Address issues behind choice to go under knife

The view that cosmetic treatment for children and teenagers should not be banned in Singapore is reasonable ("Plastic not fantastic"; last Sunday).

Leaving the decision to the young and their parents is the right thing to do.

Blaming the media per se for the growing popularity of cosmetic treatments is convenient but not necessarily right.

The desire to go under the knife could also stem from problematic conceptions of body image and self-esteem. These issues should encourage frank discourse in school and at home.

Is there pressure to look a certain way? Where is the pressure coming from?

What do they feel are "ideal" forms of beauty and perfection? Who sets these standards?

Not enough has been discussed about objectification, commodification and sexualisation of the body, to understand how children and teenagers think.

Kwan Jin Yao

This article was first published on Sep 14, 2014.
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