Researchers at the Department of Psychology at Warwick Medical School have discovered that teens who have engaged in or been affected by bullying are more likely to want to change their bodies with cosmetic surgery.
As many as 2800 adolescents in the UK were part of this study. The ages ranged from 11 to 16 years. The researchers screened for signs of involvement in bullying with a self and peer assessment. Groups of approximately 800 adolescents were analyzed based on these factors:
- Emotional problems
- Desire to have plastic surgery
The Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire and the Acceptance of Cosmetic Surgery Scale were used for analysis.
Results showed adolescents who were involved in bullying were more interested in cosmetic surgery than those who were not involved in it. The highest interest for cosmetic surgery was found in the group identified as the victims of bullying. However, perpetrators also showed significant desire to alter their looks with surgery.
Specifically, 11.5% of victims expressed extreme desire to seek cosmetic surgery, and 3.4% of bullies reported that same extreme desire. For teens who were bullied and bullied themselves, 8.8% expressed the desire for surgery, while less than 1% of participants who were unaffected by bullying expressed no desire.
Both girls and boys were assessed. Significantly more girls (7.3%) than boys (2%) reported wanting to alter their looks by going under the knife.
Implications of the Results
Researchers believe bullies may want to change their appearance so they can increase their social status. It could also be they have insecurities, which is why they bully others. They seemingly attempt to make others around them appear less attractive in order to boost their own self-esteem.
Victims likely want to change their appearance because bullies have affected their psychological functioning, according to researchers. The words they hear from bullies lower their self-esteem and thus cause emotional problems. Bullied youngsters believe that changing their looks will stop bullying, and help them to feel more confident in their appearance.
Researchers believe fewer young people would want to seek plastic surgery if they were not bullied. Addressing the issue of bullying in schools can decrease the desire to seek cosmetic procedures during adolescence.
According to Professor Wolke and his co-authors:
“Our results suggest cosmetic surgeons should screen candidates for psychological vulnerability and history of bullying.”
It’s important to solve the root issue for wanting a cosmetic procedure. Studies show if the psychological issues are unresolved, the level of satisfaction for procedure results will be low.
Plastic Surgery in Manhattan and Long Island
If you’re considering cosmetic surgery, consider contacting us for a free consultation. We don’t want anyone coming in for aesthetic surgery because of bullying. However, sometimes there are legitimate cosmetic issues that can be addressed after the age of 18 for those who seek a change.
Some of our most commonly requested procedures include breast surgery for males (gynecomastia correction) and females (augmentation, lift, or reduction), rhinoplasty (nose job), and laser liposuction.
Our plastic and cosmetic surgeons in New York City and Long Island can help. Appointments are available Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM, and Saturday until 6:00 PM. Call us at 212-206-0023 or 631-499-1831.