Bella Hadid is one of the most in-demand models in the world and for years she stood by one particular story about her appearance. She denied having plastic surgery to anyone who brought up the subject.
Her stance on the subject has changed and Hadid has recently starred speaking about a cosmetic procedure from her past that she now regrets:
In an interview with Vogue, Hadid said she wishes she had “kept the nose of my ancestors” and added “I think I would have grown into it.” The model is the daughter of Mohamed Hadid (a Palestinian real estate developer) and Yolanda Hadid (a former cast member of the “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” and a person of Dutch descent).
Hadid still maintains that a nose job was the only cosmetic procedure she had in the past. Since her rise to fame, she has denied getting an eye lift, fillers in her lips and a jaw reduction even through some people believe she “fully” changed the look of her face “because of one picture of me as a teenager looking puffy.”
She also told the magazine “I’m pretty sure you don’t look the same now as you did at 13, right? I have never used filler. Let’s just put an end to that. I have no issue with it, but it’s not for me. Whoever thinks I’ve gotten my eyes lifted or whatever it’s called – it’s face tape! The oldest trick in the book.”
Hadid also discussed self-image issues that were part of growing up in the modeling industry and working with Gigi Hadid, her sister and a fellow model. “I was the uglier sister. I was the brunette. I wasn’t as cool as Gigi, not as outgoing. That’s really what people said about me. And unfortunately when you get told things so many times, you do just believe it.”
Even though Hadid is having second thoughts about her previous rhinoplasty surgery, it is not unusual for teenagers to have a cosmetic procedure. As recently as 2017, the American Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons reported that nearly 230,000 cosmetic surgery procedures were performed on teenagers in the age range of 13-19.
It is legal to perform a plastic surgery procedure on a person who is under the age of 18 as long as the surgeon has the consent of the patient or the legal guardian. There are some medical experts who caution against people under 18 having a procedure as they feel it can be “concerning” or “damaging” for teenagers to have a cosmetic procedure at a time of life when their bodies are still developing.
According to research published back in 2015, one of the main reasons teenagers between the ages of 13 and 19 want to have plastic surgery is because of the peer pressure they often feel to look a certain way. For many female teenagers, they are looking for a boost in their self-confidence especially if they are being bullied, already lacking in self-esteem or have an unhealthy fixation on physical beauty.
Some doctors feel that the improvement in self-esteem felt by some of their teenage patients after a procedure such as rhinoplasty is often greater than the actual physical changes made to their nose.
It is important for teenage patients to be mature enough to understand the changes that will be made to their appearance as well as the possible complications that might occur. Some teenagers are more mature than others, but they are all still in a stage of brain development where they are not able to completely appreciate the consequences and long-term alterations to their look.
A good number of people view the decision to have plastic surgery as empowering. Others feel these teens are the victim of “surveillance culture” which means the physical appearance of women is constantly being judged or monitored by people. In “surveillance culture”, people who deviate from traditional standard of beauty face pressure to make a change while people who conform to those standards are being told there is always room for improvement when it comes to their look.
In other words, women are caught in a “no-win situation” where they are expected to have a look that is “real” but not “too real”. The public expects them to look authentic but not be too authentic in their appearance.
It is ultimately up to the teenager and their parents or guardian to make a thoughtfully considered and informed decision about having plastic surgery. The decision will have to balance the health needs or aesthetic desires of the teen against the changes in beauty standards that will likely occur in the future.