Girls had bum and breast implants at 15
Cosmetic surgery may be frowned upon for the under-16s in the UK, but two young women have spoken to This Morning about travelling to Colombia for bum and breast implants at just 15.
Wednesday, 20 February 2013
Jennifer Lopez, now 23, shares more than just a name with a certain curvaceous singer, having gone under the knife in the hope of achieving a similar figure while still a teenager.
Her mum not only gave permission for the extensive cosmetic surgery, she also footed the bill for both Jennifer and her younger sister Karen Lopez-Garcia, now 20, to have work done.
While the sisters were born in the UK, their family is originally from Cali in Colombia.
The city is the third largest in the country and has become something of a cosmetic surgery capital, with around 50,000 procedures carried out in a year - including on so-called 'medical tourists'.
Jennifer told presenters Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby that "the majority" of women in Cali choose to have work done and that a particular look is favoured.
"When I was 14, 15, I used to travel to Cali a lot and you used to see the girls with the nice small waist, nice curves, nice buttocks ..." she explained.
"You used to see them and say: 'I want a body like that'."
While girls' mum initially told Jennifer - the first of the sisters to have work done - that she should wait until she was older, she then funded the surgery.
I know some people say bad things, but when I spoke to the doctor about the surgery he said it was okay ... Both the girls were concerned about their bodies and I wanted them to be happy.
Jennifer & Karen's mum
Jennifer initially just wanted a boob job, but was tempted with a package deal by surgeons also offering liposuction and a procedure to inject the removed fat into her bum - a process said to produce more 'natural' results than bum implants.
The 'job lot' of surgery cost £4,000, plus £3,000 in flights.
"It's expensive, but compared to having cosmetic surgery in the UK, it's much cheaper. It would have been three times more," Jennifer said.
Karen, who followed her older sister's example, admitted that the end results can attract unwanted attention from men - although she insisted that she didn't regret the choices she had made.
But if she had daughters in the future, she said she wouldn't encourage them to do the same.
"If they were unhappy with their bodies and if they maybe want to do surgery, I would support them. But not at a young age," she said.
Cosmetic surgeon Angelica Kavouni explained that consent can be given for teenagers to have cosmetic surgery in the UK at 16, but that it is not encouraged.
She explained the complications that can arise as teenagers' bodies may not have finished growing at such a young age and added that there were also psychological issues to consider.
"Things change - your ideas may change," she said.
"And also, you have to think about the maintenance plan ... You have to do a lot more exercise to keep things in the same shape. A lot of people don't see the long-term."