Why young graduates are opting for plastic surgery instead of traditional gifts

Nisean Lorde
According to a recent study, approximately one in three women who had at least one cosmetic treatment were motivated to pursue work due to a major life milestone — such as graduation among younger demographics.<em> (Photo: Getty)</em>
According to a recent study, approximately one in three women who had at least one cosmetic treatment were motivated to pursue work due to a major life milestone — such as graduation among younger demographics. (Photo: Getty)

Forget gift cards, cash and college survival kits — a cosmetic treatment or plastic surgery may be the new “it” gift for a graduate. According to a recent study that explored women who sought cosmetic help beyond the beauty counter, approximately one in three women who had at least one cosmetic treatment were motivated to pursue work due to a major life milestone.

These life milestones include birthdays — especially among older generations — and childbirth, weddings and graduation among the younger demographics. And what better way to celebrate than to follow in the footsteps of your fav celeb?

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The study was conducted on behalf of RealSelf, an online community around elective cosmetic procedures. Researchers surveyed a total of 5,053 women between the ages of 18 and 64 in the U.S.

“Graduation is a popular time for these kinds of gifts because it gives graduates an opportunity to enter the next phase of their life looking on the outside how they see themselves on the inside,” Dr. Dara Liotta, a New York plastic surgeon and an affiliate with RealSelf, told Fashionista. “It’s a perfect time to allow for healing and transformation before going on to college, graduate school or a new job so they can enter this new arena looking and feeling their best and most confident selves. They also have the downtime after graduation for recovery.”

Liotta noted that she’s more conscientious about determining why a patient desires plastic surgery or a cosmetic procedure. This is particularly true when it comes to younger patients since they’re more easily influenced by social media and the world around them.

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Kylie Jenner has <a href="https://ca.style.yahoo.com/kylie-jenner-admits-her-lips-163455229.html" data-ylk="slk:admitted;outcm:mb_qualified_link;_E:mb_qualified_link;ct:story;" class="link rapid-noclick-resp yahoo-link">admitted</a> to lip fillers. <em>(Photos: Getty)</em>
Kylie Jenner has admitted to lip fillers. (Photos: Getty)

There are no official plastic surgery statistics available in Canada, but Canadian plastic surgeons are also seeing an increase in plastic surgery, cosmetic surgical procedures and non-invasive procedures with young people under 35.

“I would say people are coming in at a younger age as more of a preventative measure as opposed to a corrective measure,” Dr. Sean Rice, a Toronto-based plastic surgeon tells Yahoo Canada. “So people are coming in in their late twenties and going: ‘I can just start to see the wrinkles develop and I want to do things like Botox or Dysport, have some of the neuromodulators, or some of the fillers as well.'”

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According to Dr. Rice, breast augmentation is pretty popular with millennials. <em>(Photo: Getty)</em>
According to Dr. Rice, breast augmentation is pretty popular with millennials. (Photo: Getty)

Rice says that breast augmentation is pretty popular with millennials, but other procedures that are becoming more common are skin tightening, like tightening around the neck or the jowls. In terms of moral dilemmas when performing procedures on younger patients, Rice has a unique theory.

“I’m not your priest, I’m just your surgeon,” he said. “So I try not to make a moral judgment about people. But I do make a medical judgment. So if somebody wants something that may be a little bit ‘off’ — if I feel that there’s a good medical reason, if there’s a legitimate reason, I’ll do it. If it’s just because it’s something they want done and I feel that it’s not medically necessary, then I wont do that.”

Further study results show that African American women (34 per cent) are more likely to be motivated by life milestones compared to Hispanic women (24 per cent) or Asian women (19 per cent). Among Asian women who are motivated by life milestones, weddings (24 per cent) and vacations (20 per cent) take top spots.

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