Is Your Child Bullied? The Solution is Plastic Surgery!

bullied girl gets plastic surgery14-year-old Nadia Ilse is excited to no longer be called “Dumbo” or “elephant ears” by her classmates. She recently had plastic surgery to change her appearance, thanks to the Little Baby Face Foundation, a charity that helps children born with facial deformities.

She has been bullied since the first grade because of her ears and even “begged her mother at the age of 10 for an otoplasty – an operation to pin her ears back.”

The Little Baby Face Foundation contacted Nadia’s mother, flew them both to New York City, and provided about $40,000 of free plastic surgery – her ears were corrected, and she also received rhinoplasty, reducing the size of her nose, and mentoplasty, altering her chin. Nadia is not the first child to go under the knife to avoid bullying, and she won’t be the last (90,000 youth reportedly underwent cosmetic surgery in 2007).

I wonder, however, what type of message we send our children – the bullies and the bullied – when we support decisions to alter appearance purely to avoid name-calling and harassment. I fear this could turn into a new level of bullying. Hey – you’re so ugly! Why don’t you just go get a nose job! Or the comments could be worse. You got a nose job? You still look pretty ugly to me! Hey, Everyone! Bird Beak tried to get a new nose!! How will that then make the bullied child feel? I mean, if the nose was fixed, but not the actual problem, then what? Or what about: Mom, Suzie got a nose job, why can’t I? Can I also get my chin changed? I want to look like Stacy. No one makes fun of Stacy!

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Um … no, you may not.

“While Nadia says she knows she should have been accepted as she was before the surgery, she also knew the bullying wouldn’t end and has no regrets following the procedure.”

“Nadia must still start counseling as part of her treatment to overcome the years of psychological distress from bullying, but Little Baby Face board member Don Moriarity told MailOnline that Nadia’s new outlook demonstrates the group’s mission … [to transform] the lives of these children and [give] them newfound confidence.”

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If Nadia was my child, I think I would have allowed her to get an otoplasty; and I even would’ve allowed her to get it at a much younger age – even before she began schooling. But I don’t think I would’ve allowed her to alter her nose and chin too. There are a lot of gorgeous women whose beauty comes from having less-than-standard features; noses and chins come in many different shapes and sizes. However, Nadia is not my child; I am not the mother who comforted her after a long day of bullying at school.

But I don’t think the actual bullying problem was addressed. As parents, I think we need to make sure we know the difference between changing our children’s futures for the better versus just changing our children.

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What do you think? Would you let your child get plastic surgery to put an end to bullying? Would you let your child get plastic surgery just because he/she didn’t like the way he/she looked?

What do you think?

Is Your Child Bullied? The Solution is Plastic Surgery!

Kimberly Shannon is a wife, a mother, an editor, a writer ... She is always working to find the perfect balance¹! After Kimberly received her bachelor’s degree in Journalism, she worked on two master’s degree programs (Creative Writing, and Marriage and Family Therapy). At various times in her life she has signed up to study Naturopathy, only to back out at the last minute, and humored the idea of returning full-time to the world of dance. Kimberly has also started 10 different children ... More

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92 comments

  1. Profile photo of Sara McTigue, CLCEditor Sara McTigue, CLC says:

    I find your comments very interesting and enjoyed seeing your perspective. But I still have a question. If this was "the only solution", then what happens when the girl returns to school and is still bullied? What happens when they pick on her for being on the news? What happens when they tell her she still looks funny (I absolutely don’t believe that she does – I think she looked lovely both before and after – simply playing the other side!).
    I think Kim is trying to explore what we can do for the children on the INSIDE to help them deal with bullying from the OUTSIDE.
    My children have lovely faces, but the fragility and beauty of their souls is of far more importance to me.

  2. Profile photo of ManTalks ManTalks says:

    So, what does this mother do?

    Day after day of crying daughter who presumably cries out in frustration and rage and hurt that she just can not go back to school anymore! The pain, the daily relentless humiliation is just too much to bear.

    As a mother you also understand that your daughter is being diminished inside her soul in a way that will afflict her long after she leaves school. All the normal "teenage" maturation and fun she is "supposed" to be having, the making of friends, the interaction with guys, the feeling of growing self-confidence — none of that has a chance to happen for her.

    What can you as a mother do? How do you stop her pain, how do you bring an end to the crushing of her spirit for no other reason than she cannot escape her own physical characteristics?

    How much would you now withhold from her?

