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Plastic Surgery a Cure for Bullying?

Last August, a 14 year old teenage girl from Georgia named Nadia Ilse had plastic surgery performed to address a facial deformity. That this happened was not particularly noteworthy. How and why it happened are a big deal.

How did this happen? Nadia’s family received a $40,000 grant from the Little Baby Face Foundation. The charity provides free corrective surgery to children born with facial deformities.

Why did this happen? Nadia had ears that protruded from her head in an abnormal way. This issue caused non-stop harassment from classmates who called her “Dumbo” and “Elephant Ears.” Nadia, once described as affable and outgoing, had become withdrawn, anti-social and a completely different person.

Before long, Nadia had started to request a procedure called otoplasty that would pin her ears back.  The requests started coming consistently but the procedure is very expensive. That is when the Little Baby Face Foundation stepped in with their grant.

Armed with this money, doctors were not only able to address Nadia’s ears, but they were also able to perform rhinoplasty addressing her nose and mentoplasty which changed the shape of her chin.

Detractors thought this appalling. The antidote, they say, for bullying is increased self-esteem rooted in achievement. The cure was not going under the knife. Others feel that isn’t fair or even realistic. Middle school years are brutal as maturity levels for kids are all over the board. Self esteem for teenage girls is very difficult to come by as a result. Sprinkle in an image obsessed pop culture that is all over U.S. television and you have a very tough environment.

The line between what can be a physically debilitating issue and an appearance limitation that can cause emotional distress for a temporary period is blurry and different for everybody. For some people, looking good means feeling good. Feeling good means you can perform the daily duties, school or work, better.

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