on plastic surgery. Most teenagers—especially girls—have maintained these feelings for years, and know themselves better than anyone else. 

Instead of bashing someone for doing something you might not understand, open your mind. You have not lived in their body. You do not and never will know the depths of a situation. And, it is better to support those making a choice that heightens the positives in their life rather than marching straight into judgment.