When will my reflection show who I am inside?

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Cartoon by Catherine Lin

What thoughts cross your mind when you see your own reflection in a mirror? Many high school students do not like what they see, and desire plastic surgery to alter their images. One should be 25 years old to make the decision of receiving plastic surgery.

People are responsible for themselves, so they should be able to make their own decisions about what they want to do to without facing criticism; after all, it may be their way of expressing themselves. Despite this notion, teenagers may not have the maturity to assess the risks and consequences of the decisions they make, such as choosing to have plastic surgery.

“I think that you should be at least 18 and be able to make the choice yourself. I guess parents are signing off on it. I think it should be fully your choice. If you’re making a change to your body, you should be responsible for your body,” English teacher and activities director Lauren DeBellis said.

Through the examples of Hollywood personalities, an increasing number of high school girls are beginning to desire plastic surgery in order emulate the stars they admire. Nearly 18,000 teens aged 13 to 19 got wrinkle-removing Botox in 2013, according to The American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

The problem is that the girls who have these types of radical surgeries performed may not understand the lifelong consequences or correctly asses the risks of plastic surgery, since the part of an adolescent’s brain which asses risky behavior isn’t developed till age 25, according to a study by the National Health Institute. They simply desire the perfection that celebrities portray.

“This is a big problem our society faces and we should be encouraging others to have a more positive body image, to prevent the delusion that you need plastic surgery to be pretty,” sophomore Tynesha Pham said.

This delusion, that plastic surgery will solve self-esteem and body-image issues, is common among teenagers. Surgeons found that 69 percent of children and teenagers who undergo plastic surgery make this decision as a result of being bullied, according to reports by the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.

There is no clear, definite age at which a person will be mature enough to realistically make a decision concerning plastic surgery, but the trend among teenagers demonstrates that plastic surgery at an age below 20 is not always motivated by the right reasons.

All in all, people are able to change themselves however they please; as a society, however, we should move towards encouraging everyone to embrace their individuality instead of altering their images through plastic surgery.

“I wouldnt want to change myself surgically at all, mostly because I feel like it shows that I wouldn’t be strong enough to accept myself for who I am and what I was born with,” sophomore Hemal Madaan said.