Dear Jenny, My daughter wants Botox for her 16th birthday. Apparently her friend just had it done. Should I let my daughter do it too?

- Angelica W., La Brea CA

I get this question a lot, and over the years I’ve been getting it more frequently. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, 229,000 cosmetic procedures were performed on patients aged 13 to 19. That equates to about 1 in 25 surgeries. Lip injections aren’t considered surgical procedures, but the rate in nonsurgical procedures among teens is also rising.

I suspect social media has something to do with it. Social media has cast a powerful spell on us, especially teen. Its turned us into self-obsessed people, where we look on the outside for happiness instead of within. So much of our time and energy is devoted to making ourselves look prettier, healthier and happier. But we don’t do it for ourselves. Instead, we do it for the next post, the next like, or to satisfy our followers. It’s like a contest. “She who has the most followers wins!”

If you believe that happiness is defined by the quantity of your followers, then you probably think it ok to have cosmetic surgery to boost those numbers. For us mature adults, we can responsibly determine how far we want to go to get more likes with our looks, but for an inexperienced and impressionable teen, cosmetic surgery, no matter how small, if done for the wrong reasons, may be harmful.

The harm I’m referring to isn’t from the actual procedure. No, I’m referring to the harm that comes from the reason why. Why does your soon-to-be 16-year-old want a lip injection? Is it to fit in with her friends? Does she not feel pretty? Does she want to be an influencer. Or is for simple reason that she’s a typical, impulsive teen and hasn’t given it much thought? I hope it’s the latter.

If she doing it to be popular, or to improve her online presence, then I would say no. If she’s doing it to fit in with her friends, then I would definitely say no. I wouldn’t want my daughter to feel like she has to be anyone other than herself, and if her friends can’t accept her for who she is then it’s time to find some new friends.

If she doesn’t feel pretty and believes that lip injections will help, then sit down with her and have a talk. Teach your daughter that true happiness isn’t found on the outside, but within. Lip injections may make her feel better temporarily, but we all know that feeling eventually fades away. All the cosmetic surgery in the world won’t change how we feel about ourselves. Think of all the surgeries us older women could have avoided if we’d learned that simple truth.

So, should your daughter get lip injections. I think you know my answer. She doesn’t need them. She’s beautiful just the way she is.

P.S. Tell her I said “Happy Birthday!”

Dear Jenny

Dear Jenny

When Jenny's not hanging out at the beach or getting Botox, she occasionally writes for PSBAD.

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When Jenny's not hanging out at the beach or getting Botox, she occasionally writes for PSBAD.