Should Plastic Surgery Be Considered a Solution for Bullying?

Thursday August 16, 2012

By Sherri M. Gordon

Earlier this month, I read an interesting article about a young girl, Nadia Ilse, who was bullied for having large ears that stuck out. The pain she suffered was indescribable. She would cry as soon as she stepped off the bus, skip school complaining of stomachaches and even contemplated suicide at one point.

As with most victims of bullying, she kept her pain and torment to herself often crying herself to sleep at night. When she finally did tell her mother about the torment she was suffering, she begged to have plastic surgery. But her mother couldn't afford it.

As a result, she turned to the organization, Little Baby Face Foundation in Manhattan. This organization provides free surgery for children with deformities who have a financial need. They agreed to perform the surgery on Nadia. And, in June, Dr. Thomas Romo pinned her ears back and also operated on her nose and chin.

After reading this article and several similar cases, many bullying advocates, like myself, question whether getting plastic surgery is a healthy way to address bullying. There also are concerns that the surgery will just open her up to more bullying. But Nadia's mother argues that her daughter's surgery is no different than somebody getting braces to improve their smile.

Regardless of whether or not plastic surgery will help keep bullies at bay, the pain that Nadia experienced from the previous bullying is likely still there. And Nadia still has to deal with that. Fortunately, her mother seems to understand this and has said she will get her daughter counseling to work on building self-esteem.

What are your thoughts? Do you think plastic surgery is part of the solution when it comes to bullying?

Photo courtesy of iStockphoto

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