Though we have seen the effects of bullying in many ways through a number of different studies and how being bullied early in life can lead to substance abuse, violence, depression, anxiety disorders, and other issues later on, a recent study has found this behavior may also be causing an increase in another potentially dangerous trend: unnecessary plastic surgery.
Those who decide to get plastic surgery are usually comfortable with themselves and only desire a minimal change in their appearance. However, the study from Warwick Medical School finds different potential issues in those who desire cosmetic work and have either been bullied or have both perpetrated and been victims of bullying.
Those who had been bullied at some point in their lives had a much higher likelihood of being interested in plastic surgery. As a result, this seems to be a possible cause for why more and more teens are choosing plastic surgery at such a young age. 210,000 cosmetic surgeries were performed on teens in 2013, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, which is an increase from previous years.
Younger individuals who become interested in plastic surgery and who have been bullied are also usually struggling with depression or other issues that should give doctors pause when deciding if the individual is a good candidate for surgery.
In addition, even those who had bullied others and had not been bullied themselves were more likely to desire plastic surgery than those who had never been affected by bullying, but this usually occurs for a different reason: these teens are much more interested in climbing the social ladder and in receiving the attention of others, which may be why they are choosing to go under the knife. Either way, bullying does seem to be intricately tied with the increase in plastic surgery among young people.
What’s Really Going On with Bullying and Plastic Surgery
Just about everyone remembers a time in childhood when someone said something that hurt their feelings. This isn’t something that most people escape. Even the most popular kids have had someone say something about a physical feature. As these people grow up, they may carry those words with them in the back of their mind. So, every single time they see an image of a person, they immediately look to see if that person has the same flaws they were criticized for in the past.
When these same people see people have gone under the knife to have the physical characteristic corrected, they start wondering if that’s something they should do. What helps them make the decision to seek plastic surgery is when they see the results. If those results are what they life, they get closer to wanting plastic surgery. As more and more people with the same physical characteristic poke at it and then follow through with plastic surgery, it brings the person considering it even closer to surgery.
Whether bullying speeds this process up or not is something researchers are trying to uncover. Depending on the severity of the bullying, it’s quite possible that people who go towards plastic surgery faster. They feel an intense need to correct whatever they are being criticized for, and the sooner they do, the faster the criticisms will stop.
The problem is that most of the time, those criticizes don’t stop. They continue, but on to something else. This is why those who bully or those who have been bullied should first seek the help of a mental health professional instead of a plastic surgeon. Through therapy, someone can understand what is really going on inside his or her mind. For example, does the person want plastic surgery because it’s what he or she wants or is it because he or she wants the bullying to stop.
Bullying doesn’t even have to continue with other people. Many people end up bullying themselves after their peers have bullied them. This is another reason counseling is an important step before seeking plastic surgery.
If you are a victim of bullying or you’ve bullied, consider seeking mental health support before you spend the money on plastic surgery. You may just find out that you are perfect just the way you are, and you don’t need to change your appearances at all.