To let your teen have plastic surgery, or not? That is this week’s Dear Elle hot potato topic!

Well it’s Friday, and Friday’s are when I post my Dear Elle articles from last week.  This week there was only one article, because, well, life happens.

Please enjoy, and I’d love to know your thoughts on this one, because it is a dicey topic.  A young girl isn’t happy with her appearance and is begging her mom to let her get a nose job…do you let her or don’t you.

Things that make me go hmmm…read my response below.

Dear Elle,

My 17 year old daughter has been begging to get a nose job.  She has never liked her nose, and for the last three years it’s all she has been talking about.  Her father is totally against it and his “you’re beautiful the way you are speech” is not a good enough of a reason for her.  Me? I’m on the fence. I agree with my husband, she’s beautiful the way she is.  To add, I think she’s way too young, but on the flip side I can see my daughters confidence dwindling rapidly, and her insecurity is making it hard for her to enjoy her life.  I just want her to be happy.  Help!

From Plastics

Dear Plastics,

Wow this one is a tough one.  As a mother to three daughters and as a woman, who in the past has had plastic surgery to help me feel better in my skin, I totally get where your daughter is coming from.  But in order for me to adequately advise you on this, I feel like I would need to know what she’s dealing with.  One of my girls thinks she needs a nose job, and I always thought I might prefer how I looked if I had made a little tweak to my nose.  Without knowing you or your daughter, or what is really going in her life and with her nose, it is impossible for me to tell you what you should allow her to do.  Side note, it is funny though how men are so the same.  My husband often gives all us girls that exact response when we say; “oh maybe if I just did this, or that I would feel more confident in my skin…”

The reality is this, nobody is living inside your daughter’s head, so how I would proceed, because yes she is young, is first thing I would do is have her talk to a great therapist. Because regardless if you support her wanting to make the change or not, obviously there are some mental issues surrounding it that should be heard and supported.  Also, it’s a good idea for her to uncover why she feels this way about herself.  Personally, for me, I have to say, I put a lot of blame on social media and the fact that girls your daughter’s age know that models like Bella Hadid had a nose job very young, probably around seventeen actually.  All day long they’re inundated with the absolute best of young girls, some they know, some they just admire from afar, and their “perfection” puts a lot of pressure on them.  So, if it were my daughter I would definitely start with therapy, to try and help her get to the root of the issue, and hopefully learn some coping skills, along with determining whether or not she really does need it to help with her confidence out in the world.  Should the therapist determine that she is of “sound mind” and it really would help a great deal as she ventures into adulthood then I would consider letting her do it, but not before she finishes high school, and turns eighteen.  Because at the end of the day, once she’s eighteen she can sign off on these things without your consent and the last thing you want her doing is using her money from her part time job to go and have the nose job done by some hack.   If she’s determined to do it then I would take the journey with her and ensure that she gets the best person in your town to do the work.

Hope this helps!






  1. As a kid I loved dancing very much so as soon as I could, I became a member of a folk dance group in the city. At the age of thirteen I could have step on stage, but I was not let go because of my big and curved nose – I didn’t look good on the stage, it was said. I was the best dancer in the group, but it didn’t count anything. It hurt incredibly . I wanted to dance and be beautiful at all costs. I was thinking of getting some money for surgery. I always asked me, why do I look like this at all? Everyone in my family is good looking: Mom and Dad both were nice people, my brother was one of the girls favorite. I couldn’t accept, how I looked. I asked my mother, whether I’m not their own blood. Then she told me I looked completely like my great-grandmother, her father’s mother, who was left with six small children alone on a farm after her husband has disappeared in World War I. She didn’t dare to think about giving up. She raised her children, who all became recent people, and founded families. Without her I would not have been born. There is the same fire and desire to live in me as in her, my mother said.
    May I deny her, just to be on stage? And what if I do, I would look in the mirror and cannot recognize myself? And even if the surgery would work well, what’s next? Would I realize I don’t like my breast, my mouth or my butt? Where will this end? Even then will I be me?
    If God created all people perfect, we would all be the same (how boring would it be!). Accordingly, our imperfections make us unique. I decided not to give up myself so easily . Where there is not need for me as I am, I’ll let it go.
    I have never been on stage, but I have taught to dance for kids who were. It was incredible happiness to see them, bigger happiness, as if I were there. I realized that the stage would not have been enough for me. I became a teacher, I have a loving husband for twenty-three years, two handsome sons (one of them has inherited my nose but doesn’t suffer from it because the girls worship him, sometimes even too much, I’m afraid) and I feel my life is in place.
    I would sit down with my daughter for a sincere, intimate conversation and to think about what she can be proud of, what abilities she has, what she has already achieved, what she can build her self-confidence on. I would encourage her not to run out of obstacles, but to take on herself, she can be proud of it later. And if this or the therapy couldn’t help, I’d be looking for a good surgery, and support her to feel good in her skin.

  2. I would definitely get the daughter some counseling. At the very least she’d be able to talk about anything and everything bothering her. It would also help her with her self-esteem.

    I would also have her speak with a surgeon. O know, I know, it seems counter-intuitive, but there’s a good reason for this. Having a surgeon explain IN DEPTH what a nose job requires might be enough to put her off the idea completely. Having had several surgeries on my nose/sinuses, I can tell you it’s PAINFUL! The last surgery was enough to make me swear off doing anything nose related ever again. I couldn’t breathe. I felt like I was suffocating. For days I thought I was going to die. That was on top of the overwhelming pain!

    On second thought, forget having this young lady talk to the surgeon; just send her to me. Pretty sure she’d reconsider.

  3. Great advice, as always, my daughter had a self image problem that pushed her into anorexia in her late teens. We found a fantastic therapist and she is now in her 30s and looking and feeling great and knows it. It too was peer and media pressure, ” so and so can eat anything she wants and never put on weight” It is very important to get to the root of self image issues.

  4. It must be hard to be a teenager these days. It was hard enough back in the 60s when braces were just becoming a thing, very few kids had them because they were so expensive. My college roommate had a nose job but she had a very prominent one and her family was wealthy. I had contact lenses because “boys don’t make passes at girls who wear glasses”. But we didn’t have the pressure to be perfect. Just fix obvious standout flaws. I think of Michael Jackson and what he did to himself for what? He was a damn cute kid, very good looking, but mentally he needed to be someone else. So today we have Khardashians fixing flaws that don’t exist and social media influences that make all teenagers think they have to look like movie stars. Still most of the teens I know don’t have parents who can afford cosmetic surgery. I’d want to know the crowd my child was in if they felt inferior. And urge her to find a new crowd.

  5. I definitely would tell her to wait till she is 21. But to gather as much info about nose jobs as she can and ask tonnes of questions.j

    People will not like hr more if she gets a nosejob. SHe will not be smarter or enjoy floor hockey more. She has to accept she will still be her with the nosejob.
    BUT she also deserves respect and to be understood. People need to demonstrate they understand where she is coming from. More great food for thought from Shantelle. Thanks Lady.

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