More teens want to go under the knife. Is our celebrity-obsessed media to blame?

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Katie Price


According to a piece in today’s Sun, nearly half of teenage girls want cosmetic surgery to boost their confidence, stop being bullied or look like a celebrity.

The initial reaction in the office was that of shock and horror – the girls surveyed were between the ages of 13 and 16 and the most popular ops were weight-loss surgery, breast implants and better teeth. However, after discussing the topic for a while, we cast our minds back to how we felt at that horrid, awkward age and thinking about it, ‘nearly half’ seems fairly low. What 13-year-old hasn’t felt like an ugly duckling at the stage between girl and woman?

Thinking back to when I was 13, I remember feeling chubby, flat-chested and in desperate need of orthodontistry – I’m pretty sure I wasn’t the only one. The difference between a 13-year-old in 2001 and a 13-year-old in 2010 is that now, teens have to deal with stick-thin, perma-tanned, bouncy haired celebrities with perfect smiles in every magazine, advert, film, TV programme and music video they see.

Back then, my feelings of inadequacy were in comparison to my skinny classmates – not to skinny celebrities. According to the study, 11 per cent of the teenagers who wanted surgery were spurred on by celebs. It’s sad that 13-year-old girls look to the likes of the size-zero surgery-obsessed Katie Price, Heidi Montag and Victoria Beckham for inspiration.

At the age of 21 I still have insecurities, but like most women I feel a lot happier in my own skin. In most circumstances I don’t think cosmetic surgery is necessary, especially not for young people. There are many much cheaper, less painful ways to feel better about oneself. I’m sure that even though it feels like we live in a celebrity-obsessed world, the teenagers of today will, in years to come, realise that too.