Going under the knife for cosmetic surgery a double-edged blade

Younger and younger women seek perfection through plastic surgery, but do they know when to stop?

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      Angela Perry always knew she wanted to have larger breasts; in fact, she can’t imagine a woman who wouldn’t.

      “What girl doesn’t want breasts?” Perry said in a phone interview with the Georgia Straight. The 25-year-old sales associate at Guess has been going under the knife since she was 19.

      Perry has undergone breast augmentation, rhinoplasty, Botox injections, pixel laser resurfacing, Juvéderm, and Intense Pulsed Light therapy. She insists that cosmetic surgery is simply about sprucing up your look and using technological advancements to your benefit.

      “I feel like surgery is good grooming,” she said. “Like if you have messy hair, you brush it; if you have a cavity, you fill it.”

      Dr. Nick Carr, a plastic surgeon in Vancouver, sees young women in his office on a regular basis and thinks their interest in cosmetic surgery is increasing. Carr, who spoke with the Straight by phone between surgeries, said he thinks the fascination with plastic surgery borders on an obsession for some young people.

      “I think there is an absolute fascination with some young women—with the idea of having plastic surgery,” he said.

      Carr, who belongs to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, is prohibited by the organization from performing breast augmentations on patients under the age of 18 for purely cosmetic reasons, and maintains that no surgery should be seen as a trivial procedure.

      The practice of young Hollywood stars changing their appearance is widespread, with one of the most recent being reality-TV star Heidi Montag. She appeared on the cover of People magazine in January boasting about having had 10 plastic-surgery procedures in one day.

      Sonya Parmar of the Vancouver Women’s Health Collective is concerned that the wrong message is being sent to people. She fears that young women are making these decisions without realizing the full consequences of elective surgery—both physical and emotional.

      She believes that the negative attitude young women have toward their own appearance and that of others has made plastic surgery an attractive option.

      “I don’t think the perception of plastic surgery is that it’s a huge decision in terms of both finances and the effects on your health,” she told the Straight in a phone interview.

      The organization runs a series of workshops that aim to help young women combat the slew of mixed messages they receive on a daily basis about body image. According to Parmar, the workshops teach them to feel good about themselves and support other women around them.

      “It just seems sad that this has become the focus of young women’s priorities,” she said. “Just because everyone is doing it doesn’t mean it’s the best thing to be doing.”

      As for Perry, she plans on getting a few more nips and tucks to maintain her looks over time. While she’s thrilled with the work she’s had done, she says it’s important to do it for yourself and not because of outside pressure.

      “Don’t change something if it’s not broken,” she said. “But if there is something that bothers you then change it—it can improve your self-confidence.”




      May 9, 2010 at 12:47pm

      It is sad that such a young lady feels the need for plastic surgery. My barbie doll looked more real than her face does now. What is going to happen as she gets older? Has she not seen older women who overdo the plastic surgery? She has already overdone it and she is so young. Hopefully she will figure out she doesn't need it and find something else to occupy her time. The risk of serious side effects is a big enough issue. As to her comment that "she can't imagine a woman who wouldn't" [want bigger breasts]-I could introduce her to plenty of women who absolutely would not. Maybe she needs new role models.


      May 9, 2010 at 6:04pm

      I think the fact that an increasing number of young women are getting plastic surgery, speaks volumes about our society as a whole.


      May 9, 2010 at 7:01pm

      I find these women unattractive in that they think the outside matters most. Sure that gets men to the door but a good man needs some substance within to develop that forever-forever bond. Check out Heidi from The Hills - YIKES!!

      keep it real

      May 9, 2010 at 9:17pm

      I dated a silcone boobed air head for a few weeks. When I found out they weren't real, I dumped her. I felt cheated and two unnatural projections aren't sexy.


      May 9, 2010 at 10:25pm

      If you feel the pressure to change interrogate the source.

      Be aware there is a great deal of effort and investment being made in order to make you feel inadequate. The fact that you may feel inadequate is not a personal flaw - be aware of the legions of people employed to make you feel that way. In other words it is not you perceiving real flaws - it is the invention of flaws that are then mapped onto target groups.

      Be aware that it is about money. It is about profit.

      (feel like its you vs the world - it isn't - its you vs corrupt capitalism working very hard to make it seem like the world)


      May 9, 2010 at 11:12pm

      Ladies, you don't need it. You are fine the way you are.
      You won't attract anyone of value, except for a plastic surgeon who wants to make a few more bucks.
      Boob jobs feel like large bags of gravel and are about as sensitive as a shoe...the list of negatives is endless.
      I read about a model in her early 20's who died from the anesthetic when she was undergoing a liposuction procedure to remove 6 ounces of fat from her bum.
      It's nuts...I would have told her to drink one less glass of water and go take a dump.
      Goodness, Joan Rivers could have a sneezing fit and her face wouldn't register a change.
      Look for better partners...partners who will still rate you highly when you're old.
      Remember the old chestnut: looks don't last, cooking does.
      Your beauty comes from your heart and mind, not some Barbie-doll ideal.


      May 10, 2010 at 12:02am

      I think you look great. Everyone has a free choice from cars, home, clothes, vacations so why should looks be different. You go to the gym, take vitamins, diet so if these individuals like to make the choice I am in favor of that. They have the determination to build the image and life they want who are we to stop them.


      May 12, 2010 at 11:40am

      But the kind of clothes you wear or the type of car you buy doesn't place your life in danger and put you at a health risk. We play a roll in influencing the decisions of others, but it's true.. in the end, it's up to the individual.

      missy miss

      Nov 17, 2010 at 1:49pm

      I think these women who get all this work done to their faces start looking mutated, and no this isn't coming from a place of jealousy. Look at Heidi Montag, she looks freeky now, her face is huge, her chin and cheeks are big and it just looks weird! This Angela Perry women is looking pretty weird as well! This isn't like filling a cavity, or brushing your hair, it 100% comes from a place of insecurities. Your face is starting to look large also, I'm sorry Angela but this isn't flattering at all.

      marina (not a big deal)

      Nov 18, 2010 at 2:43am

      i agree with her!!!
      guys try to attain wealth and women beauty, sometimes both...
      its been going on for ages in our history even in nature.
      the truth is is the better u look and more successful u r (spiritually or materialistically) the better u will do in this world.