A Graduation Gift that Keeps on Giving: Cosmetic Nose Surgery

How will the graduation gift of a rhinoplasty be received?

When parents or other close family members consider what to give the high school graduate as an appropriate, meaningful gift, they typically think of bestowing something of enduring value. It can be argued that nothing is more enduring than plastic surgery since such a procedure remains part of the graduate for the rest of his or her life. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, cosmetic procedures are becoming increasing popular among U.S. teenagers, increasing approximately 10 percent during the early years of the 21st Century. The vast majority of these surgeries were rhinoplasties.

While teens only make up a small percentage of cosmetic surgery patients in the U.S., it is clear that such surgeries are becoming the trend, part of makeovers that may include teeth whitening, liposuction, and breast implants. Young people, perhaps the most deeply enmeshed in modern self-improvement culture of the entire population, are also often the most sensitive about their perceived physical image.

Clearly, no reputable surgeon wants to feed into teenage angst, or to reinforce body dysmorphic disorder (a psychiatric disturbance in which an individual obsesses about a body defect that does not even exist), but there are many cases in which a young person’s quality of life can be immensely improved by a simple, almost pain-free procedure, such as a rhinoplasty.

For a young person on the cusp of adulthood who has been bothered by his or her nose since childhood, or for whom adolescence has brought about changes in nasal appearance that result in self-consciousness, a rhinoplasty can be a wonderful gift. It is extremely important, however, that teenagers consider the procedure carefully and do not undergo a rhinoplasty (or any other plastic surgery) on a whim. In this regard, it is best for parents, grandparents, or other loved ones to offer financial assistance only after the young person has made up his or her mind.

Discussing the possible surgery, not only with parents, but, if there is any doubt about the motivation for the operation, with a qualified psychological or psychiatric professional, may be money well spent to ensure that the young person is mature and stable enough to make such an important, long-lasting decision. A professional should be able to assess that the adolescent desires the rhinoplasty for the “right” reasons. This means that the teenager must understand that, while the cosmetic nose surgery is likely to make her or him feel more attractive and self-confident, it will not provide an instant love relationship, popularity, or a personality change. A rhinoplasty should never be embarked upon to please anyone else, especially one’s friends or parents. A good candidate for the procedure is someone who looks forward to making a positive change in his or her appearance at an exciting time of life.

Under the right circumstances, a rhinoplasty can be a wonderful graduation gift, representing as it does a reward for successful achievement and a belief in future accomplishment.

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Posted in: Rhinoplasty

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