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The BBC's Emma Howard
"More young people are having plastic surgery than ever before"
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Child Pyschologist, Ruth Coppard
"Glamour is it"
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Thursday, 4 January, 2001, 14:02 GMT
Mother defends teenager's breast op
Jenna Franklin: considering breast implants at 15
Jenna Franklin: considering breast implants at 15
A mother today defended her decision to offer her teenage daughter a breast enlargement operation for her 16th birthday.

Critics have condemned the decision and said it could lead to psychological problems in the future.

Kay Franklin, 40, who has herself had two breast implant operations, said she did not want her 15-year-old daughter Jenna to have any "hang-ups" about the way she looked.


I just want to be happy with my body

Jenna Franklin
Mrs Franklin, from Warsop Vale, near Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, and her husband Martin who run their own plastic surgery business, said they would pay for the 3,250 operation.

But Jenna is insisting it is her decision alone to have the operation.

Mrs Franklin said: "I want her to feel confident about the way she looks, and if that means having breast implants then so be it.

"If Jenna was suitable at 16, and the surgeon feels it is suitable then she has our consent and we would agree to pay for it to be done."

Consultation

Jenna is set to have a consultation after her birthday on August 23, when it will be decided what size of silicon implant is suitable.

Jenna Franklin
Jenna: Wants to be happy with her body
Mrs Franklin told the Daily Express: "There are so many young girls who are depressed or bothered about the way they look. If you can do something about it, that's great."

But she added that the operation would not go ahead if the surgeons decided Jenna was not physically ready.

Jenna said she had asked her parents to buy her the breast enlargement as a 16th birthday present - and that she had been thinking of having implants since she was 12.


You've got to have breasts to be successful

Jenna Franklin
She made up her mind when she was 14 that she wanted her 34A breast enlarged to size 34 C or D.

"You've got to have breasts to be successful. Every other person you see on television has had implants.

"I used to pray my boobs would grow. Then I just thought, what's the point when I can have implants when I want?"

'I just want to be happy'

"I just want to be happy with my body and I think having my breasts enlarged will give me more self-confidence."

Kay Franklin
Kay Franklin runs a plastic surgery business
She did, however, admit that her parents' business had influenced her decision.

"I have grown up with plastic surgery because both my parents are in the business so I don't see any problem with it.

"My parents are not being irresponsible - it's not for anyone else to criticise the decision I have made."

Jenna, who has a boyfriend, Matthew, said to be, supportive of her decision, hopes one day to become a plastic surgeon herself, so she can continue the family business.

Mr and Mrs Franklin have two other children - Bjorn, 13, and Jordan, 11.

They have run their own company, Grosvenor House offering cosmetic surgery ranging from breast enlargement to facelifts, from home for more than two years.

Mr Franklin said: "Kay and myself have both been in the industry for a number of years so all our children have grown up with plastic surgery. They don't see anything wrong with it and neither do we."

Criticisms

Ruth Coppard:
Ruth Coppard: "Emotional consequences"
Health specialists and politicians have condemned the family's plan, saying the operation could leave Jenna psychologically damaged.

They said cosmetic surgery was a dangerous way to resolve teenage anxieties.

Ruth Coppard, a child psychologist form Sheffield, warned Jenna could be storing up problems for the future if the operation goes ahead.

"Emotionally, she is at risk by making a decision now when she's a child that will have long term repercussions that she can't consider yet, she hasn't got the perspective."

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See also:

11 Dec 00 | Health
Breast implants withdrawn
01 May 00 | Health
Plastic surgery boom
06 Jun 00 | Scotland
'A nightmare from beginning to end'
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