Is Plastic Surgery Really The Answer for Bullied Kids?


There’s finally a bit of good news for kids getting bullied in school: they may be eligible for free plastic surgery! In one of the stranger and more deplorable practices in our society today, an organization called “Little Baby Faces” is offering cosmetic procedures for bullied kids, free of charge. While this may seem like an honorable move at first glance, parents should note that the service isn’t aimed only at correcting disfigurements caused by bullies. In one story, a young girl teased because of her “big ears” scores a plastic surgery consultation through Little Baby Faces and leaves with a long list of her physical imperfections.

At the age of 10, Nadia Ilse finally asked her mom if she could get plastic surgery to have her ears pinned back, after enduring years of bullying by kids who called her “Dumbo” and “elephant ears.” Through the Little Baby Faces program, Nadia was able to correct the minor problem that had been plaguing her for more than seven years. However, the plastic surgeon in Nadia’s consultation encouraged the 14-year-old to get not only surgery to pin her ears back, but surgery on other imperfect facial features as well. As the surgeon said to Nadia, “I love thin chins, but I don’t want them as pointy as that chin.” And he didn’t stop there. He also recommended surgery on her nose, in order to repair the asymmetrical features that he said would become more pronounced once her ears were pinned back, even though Nadia never noticed or mentioned these “imperfections.” What gives?

14 year old Nadia Ilse before and after plastic surgery:
Nadia Ilse before and after plastic surgery

While offering the 14-year-old an all-expense paid trip to New York for a free otoplasty surgery is commendable, you have to wonder, what are the implications of putting self-conscious kids under the knife? And why did the plastic surgeon have to talk Nadia into a rhinoplasty and mentoplasty, in addition to the procedure she was planning on having? More importantly, what happens when Nadia gets a little older and decides that she doesn’t like her stomach or thinks that her breasts are too small? How much more likely is she to opt for plastic surgery now that she’s already undergone three procedures before the age of 18? The whole situation just seems like a plastic surgery nightmare waiting to happen. After all, what is Little Baby Faces marketing, minor surgical procedures or little perfect faces? I’m sure that Nadia is loving all of the attention that her free plastic surgery has garnered, but in the long run this is a hugely negative thing to do to a teenage girl.

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  • avatar layne says:

    Omg I used to have those same ears! I was also called ‘Dumbo’ in elementary and middle school and through high school I would refuse to wear my hair up because I was so self-conscious of my ears. If I did have to wear them up I would always wear thick headbands to keep them pinned back against my head.

    Now I’m 24 and I’m a swan. No one even notices my ears and I actually wear my hair up in a ponytail and in high buns a lot. People always tell my boyfriend how pretty or beautiful, and I do believe I am pretty.

    We live in a quick fix society, everyone does things by a measurement of convenience. I was this girl, I did think about asking my parents to get my ears done, though they would never have obliged to that anyway. This girl is going to develop a complex as she gets older. Kids are cruel, gotta deal.

  • avatar Ely says:

    It’s not like the girl is the prttiest in the world…

    OK, getting serious now. I can see why the nose, byut her chin is only pointy because she needs to put on weigth. I thought her chin was lovely and near perfect. And she had a perfect oblong shape, now it’s so oval it’s… plain.

    Whe I as little my chin would protrude like that but now I’m a sexy bombshell with a young-looking face.

    She shouldn’t have done the mentoplasty, she’s still in the awkward stages of her growspurt. Her body ill sort everything out later.

  • avatar Dr. Branman says:

    As it turns out, the doctor who performed the surgery also pointed out that this victim of bullying needed a rhinoplasty (nose reshaping), in this case a reduction) and a mentoplasty (reshaping of the chin to make it more or less prominent) as well, ostensibly because these two features would look “bigger” once the size of her ears were reduced. The ethics of performing certain facial surgery on teens concerns me, because as a teenager one’s face has not fully matured. For instance, the jaw bone is the last bone to mature in the face. I will generally only perform cosmetic surgery on the ears and the nose for a teenager under the age of 18, and only after a thorough consultation with the teen and his or her parents. I believe that informed and thoughtful guidelines must be observed during a consultation.

  • avatar RobThom says:

    I’d bully a kid who got elective cosmetic surgery even more.

    Just on moral grounds.

  • avatar CatWoman says:

    The rhinoplasty should have been offered, as an option, due to the deviated septum, but she should have decided, not the doctor. Her chin was narrow, but perfectly fine. The ears are a huge improvement. Kids are cruel, but the whole world is kinder to a nicer looking person. Sad, but true. Lucky kid, to get to look better. Eventually she will be around different kids, so she will live this down.

  • avatar big ears says:

    I have very big ears.bigger than obama ears and tall nose.Irealy want to go to that doctor,but how?

  • avatar Cat says:

    They are running a business, of course they are going to push for these kids to have other, more expensive procedures. Nobody does anything for free, this is publicity for the surgeon as well as then getting more money from further operations that the surgeon has suggested. If she was my daughter, she may have been allowed to get her ears pinned back if it was really distressing her, but nothing else – I would also send her to Karate class, I am sure she wouldn’t get bullied after that and it would give her another interest besides herself.

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