According to several cosmetic surgery clinics in Britain, breast enhancement surgery numbers doubled among teenagers last year to almost 600 procedures from the year before. One clinic reportedly performed 31 breast augmentation surgeries two years ago on women 18 and 19 years old. Last year this number jumped to 169. The Hospital Group, which has over a dozen clinics, says their numbers doubled to over 200 procedures last year.
While it isn’t completely off the mark to understand why some teenagers want to look like their favorite celebrities, the names mentioned are often the biggies of the industry. Jolie, Alba, Biel, and others are the most mentioned in combination with “I want to look like.…” However, we don’t normally hear about teens in this country wanting to look like their favorite reality television star. Yet, these are the examples the British story brings up.
For example, 24-year-old Chantelle Houghton, the winner of Celebrity Big Brother 2006, not to be confused with America’s version of the show, was the first “non-celebrity” to win the season in Britain. This was apparently huge news. The only thing Houghton was known for before she decided to give it up for reality television’s fame was a bit of modeling. However, because of her victory on the show, she was able to stretch that fame for a while with all the typical scenarios that the paparazzi and media celeb watchers love (short marriage to co-star; autobiography that bombed; her alleged quote of “What’s a gynecologist?”). The British media reports that since Houghton split with her husband, she has been seen around town with enlarged breasts and possibly lip injections, and vamping for the camera whenever she can.
To sum up: Reality television stars are now powerful people who help influence British teenagers.
While many cosmetic surgeons will perform surgery on 18-year-old women, in both the U.K. and the U.S., there is a company in London called SurgiCare that turns them away until they’re 20. Chief executive of SurgiCare, Mark Bury, says, “In some cases these women have not finished developing.” He goes on to say that many of the cases in which young women want cosmetic surgery are a “knee-jerk reaction or the result of peer pressure.” And, yes, these young women are looking to Chantelle Houghton for fashion guidance, so Mr. Bury may have a point.
Maybe it isn’t wrong to want to have the same cheekbones, lips, or breasts as your favorite celebrity. But are reality television stars really celebrities, and if they are, are they the type of person we want our youth emulating?
Anyway, if you would like to know more about breast augmentation, please contact an experienced cosmetic surgeon in your area.