Should You Talk To Your Children About Plastic Surgery?

The American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery reports that 53% of women and 49% of men approve of cosmetic surgery and would make no effort to conceal it if they chose to undergo a procedure. It also indicates that majority of men and women who invest in this surgery fall between the ages of 31 and 45. As these are typically child raising years, most of these people will have children. Often, for women, the surgery in question is sought to undo the inevitable, ravages of childbearing and breastfeeding. The question of whether to tell your child about the surgery, and what to say if you choose to, is a difficult one.

No one knows your children better than you do, and you are the one who has the right to make the decision, without judgment. Before you decide, however, consider some points. First, there may be some bruising and swelling. Second, your movements may temporarily be limited; you may not be able to pick up your child, or you may need some help with everyday activities. Third, consider the fact that children are often more astute than parents give them credit for. You may consider changes to be subtle, but a child may easily pick up on the before and after differences. How will you explain these things to a child who does not know what is happening?

If you choose to speak to your child, talk to them before it occurs. A lot of your explanation will depend on how old your child is and how extensive his, or her, understanding is. As this surgery has been given a lot of attention by media recently, they may surprise you with the depth of their knowledge. Make sure your child understands the facts you feel are necessary. This could encompass what will be done, what will be different, and what restrictions you may have after the surgery. If they know what to expect, it will be easier when the time comes.

Your decision may not be easy for your child to understand. It is important to stress that you are in good health and that there is nothing wrong. Let them know that it is a decision you have made for your own personal satisfaction. Allow them to voice their opinion, but stress that this is your choice, and be willing to discuss it with them.

Stress that a person’s beauty comes in many forms, including through actions, and from the inside. Furthermore, let them know that they are perfect as they are, help them understand that, in most cases, you are not trying to change, but restore yourself to what you once were. If they express an interest in plastic surgery, explain that their bodies are still in the process of “becoming,” that they really do not even know what will be. A little simple communication before surgery of this type can usually help you find an unexpected, but faithful, ally.


About the author: Laurie Terrill is a mother of 2 and works as an assistant to one of the top Louisville plastic surgeons and is an advocate of safe reconstructive plastic surgery.

About Pepper

I am a single working mom, trying to raise my kid the best way I know how. Join me as I navigate my way through the jungle that is Single Mom-hood, armed with rose-colored glasses and strength of spirit. As pepper adds spice to food, so does my daughter add spice to my life. She makes life no less than…PEPPERRIFIC!

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  1. Interesting topic Pepper. I’m not in that camp at the moment but I guess I’d talk to my girl about it – i think i’m pretty sensible so i’d want to instil the same sensibilities in her about this kind of issue. Nice post.

  2. I wish I had the moolah for liposuction so I can talk to my child about it. Haha! :)

  3. Yeah, talking to our kids about what is happening around the world is important… it gives them balanced perspectives too. :)

  4. When I have kids, I definitely would like it better if they’re informed than ignorant so that they’ll take their choices from there but I’ll make sure that I impart to them the knowledge that there’s perfection in imperfection :)

  5. yes, i will let her know about this matter. having knowledge of is happening around her is a good thing

  6. While Aiden and I don’t speak about this now, I DO suspect that I will have conversations with him about this in the future. I think it’s so important to encourage my son to be content with himself.

  7. I am not pro-plastic surgery but for those who are I think it’s best that they talk to their children about it so they would understand.

  8. I’ve been contemplating getting a nose job since I was 8. LOL. I don’t have kids yet but if I ever decide to go through with the surgery, I probably won’t tell my children in the future. It might give them the wrong idea.

  9. For me, that would depend on the age they are in at the time of the procedure. If the child is too young, then I don’t find it necessary to talk about it but if the child already has a grasp of things happening in the present, then I would. I will tell the child why it was needed to be done but sensitive enough of the words that may create a negative impression on him/her. =)

  10. Good thing the kids at home weren’t asking about it, but it’s nice to discuss it with the children for them not to think about it negatively. :)

  11. You definitely need to keep an open communication on this topic most especially if you have young girls. Nowadays, people pride themselves of getting early cosmetic surgery when their body has not even developed! That awkward stage will pass – girls just have to be a little more patient. and they need reassurance from their parents and peers that there is nothing wrong with them – to have that healthy body image

  12. Plastic surgery is fine as long as that it will make a person feel good inside and out.

  13. Willa @ SmartMommy says

    I think when you talk to your children about sensitive topic like this,you really have to consider everything,like their age,their emotional phase and of course, the timing of the issue as well.

  14. I think it’s indeed advisable to talk your children about plastic surgery. But don’t prohibit them or discourage right away. Let them understand the consequences first and their situation being young. It is best if they realize what they will be going into instead of telling them to do it or not without fully understanding all about the procedure.

  15. Columba Lisa Smith says

    Very interesting post! I had never given this a thought, as plastic surgery wouldn’t even hit my radar – way too busy! I think it’s important to be honest and open with kids – learned that when my ex left. Not addressing stuff can give rise to all kinds of imaginings that are worse than the actual truth.

  16. You offer very sound, logical advice and I agree 100%. You are right that children usually know what’s going on! We tend not to give them enough credit. The open and honest approach is always best, then they will trust their parents more! Thanks for a good post!

  17. I’m not for plastic surgery if it is just to make one “look” better as I feel it’s best to be comfortable with one’s look. However if there had been any injuries etc and it’s needed then it is acceptable for me. That’s the message I will tell the kids about plastic surgery.

  18. I’m surprised so many people get plastic surgery and would be so open to talk about it. It’s not my cup of tea, but could be tempted with liposuction ;-)

  19. Interesting topic! Hehe. Though I seriously think I won’t be talking about these things in the near future, I guess it is still worth preparing how to respond. Lalo na kung sex na ang usapan. :P

  20. If my children broached the subject, I would have open communication with them. I believe in not hiding things from my children, especially if they bring certain subjects up. Knowledge is power!

  21. Leigh says

    I would only permit my child to do this for medical reasons. It’s tough though in this “beauty crazy” world we live in…

  22. I have heard of mothers who have let their teens get a boob job & nose job, but I wouldn’t let mine (unless the nose job was medically necessary). I have two daughters, but neither one of them has ever mentioned wanting plastic surgery, and I would be too scared that something would go wrong for me to ever have plastic surgery.

    Stopping by from VoiceBoks!

  23. I guess, I should, as a mom. Technically, we just can’t avoid them to think about it and ask us why these things occur and it’s purpose. But, if I were to ask… I wouldn’t allow them to undergo any surgery.

  24. I’m dedicated to naturopathy, but I appreciate that plastic surgery is a choice, as is any elective surgery. If someone if convinced it will alter their life for the better, then they should give it serious consideration. However, I’m sure it’s something I would encourage anyone to consider, let alone my children.

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