Ambah Young (yes, that's her last name) is an 18-year-old Australian single mom. She's borrowed the $13,000 for a tummy tuck, boob lift and vaginal rejuvenation in order to regain her pre-baby body:
Young tells the Australian Daily Telegraph, "After the birth of my daughter, my body never went back to the way it was before...I'm having this surgery so that I can feel my age again."
She's doing the surgery through a company called "Gorgeous Getaways" that takes Australians overseas for cosmetic procedures. Young's will be performed in Malaysia. Says the company's director, Louise Cogan, "I've seen Ambah's photos and she really is a very suitable candidate for surgery because she has an overhanging tummy. The only way she can actually improve is through surgery. She can't diet, she can't exercise because her skin is very saggy."
Actual doctors aren't so sure. Says one plastic surgeon quoted in the article, "She's probably quite vulnerable in many ways and I think the medical service owes her a duty of care to make sure that the procedures she's planning to be done are appropriate and there's a big question mark over that." And says another, "Sometimes they believe their psychological distress will be cured by some cosmetic procedure, and it never is, it usually makes things worse." Never mind the fact that at 18, many young people are still growing and developing.
Cogan says "a few" young women of Young's age have used her company's services. While just about everything about this story is sad, it strikes me as another aspect of teen motherhood of which young girls should be well aware: if you have a baby, it does change your body. While that's a change many mothers accept as natural, it could indeed seem, to someone very young, like a physical manifestation of lost youth. And as such, that surgery can restore it. "A very suitable candidate" for Cogan's company, certainly - but to most of us, that means something very different.