Many of us reflect fondly upon memories of shopping for new school clothes at the beginning of a new school year. Our “new looks” gave us the opportunity to make the best first impression possible, to show off how we’d grown over the summer, how we were older and wiser and felt more important as we moved up the social totem pole each year at school. While most of us were satisfied with shiny new shoes, an article from the British periodical Guardian reveals that many soon-to-be college students in India are seeking plastic surgery, especially facial surgery, before they begin school. While it may sound outlandish, many of the surveyed students say they don’t pursue cosmetic surgery for vanity, but rather to optimize their ability to make a good first impression on their new peers and professors at college and optimize their networking potential.
The article’s contributing authors point to the country’s booming population and the lag in available jobs to explain the surge in cosmetic surgery interest. Most of the Indian teenage women surveyed are seeking facial cosmetic procedures such as: lip augmentation through dermal injections (Restylane® and Juvederm®), liposuction of a double chin, and surgery of the nose (rhinoplasty). The trend includes young Indian men too who seek male breast reduction (gynecomastia) most frequently.
While an advocate of enhancing self-esteem, board certified plastic surgeon Dr. John LeRoy urges patients to thoroughly examine their motives for surgery. Patients should recognize that their bodies still change and age after surgery and can alter their surgical results. Especially if a patient is college age, they may not be done growing and might increase their chances of having to pursue revisionary procedures if they have surgery too young. Therefore, it’s imperative that patients select experienced plastic surgeons that understand and maintain realistic surgical expectations.