14-year-old Nadia Ilse received a donation of plastic surgery to pin back her ears after living through years of cruel bullying. The plastic surgeon suggested a nose job and chin work too.
Nadia said that she was outgoing and happy as a child, but all that changed in first grade when the cruel taunting began. Non-stop bullying made Nadia anti-social and depressed. She begged her mother for an operation to "fix" her ears. With some internet research, they found an organization that provides free plastic surgery to children with facial disfigurement. She was granted an all-expenses paid trip to New York and a donation of plastic surgery.
Nadia originally applied for a procedure to pin back her ears. After examining her, the doctor spotted some other areas that he felt could be improved, namely her chin and her nose.
Now there is no doubt that this doctor has done some admirable work and his intention is to improve childrens' lives. But let's not forget that Nadia suffered daily humiliation because kids were ruthless in their crriticisms of her looks. So something just doesn't sit right when an adult--a doctor--says, "I love thin chins, but I don't want them as pointy as that chin," pointing directly at Nadia's "pointy" chin for CNN's cameras.
Sanjay Gupta asked Nadia the million dollar question: "There are people who would say, 'Nadia, you don't need to do this. This was just the way you were born. People should love people for who they are.' What do you say to those folks?"
"I say that they're right," Nadia answered. "But it'll never stop. It'll just keep going--get worse and worse."
Bullying is traumatic and it can have a lasting effect on self-esteem and confidence, but middle school and high school are arguably the worst of times when it comes to the cruel taunting. The "It Gets Better" campaign was built around the idea that if you can get through your teen years, there is hope, happiness and even self-acceptance at the end of the tunnel. When things are really, really bad, it can seem like they can only get worse. You can't blame Nadia for wanting a solution to her pain. But is surgery the right solution? Shouldn't we be focusing on "fixing" the bullies instead of the bullied? Do kids need makeovers or is it our perfection-obsessed culture that needs some work done?
What do you think?