August 20, 2013

Would You Let Your Child Have Plastic Surgery?

Growing up is the same for many children if not all; children want to be just like their friends. However, when one child is different from the others, they get made fun of because of those differences. No matter how hard we try to teach them that differences are what makes everyone unique and that those differences are not bad at all, ever, they still get teased and that sticks. Decades ago, it was a little easier. No one knew about cosmetic surgery and cosmetic surgery for children wasn’t even given a thought. Girls and boys just knew they’d have to grow out the acne-phase. Girls knew to use socks for their bras and boys learned how to semi-successfully hide their cracking voices. Now even parents are opting in for cosmetic surgery on their children just to save them from the anguish and embarrassment their children will inevitably receive from their peers. Albeit, parents are behaving based on their children’s behalf, they’re being parents, but is cosmetic surgery a viable solution for bullying?

Bullying in the 21st Century
According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, children under the age of 18 accounted for just over one percent of the total plastic surgeries in 2012, undergoing 130,502 procedures. According to,,, and, every 7 minutes a child is bullied; 85% of the time, there is no intervention of any kind. About 47 teens are bullied every five minutes while there are about 282,000 students who are reportedly attacked in high school each month. 71% of students report bullying as an ongoing problem and the leading cause of death among children under the age 14 is suicide. 43% of middle school children avoid the bathroom and locker rooms at all costs due to certainty of being bullied. When polled 98% of students indicated that they want teachers to intervene. Bullying was a factor in 2/3 of the 37 school shooting reviews by the US Secret Service. Bullying is obviously a huge problem for the nation’s children; would you consider bullying an issue concerning enough for parents to use cosmetic surgery as a solution? Is there an exception if the parents and child know that their physical feature is the number one reason he/she is being bullied?

Nadia is 14

14-year-old Nadia Ilse has been teased and bullied about her larger ears since she was just 7 years old. Nadia found school a classic nightmare where her classmates tormented her and she could not bear to look at herself in the mirror. According to Nadia, she even thought about suicide, but being the intelligent young woman she is, decided it was obviously not the right solution. However, the teasing and bullying escalated to where she missed many days of school claiming her stomach hurt or she had awful migraines. Nadia was afraid to tell her mother, Lynda, as she had recently been laid off word and her 9-year-old brother, Joshua was battling cerebral palsy. Nadia couldn’t bear to add to her family’s struggles however horrible her own struggles were. When she was finally able to tell her mother, with tears running down her face, Lynda was devastated and heartbroken but knew she had to do something about it. It was obvious that the small family couldn’t afford it so she turned to the Little Baby Face Foundation, a Manhattan-based organization that provides free surgery for children with facial deformities who have a financial need. Nadia had the $40,000 operation on her ears, also called an otoplasty. Nadia says she feels like a new, beautiful girl and no longer has a problem looking at herself in the mirror. Asked about how she felt about the bullies who tormenter her, she said: “I forgive, but I don’t forget.”

Samantha is 7

In April, people around the world expressed their opinions and outrage when 7-year-old Samantha Shaw had her ears surgically pinned back to escape name calling and harassment. Also through the Little Baby Face Foundation, Samantha had a similar otoplasty as Nadia to pin back her cup ears and fix a fold on her right ear. However, having ear surgery on a 7-year old girl was quite a shocker to the public. Samantha had not experienced or acknowledged that she had been bullied, her mother finding the worst coming from grown adults, quoting one woman who went up to Samantha and said “Oh my God, what happened to your ears?” Samantha’s mother did not want her daughter to become a bullying statistic; she instead chose preventative cosmetic surgery for her daughter’s ears. Samantha’s only hopes were to wear her hair like the other girls in her class do and to get her ears pierced.

Otoplasty is the most common cosmetic operation done on children. In addition to cleft lip or cleft palate surgery, it’s the only cosmetic procedure acceptable for young children. Otoplasty is acceptable for young children because at the age of six, the ear is 90% of adult size, allowing for easy operation and the child is old enough to understand why the operation is important. Rhinoplasty is the most requested surgical procedure by teens. It can be performed when the nose has completed 90% of its growth which can occur as early as 13-14 in girls and 15-16 in boys.

The Real Questions Are: What would you do as a parent? Would you find a solution to bullying in plastic surgery?  Are there exceptions? What does this type of solution say to your children? Feel free to comment and discuss as you please.

The Summit Medical Group is a medical reconstructive and cosmetic surgery center in New Jersey. Our expert surgeons are recognized throughout New Jersey and the New York metropolitan area for their outstanding work in cosmetic, reconstructive, and hand procedures. Whatever your interest or needs the plastic surgeons offer a wide range of procedures designed to help rejuvenate, polish, and refine your look. This plastic surgery center specializes in not only body surgery such as post-bariatric surgery, liposuction and breast augmentations in New Jersey but also facial plastic surgery such as rhinoplasty.

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1 comment:

  1. I was born with birth defects. The worst was scars on the top of my head from being born"dry birth". My legs/knees/thighs have nasty scars. They are the imprint of my mother's pelvic bone.
    Scar tissue does NOT grow hair!
    I had my ST surgery (scalp) reduction when I was 3 & my last when I was 18. I had 5 operations on my head!
    I never did anything about my legs ...I just don't wear short unless I am swimming. I don't wear short skirts.
    Anyways, my point is if it is a defect that completely affects a child, then YES by all means!
    I have memories of the other children in the doctors office when I would go for a visit.
    I saw kids with extra fingers, toes etc. I saw kids with all kind of birth defect or injuries.
    I knew then I was lucky to have what damage I live with compared to them. I still cry thinking about it.
    That said, I believe that surgery is okay IF it is to correct a birth defect or injury! If it's something that puberty might change then I say wait!


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