Teenagers Copying Surgically Enhanced Celebrities; Girls' Role Model: Chantelle Houghton
Byline: DANIEL MARTIN
TEENAGERS are rushing to have breast enlargement surgery in an attemptto copy their celebrity idols.
The number of girls having the procedure has more than doubled in one year.
But experts warn that young people are putting themselves at mental andphysical risk, because in many cases their bodies have not finished developing.
Figures from the country's largest three cosmetic surgery chains show thatalmost 600 teenagers had their breasts enlarged last year.
One company has reported a fivefold increase on the year before.
Transform has a chain of 22 clinics and offers surgery on interest-free credit.Last year it performed 169 breast enlargements on girls aged 18 and 19, up fromonly 31 the year before.
Spokesman Shami Choudhry said credit deals made the procedure, which costs upto [pounds sterling]5,000, more attractive to teenagers.
She said many were copying celebrities such as Chantelle Houghton, 24, who wonCelebrity Big Brother in 2006, whom they read about in magazines such as Heatand Closer.
'Young women read in magazines about personalities, like Chantelle, who havehad breast augmentations and have a great influence on teenagers,' she said.
'Eighteen and 19-year-olds are big consumers of weekly celebrity chat titles.
'Every edition contains something about cosmetic surgery, and women who readthese magazines often buy two or three of them a week.'
The Hospital Group, which has 14 clinics, has also seen a surge in demand.
It carried out 203 breast enlargements on girls of 18 and 19 last year, morethan twice as many as the year before. …