Teen Nip Tuck

Nearly 50% fof teenage girls going to secondary school would consider laser treatment, liposuction or another form of cosmetic surgery to change the way they look.

The study, commissioned by The Girl Guides Association, found that 46% of girls aged 11 to 16, and 50% of girls aged 16 to 21 would consider cosmetic surgery to make themselves thinner or prettier.

Critics (thankyou,Daily Mail) have blamed the popularity of cosmetic surgery operations among celebrities and television shows such as 10 Years Younger and The Swan for making often risky surgical procedures appear as simple as a trip to the butchers. But, clearly there are deeper issues at work other than the desire to look like Jordan or Victoria Beckham. At the heart of this lie feelings of alienation, stress and low self-esteem.

For instance, the number of teenage girls considering plastic surgery increases among under-16s who are under-performing at school. 81% of girls whose school performance was rated as satisfactory or poor said that they would have invasive surgery to improve their appearance.

It all feels like a new spin on something very old - the ceaseless and unending pressure on women to conform to contemporary and fleeting notions of beauty. And it's always the most vulnerable who feel it the most.