Teenage girls notoriously struggle with their looks. But imagine if your teen were so concerned about her appearance that she insisted on getting Botox injections to combat the effects of aging.
While the procedure might seem excessive for a fresh face, Botox, or botulinum toxin, has become increasingly popular among teenage girls since the Food and Drug Administration approved it for cosmetic use in 2002. More than 14,000 Botox procedures have been performed on teens in the last two years, according to the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.
And because it is one of the less invasive and less expensive procedures, more and more women have turned to Botox as a temporary wrinkle treatment.
But imagine while getting a pedicure at a nail salon, if you overheard a mother and her 18-year-old daughter quarrel about Botox, and it was the teen who expressed the desire to erase her wrinkles.
What the customers inside the nail salon didn't know was that this was all part of "What Would You Do?" And our hidden cameras were rolling in Tea Tree Spa in Ridgewood, N.J., to see whether anyone would object to a teenage girl getting "the big-B" against her mother's wishes.
Paulina was an actress playing the role of a young woman influenced by the teen Botox trend. De played Paulina's mother, who loves her daughter just the way she is. They were enjoying a day at the spa. But, before long, Paulina was pleading with her mother.
"It's only $150," Paulina said, pointing to a sign advertising the injections.
When that didn't work, she tried a different tactic. "Everyone in school is getting it," she said.
But even peer pressure didn't justify the procedure for De, who told Paulina that she would not need Botox for another 40 years. Paulina sulked in her pedicure chair but saw an opportunity when her mother left.
She asked to speak to the dermatologist and picked up her cell phone to confide in a friend about her plans in her mother's absence.
"No, I don't need her consent. No she doesn't know I am doing it," Paulina confessed. A person age 18 or older is allowed to get Botox treatments without a parent's consent. There is no law prohibiting the cosmetic use of Botox for patients under 18 years old, but many doctors refuse to do it.
Less Is More?
A woman nearby took this as a cue to alert the dermatologist performing the procedure.
"Her mother said, 'No,'" she said, adding, "You just might want to get proof of age."
The women in the Tea Tree Spa seemed conflicted as Paulina walked into a private room for a quick facial fix. But when Paulina's mom unexpectedly returned, the women took no time to tattle on the teen.
"I think it is the second door on the right," one woman told De.
"Go get her, she just walked in," the woman who spoke to the dermatologist earlier said.
Later, after we introduced ourselves, she explained why she interfered.
"You have to do the right thing," she said. "I think young girls at that age do not need to do things that are excessive such as Botox and plastic surgery."
The woman's daughter shared with us the beauty advice her mother has given her since she was a young girl.
"She always told me less is more," she said.
How will people react to a mother who says that more is more and insists her teenage daughter get Botox? Or when they see a father push his daughter toward the procedure?