Purchasing a Fresh Face, A Lighthouse of One’s Own, Superfluous Clothing, Etc. takes

While the bloom of youth is still on their cheeks, teenagers aren’t content with what nature has given them. Research by YM magazine finds more than 145,000 Americans under 18 had a surgical or nonsurgical procedure last year to alter their looks. That’s up from about 60,000 in 1997. Nose jobs were the most popular item four years ago, and their number has declined just slightly since then (to about 15,000 last year). But they’ve been surpassed by chemical peels (about 50,000 last year) and microdermabrasion (22,000), which involves buffing the skin with abrasive particles to rid it of unwanted marks. And don’t bother threatening a teenager by saying, “I’ll pin your ears back”: Nearly 12,000 of them chose to have an ear-pinning procedure last year.

Having had her first 15 minutes of fame in the 19th century, Ida Lewis is back for more as the star of a new fund-raising ad for the Lighthouse Preservation Society. The text of the ad (via Fuse of Newburyport, Mass.) tells us her 39-year career as a lighthouse keeper was enlivened by a visit from Ulysses Grant and by marriage proposals from other men who admired her “skill, devotion and courage.”

How did people ever get married before the Internet came along? An NPD Group poll of brides-to-be and recent brides age 18-44 finds 60 percent using the Internet to help make wedding arrangements. Moreover, 53 percent have used or plan to use the Internet to register for wedding gifts.

Someday, they’ll grow up and start devoting their attention to video sex and violence. In the meantime, young folks are voracious consumers of sports on TV and other media. In polling conducted for ESPN and the Amateur Athletic Foundation, 28 percent of 8-17-year-olds said they use sports media every day. Television is the most popular medium for such fare, with 55 percent of respondents saying it’s their foremost source of sports content. Seventy percent of those who watch TV sports do so with someone else, most often a parent. The Olympics have the widest audience, with 84 percent of respondents saying they’ve seen some of the Games on the tube. NFL football was the runner-up (80 percent), trailed by basketball, baseball and extreme sports. But while kids are avid consumers of sports media, they aren’t necessarily loyal ones. In its SportTainment News newsletter, Harris Interactive concludes from its own polling that young fans are “much more fickle” than their elders. “Youth can be diehard fans of a sport for a month and not even follow it the next.”

Extremism in pursuit of sport isn’t always such a hot idea, even if you do have the right sunglasses for it. That’s the message to be gleaned from a campaign for Bollé shades (via Muller + Co. of Kansas City, Mo.). One execution in the campaign might be a bit too timely in this summer of shark-attack mania. It places a pair of Bollé shades amid a chewed-up surfboard and pieces of swimwear, with a dorsal fin visible in the bloodied water. Jokes of this sort generally work better when people aren’t getting killed and maimed in much the same way.

It’s a good thing environmentalist lip service doesn’t degrade the ozone layer, because people emit it by the ton. In a Roper Starch poll, 49 percent of adults said they “will not buy a product if it is made in a country with lower environmental standards.” Do you believe for a moment that 49 percent of people have a clue about most countries’ standards—let alone that this governs their purchases?

Here’s a reason not to bother splurging on fall fashions for the office. A recent reader poll by Mademoiselle found 45 percent of itsrespondents admitting they’ve undressed a co-worker with their eyes. An even higher number (65 percent) said they’ve caught a co-worker doing the same to them.