Are chinplants the new breast implants? Wanna look like Jennifer Anniston?

What's a mother to do in an era when her teen thinks even a chin can't be too perfect? Jennifer Anniston wannabes and dissatisfied teens drive the craze for chinplants. Demand for the new plastic surgery for a strong jawline is rising faster than Botox, liposuction, and breast implants.

Bernadett Szabo/Reuters
A surge in chin implants, or "chinplants," is making the newest plastic surgery craze a hotter procedure than breast augmentation and liposuction combine. What this means for body image, and of teen perception in particular, is a different matter.

For those parents struggling to convince their daughters that – social pressures and teen breast implant trends aside – beauty comes from within, here’s another helpful news tidbit from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons:

Chin implants, or “chinplants,” are the fastest growing plastic surgery procedures in the nation, with a 71 percent increase in chin implants in 2011.  That’s a quicker growth than that of breast augmentation, Botox, and liposuction combined, the group announced in a press release. There are now some 20,680 chin implant procedures (or “chin augmentation,” as it's known in the plastic surgery world) performed in the US annually.

Great.

Because I’m just psyched that there will be another body part my one-year-old daughter will be able to worry about some day – another aspect of her appearance to stress over, to feel bad about, to compare to some wacky “ideal” that’s really created in Photoshop and surgery rooms.

Sure, for the moment, the biggest increase in chin implant surgery is among women over 40. 

“The chin and jawline are among the first areas to show signs of aging,” ASPS President Malcolm Z. Roth said in a statement. “People are considering chin augmentation as a way to restore their youthful look... We also know that as more people see themselves on video chat technology, they may notice that their jawline is not as sharp as they want it to be.”

(Because, you know, when I’m on Skype on weekend mornings, trying to keep the baby from slamming Legos into my keyboard while adoring grandparents gaze from the other side of the screen, I look awesome.)

But if other plastic surgery procedures are any indication, it doesn’t take long for body part fetishization to trickle down to younger people. Already in 2011 there was a 68 percent increase in chin implants over the prior year among patients aged 20 to 29. And according to the Society’s 2011 statistics, the number of teens aged 13 to 19 going through cosmetic procedures is on a slow and steady climb, with cosmetic surgery on teens making up 5 percent of the procedures nationwide.

There are some shocking jumps within these numbers.

The number of Botox treatments on teens rose 20 percent. Yes, Botox. The procedure that is supposed to make older people look ... like a teen. (Or a teen who can’t quite smile fully. Which some parents think is just a teen. But I digress....)

Breast augmentation continued its steady increase, with 4 percent more procedures – or 8,892 – on kids.  (Yes, they’re kids. I’m going to lose it. Really.)

But the biggest jump...  you guessed it. Chinplants. Teen procedures make up 9 percent of chinplants in the U.S., with 1,809 chin augmentations done on children in 2011. That’s a 69 percent increase.

But remember, people. Beauty is only skin deep.

And if you figure out how to get that message across to your children, for goodness sakes, e-mail me.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.