Reality show and teenage cosmetic surgery

Filed under: Teens, Health & Safety: Babies

According to a report on the BBC com, a reality television show has prompted a major change in the laws governing cosmetic surgery and other body-altering procedures in the Australian state of New South Wales, including the city of Sydney. The Sunday Telegraph reported that Premier Morris Iemma became "disturbed" when he learned that a teenage contestant on the program Big Brother had had breast implants. And that incident resulted in Iemma's administration introducing regulations that will require a referral from a primary physician to a cosmetic surgeon before any procedure is done. A teenager will also have to undergo counseling, obtain parental permission and have a one-month "cooling-off period" before having the operation. The newspaper cited statistics from the American Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons showing that 326,000 cosmetic procedures in 2004 were on teenagers.

The prevalence of cosmetic procedures in our society can not be ignored. Our children can turn on the television and witness either reality shows or fictional shows depicting cosmetic procedures. The emphasis on physical perfection puts pressure on our children to achieve acceptable physical standards. Is this right? Is it acceptable? I don't think so. But does that stop me from thinking that a nip and a tuck might be a good idea? No. What to do?

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.