Image source Huffington Post
Bullying is not a new topic. It’s existed as long as we have, and, with 24/7 access to victims thanks to the Internet and cell phones, there seems to be no escape. Despite countless suicides across the country, ongoing calls to action for a change, and victim support from total strangers (bus monitor Karen Klein can now retire thanks to the $700k in donations she received), nothing really seems to have changed. And now, thanks to a non-profit organization called the Little Baby Face Foundation, the wrong message is getting out there.
What at first glance appears to be a great non-profit that provides complimentary plastic surgery to children suffering from facial deformities (including cleft palate and facial palsy, among others) has most recently taken a completely normal 14-year-old girl and given her a permanent makeover.
Nadia Ilse was bullied for almost a decade for her “elephant ears,” being called Dumbo by many of her classmates. After begging her mother for surgery to pin her ears back, she was finally accepted by the Little Baby Face Foundation as a good candidate, due in large part to the fact that she had become increasingly depressed and withdrawn because of her appearance. Once flown to New York for the free procedure, her surgeon then explained that he likes a different type of chin and her nose could be tweaked. The result? A three-procedure surgery.
While Nadia today looks gorgeous, what kind of message does her story send to other children who are bullied? Where she has every right to alter her appearance (at the age of 18, IMHO), shouldn’t her parents teach her to be happy with herself? Bullies are cruel, yes, but I doubt their taunts will end even now that she no longer has ears that stick out a bit. No, now she will be made fun of for being the girl that had to have plastic surgery (trust me, kids will come up with anything). Further, was her surgeon helping her by pointing out the other so-called flaws on her face? Or was he abusing his position with an impressionable young girl?
Now, instead of teaching kids to be confident in themselves, we’re telling them that anything they don’t like about themselves can be lobbed off with a scalpel. Wasn’t it just over a year ago that Lady Gaga was telling her Little Monsters that we’re all born this way?
Talk about a change in perspective.
Posted by Haley