    Tell the consulting plastic surgeon that you disagree with their opinion about how to fully and most gracefully transform your daughters looks? They cannot make her "drop dead gorgeous" but they can achieve a symmetry with her face and give her, literally, a new life, while her personality and outlook and hopes and dreams for the future are still being formed or deformed?

    This is the only solution for this girl. A hundred more lectures from a desperate Mom will not release her daughter from such misery. At what point might she come home and find her lovely, lovely daughter hanging by her neck having committed suicide because her whole life shows her an endless pattern of hopelessness?

    Most of the comments here should be erased out of shame. So many of you just do not Get It!

  3. Profile photo of ManTalks ManTalks says:

    Kim Shannon, you say:

    "But I don’t think the actual bullying problem was addressed. As parents, I think we need to make sure we know the difference between changing our children’s futures for the better versus just changing our children."

    The "bullying problem" lies over in society’s court, the way we raise our children, the values we model for them early on that create the respect, empathy, sympathy, generosity of spirit, kindness we hope children emulate in their own relationships.

    What so many commenters are oblivious to is what was this girl to do in the face of destructive bullying? Her face seemed to invite cruelty "to her face". Your comments reflect immaterial judgments.

    As the mother, how long do you let your child endure the daily harassment that she can not control? Nor can you. Nor can the school administration, obviously.

    A school assembly on "Being nice to kids who you don’t think are as cool as you" is pointedly aimed at the "less than cool, very freaky looking" more than the kids who are being individually and societally cruel.

    The message is, as perceived by the bullies themselves, "Be Nice, okay? Even to the dorky, ugly kids".

    If they cannot feel, naturally, by instinct, generosity and kindness in their hearts by the time they are teenagers, then "school programs" are not going to help the bullied much.

  4. Profile photo of BarryDeen BarryDeen says:

    This is disgusting. Nothing more to say.

  5. Profile photo of Brittney Brittney says:

    I’m sorry but this charity is supposed to help children born with deformities, and that girl did not have any deformities. So, her ears are larger than most peoples, and she didn’t like the way she looked; because other people told her not to. I was bullied my whole school career to, but I didn’t go running out for plastic surgery. I always thought about it, I want to change this or that. I would never let my child get plastic surgery just because he didn’t like something. I’m not going to risk my son’s life for an elective surgery that will not make him feel better about his self.

    I’ve been thinking about getting a boob lift or a tummy tuck since having my son, but after this article, I think I rather have my flaws then try to have a quick fix and set a good example for him down the road.

    This charity needs to stick to kids that actually NEED surgery.

  6. Profile photo of Kassandra Kassandra says:

    What do they think she is going to go threw now… The kids might sit there and start saying what your mom and dad make you have surgery cause your so ugly?? They need to teach her to stand up for herself and not let them get to her.. When kids see this on tv what is it teaching them??? It teaches them surgery and damaging there bodies like that is fine!!!

  7. Profile photo of Kassandra Kassandra says:

    I was picked on when i was younger and bullied… But now i am stronger for it… Our kids will go threw this in life we can’t just pretend that plastic surgery will fix everything.. They will still be bullied one way or another! So let us teach out kids to not listen to what is said about them but to walk away and be happy there not that depressed they have to hurt some one to feel better!!!! I wish parents would actually teach there kids to reach out and not let anything hurt them… There is nothing wrong with that lil girl!

  8. Profile photo of MM MM says:

    And the bullies at school should be hauled over the coals and expelled, plain and simple. This way we have given in and yet again they win. We as people are far far too soft and lenient. Afterwards mum can do something if needed.

  9. Profile photo of JessMaeRowe JessMaeRowe says:

    ok, if the child was born with some kind of deformity that’s fine, but big ears? a big nose? that’s not a deformity, the girl looked just fine before the surgery she could’ve just worn her hair down if she really wanted to cover them, no one should get plastic surgery until their bodies are finished growing, what kind of message is this sending to kids?

  10. Profile photo of MomAgain MomAgain says:

    What has our world come to, now we’re giving in to the pressure and teaching our children that the bullies are right?! How does that make sense? How are we supposed to build a world of people who celebrate differences if we will erase them? What’s next, professional skin color altering for those teased about their race? Oh, how about jackpots for those teased about their family’s income level. Hm, special schools for those who learn at a different level? This seems to me to be going down a similar path as the "every kid gets a trophy" in youth sports; so all the wonderful lessons about working together, strengths and weaknesses, trying and failure are lost. Then we wonder why our children are entitled and give up so darn easy.
    I’m not saying bullying shouldn’t be addressed, just maybe not like this.

