Bullying Makes Teens Opt for Cosmetic Surgery

Bullying Makes Teens Opt for Cosmetic SurgeryBullying Makes Teens Opt for Cosmetic Surgery

Young adults who are involved in bullying, whether victims or perpetrators, are more likely to express the desire for cosmetic surgery in order to become more attractive, says a new study, published in journal Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.

“Our results suggest that cosmetic surgeons should screen candidates for psychological vulnerability and history of bullying,” said Dr Dieter Wolke, PhD and colleagues of University of Warwick, Coventry, United Kingdom.

The research, which explored the relationship between cosmetic surgery and bullying in British students aged 11 to 16, said addressing the mental health of bullied adolescents may reduce their desire for cosmetic surgery.

In the first phase of the study, nearly 2800 teens were screened for involvement in bullying, as rated by themselves and their peers, reported.

The second phase focused on 752 adolescents, including 139 identified as victims of bullying, 146 as perpetrators of bullying, and 294 who were both victims and perpetrators.

Participants were asked whether they would like to have cosmetic surgery as a way of making themselves more attractive or changing something about their appearance.

Desire for cosmetic surgery was highest in bullying victims, but was also increased in bullying perpetrators. Interest in cosmetic surgery was higher in girls than boys, as well as in older teens and in those whose parents had a lower level of education.

“Being victimized by peers resulted in poor psychological functioning, which increased desire for cosmetic surgery,” noted Wolke.

In contrast, for perpetrators of bullying, the desire for cosmetic surgery was unrelated to psychological functioning. For bullies, cosmetic surgery may simply be another tactic to increase social status – to look good and achieve dominance.

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