Sunday, May 11, 2008

Young girls 'sucked in' by booming implant trade

TEENAGERS will have to wait until they are 18 to have breast implants under moves being considered by the State Government.

Health Minister Jim McGintysaid he was worried about young people being sucked in by the booming cosmetic surgery industry.
"The public health system will not do purely cosmetic surgery without medical benefit on anyone, regardless of age,'' Mr McGinty said.
"Surgery is dangerous; children should not be unnecessarily exposed. I will consult with medical authorities on the advisability of a ban.''
Girls as young as 12 are fantasising about breast implants and nose jobs, according to Women's Forum Australia director Melinda Tankard Reist.
Breast implants cost about $12,000, while a celebrity-style nose can cost up to $9000.
"Cosmetic surgeons are preying on the body angst of young women,'' Ms Tankard Reist said.
"There have been reports of doctors pitching botox to teenagers as a quick-fix solution.
"It's horrible. Young girls need counselling, not surgery.''
Last month, Queensland banned all cosmetic surgery for under-18s, while from July 1 in New South Wales, all teenagers applying for cosmetic surgery must wait up to three months before having an operation.
Ms Tankard Reist said one in four Australian girls would like cosmetic surgery.
Some GPs have reported a 20 per cent rise in the number of young people asking about cosmetic surgery in the past few years.
"One in five girls aged 12 and 13 regularly uses fasting and vomiting to lose weight,'' Ms Tankard Reist said.
"Self-hatred has become the new rite of passage for teenage girls, fuelled by a culture which idolises thin, sexy bodies.''
She said the premature sexualisation of children in modern society was sickening and cosmetic surgery had gone unregulated for too long.
Health Consumers Council executive director Michele Kosky said her organisation would strongly support the State Government banning cosmetic surgery for people under 18.
"All surgery carries a risk,'' Ms Kosky said.
"Adolescence is not a good time to be making those sorts of decisions. Teenagers need to take body image seriously.
"A deep sense of discomfort with your body shape and image requires extensive medical help.
"It requires a medical pathway that can be very confronting for people.''
Ms Kosky said the HCC had helped with several cases of botched cosmetic surgery.
"Nothing is risk-free in this world,'' she said.
A recent study by Mission Australia of 29,000 young people revealed body image was the biggest worry for 11 to 24-year-olds -- with one-in-three respondents recording it as a major concern.


Latest Posts

Latest Comments