  11. Profile photo of Gigantricks Gigantricks says:

    On one level I understand this, because kids can be as mean as all, but on another level it’s incorrect to teach a kid that they’re not good enough just because some people don’t approve of their appearance. What the parents should have done is enrolled her in Karate so the next time someone spouted off she could have popped them in the mouth.

  12. Profile photo of KLa KLa says:

    I myself have big ears and i was teased in school. And my one year old son has my ears too. You can’t. Fix every problem your child faces with a knife. Everyone is different and stands out in different ways. Plastic surgery should be a decision after their an adult. That child may change their mind later down the road and be unhappy with the results. After all she was a child, a minor. It was wrong decision. She should have had guidance in self confidence and respect for ones self.

  13. Profile photo of Francesca Francesca says:

    I don’t think this girl needed it. Some other stories I have read about kids getting surgery seemed more appropriate: a crooked nose after breaking 2 times, ears that were folded over (I knew a boy like that when I was young and he had surgery to flatten them out). But this girl should have waited it out. Almost everyone goes through ugly years during puberty and then blossoms into very attractive people. And if that ended up not happening, she would be an adult by then and could do whatever she wanted, though I still think she didn’t need it. Yes, she looks more polished now, but that is because her makeup and hair are done professionally for tv whereas her before photo is plain in poor lighting.

  14. Profile photo of Heather Heather says:

    This is the most absurd thing I have heard in a while…. We should teach our kids to be proud of their so-called imperfections! This is giving power right back to the bully and teaching our kids that you should hide yourself instead of loving yourself!! So sad that this is what the world is coming to….

  15. Profile photo of JenniDunfee JenniDunfee says:

    They paid $40,000 dollars to perform plastic surgery on a girl who was perfectly normal looking? What?!

    What about children who’ve been burned, or have actual birth defects like cleft lips and/or palates? That I can understand helping families pay for plastic surgery. But honestly what if that girl had died under the knife for an elective surgery she didn’t even need?

    Having surgery is so not the answer to bullies or raising self confidence.

  16. Profile photo of yayataylor22 yayataylor22 says:

    whoooooooooooooooooooaw don’t agree with this

  17. Profile photo of Shelbysmommy Shelbysmommy says:

    So the message here is to build self-esteem in our children through plastic surgery. Wow… sounds like lazy and detached parenting to me!
    Of course she has no regrets, she’s not old enough or mature enough to understand that she could potentially have grown up and gotten through the rough years in school to come out better without possibly having needed the surgery anyway. I had plastic surgery in my 20s because no matter how much self-confidence I had, I was tired of looking like a 10 year old girl and had the worst time finding bras, clothes, and bathing suits that made me feel like a woman!
    I will go ahead and preemptively apologize to my 1 year old daughter – I will not be approving any optional plastic surgery until college or later should she ever ask.
    Appalling

  18. Profile photo of Nicole Nicole says:

    I’d have been much more likely to campaign at the school to develop an education for bullies type class than this. Trust me, it’s no different than changing her cloths, they will still pick on her because she’s a target to them not a person. I agree with others who say she was a beautiful girl prior to surgery, and she is a beautiful girl after surgery. If she felt that strongly well, we fix our kid’s teeth don’t we? THAT’S just cosmetic. I don’t see the difference.

  19. Profile photo of atothedbly atothedbly says:

    this is really sad… the solution to bullying is not to change the children being bullied… the solution is better parenting to those doing the bullying in the first place! this is just aweful!

  20. Profile photo of HMomOf4 HMomOf4 says:

    My brother was born with a partial kidney, and had been bullied because of his odd features. As much as it hurt us when he was bullied, we prayed harder for transplant options then for plastic surgery. In fact that never crossed our minds! we explained how children don’t understand things that are different, but worked hard as a family to pull what we could to survive. I would hope that children suffering from fatal deformities would be helped easier but this is what we come up with.

  21. Profile photo of vicki vicki says:

    That is so sad that children feel they have to go to this level to stop the bullying. I think the girl was just as beautiful in her "before" pic. My heart breaks for kids like her, I was bullied all the time as a child and I know the pain and emotional scars that it leaves. Unfortunately, no amount of plastic surgery is going to take away the emotional damage caused by bullies. So sad…

  22. Profile photo of Angela Angela says:

    That’s so sad. I wouldn’t let my kid to get plastic surgery. Didn’t Kanye’s mom die during plastic surgery? Enough said. I would NEVER let my kid go through plastic surgery because she/he wanted something to "look" better. No thank you.

  23. Profile photo of Christine Christine says:

    Wow. don’t they even want to give her a little time to grow into her looks? this is horrible.

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