Teenagers pay high price to look good
Appearance is important for youngsters and many go to extreme lengths to look good. Extreme dieting and plastic surgery are not uncommon and can cause more harm than good.
Young girls value good figures and it is important for them to be slim. They often go on strict diets and eat only the barest minimum for survival. The increase in this type of extreme dieting is worrying. During our teens we grow a lot and if we do not have enough to eat we will suffer from malnutrition.
If teenagers do not have enough to eat, they will look pale and lack energy. It will also be difficult for them to concentrate on their studies.
Without a university degree or good grades, it will be difficult to get a job. One might even reason that this could lead to unemployment.
Teenagers who starve themselves also have a lower resistance to diseases. They may even suffer from anorexia and die.
Many teens pay huge amounts of money for cosmetic surgery. They want to improve their appearance artificially, but there are no guarantees. In some cases, they look even worse.
Many plastic surgeons in Hong Kong do not have the necessary qualifications, which makes for risky operations.
Some say that cosmetic surgery is unacceptable in Chinese culture.
There is a saying 'our parents give us hair and skin', which implies that we should not alter our appearance, just because they are unattractive.
Some Chinese believe that our looks are given by our parents. If we change our looks artificially, it means we are not satisfied with what our parents have given us and that we are disrespecting them.
If we look good, we often feel more confident and thus feel better about ourselves. But beauty is only skin deep. By improving our looks superficially, we only catch the attention of superficial people. To be really beautiful, one needs to be polite and sincere. Internal beauty is more precious than external beauty.
We should also exercise daily to keep fit. A balanced diet also helps. We get enough nutrients, so we look healthy and energetic. Moreover, we may dress fashionably.
Teenagers should not see strict dieting and cosmetic surgery as the road to beauty. They should remember that health is much more important than good looks.
Jade is a student at St Mary's Canossian College