Kids' Cosmetic Surgery

Cosmetic surgery for teenagers is a growing business. And that has sparked a fierce debate about whether that's appropriate and why teenagers are so interested in the first place.



Part Two of The Current

Kids' Cosmetic Surgery - Stephanie Selter

Britney Campbell is eight-years-old and taking shots of botox ... an injection that paralyzes the muscles in your face and prevents the formation of wrinkles. Britney competes in children's beauty pageants and her mom -- Kerry Campbell -- injects botox too.

We aired an excerpt of a much-discussed interview that Kerry and Brittney Campbell gave to Good Morning America. Child Services in San Francisco is now investigating the family as a result. This is an extreme example, but across North America, more young people are getting cosmetic procedures from botox injections and nose jobs to breast augmentation and tummy tucks.

The American Society of Plastic Surgeons says that the number of teens getting cosmetic surgeries has doubled over the last eight years and cosmetic surgeons in Canada say they are seeing a similar phenomenon. Surgeons on both sides of the border also say the patients are getting younger ... often as young as 14. Stephanie Selter got her first cosmetic procedure when she was 17. She's 19 now and she was in New York City.

Kids' Cosmetic Surgery - Panel

According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, teenagers in the United States and Canada account for about two per cent of all the plastic surgeries performed in North America. That's just over 200,000 procedures. Of those, 39,000 are purely cosmetic -- including tummy tucks and liposuction. Some of the most common procedures for teens are nose reshaping, male breast reduction, ear surgery and laser hair removal.

The fact that more teenagers are getting cosmetic surgery -- and at younger ages -- has sparked a debate over how young is too young? And is there even a place for such procedures among children?

For their opinions on this we were joined by three people. Dr. Peter Callan is the President of the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons. He was in Bandon, Oregon this morning. Julian Savelescu is the Director of Oxford University's Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics. He was in Oxford, England. And Diane Levin is a professor of education at Wheelock College in Boston, as well as the co-author of So Sexy, So Soon: The New Sexualized Childhood and What Parents Can Do to Protect Their Kids. She was in Burlington, Vermont.

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