MONTREAL – A Montreal plastic surgery clinic is coming under harsh criticism for an ad campaign that’s offering a cut-rate procedure – just in time for prom.
Clinique de chirurgie plastique et esthetique Dr. Mario F. Bernier is offering a $300 special facial treatment for anyone heading to their big night, though representatives insist the treatment isn’t actually plastic surgery.
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For Paige Vandzura, 17, prom is the only thing on her mind right now – though she insists she’d never consider plastic surgery.
She started preparing for her big night six months ago, and has been discussing details with her friends for the last year.
“You obviously want to look great, so you want to make sure you look better than everyone and you want your hair to look a certain way,” she told Global News.
“I guess it’s a lot of pressure.”
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Nowadays, everyone wants to look polished and put together for special occasions and the pressure to look “perfect” can be overwhelming.
“We are not talking about surgery or anything. It was an esthetician treatment we are talking about and I don’t think there is anything wrong with that,” insisted Jacinthe Giasson, with the clinic.
Employees claim they’re targeting adults and anyone under the age of 18 needs parental permission.
Prom pressures aren’t new.
Anxiety over the milestone night have been part of the cultural fabric for years — think of classic movies like 10 Things I Hate About You, Never Been Kissed and Pretty In Pink.
“To take a vulnerable population, which are the adolescent within the context of the graduation celebration, we think it’s a form of exploitation,” said Dr. Yves Robert, with the Quebec College of Physicians.
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Critics have denounced the Montreal clinic, saying its promotion adds a whole new level of pressure.
“This is where the marketer will have to contemplate what is ethically correct,” said Robert Soroka, a marketing professor at McGill University.
“Legally, there is no problem. It’s what is being ethically appropriate.”
Nowadays, teens can look up tutorials to find tips on looking good and what people are wearing on Youtube and Facebook.
“I think, with social media now, everyone wants to look like the stars,” said Giovanna de Capua, owner of Dresscouture.
“What are they wearing on the red carpet at the Oscars? And it’s just a lot of pressure, with the social media they have this look they want to achieve.”