Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Plastic Surgery among Youths Sends Wrong Message

Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Plastic Surgery among Youths Sends Wrong Message

Article excerpt

As headlines go, this one definitely caught my attention: "Bullied teen gets $40,000 of plastic surgery to stop taunts." The article, written by Zosia Bielski, went on to describe how young teen Nadia Isle spent years of being bullied from first grade until age 14, when she had the plastic surgery performed. The foundation that helped fund the surgery, Little Baby Face Foundation, is a nonprofit that helps deliver free surgery to children born with facial deformities, and in some cases to those who have been bullied because of a physical feature.

What is troubling about Nadia's surgery is that her ears were the target area for her by other kids with taunts of "Dumbo" or "Elephant Ears," but the surgeon went on to work on her nose and chin as well. When the doctor was questioned on why he operated on areas that bullies never targeted, the doctor stated that "she (Nadia) didn't recognize that."

In 2011, nearly 77,000 teenagers had elective plastic surgery, taking up 5 percent of all cosmetic surgical procedures, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Rhinoplasty, reshaping of the nose, topped the list. Gynecomastia (breast reductions for males) was second followed by breast augmentation for females.

Young people appear to have various motivations for wanting plastic surgery. For example, looking like their peers, emulating a Hollywood star or dealing with a specific area that has been taunted are all reasons given by young people. According to the article, "Teens opt for nip, tuck as quick fix for body-image issues" by Ben Wolfgang, it's important to understand the motivations for surgery.

According to Dr. Michael Olding, chief of plastic surgery at George Washington University's School of Medicine: "There are certainly significant differences when approaching plastic surgery for anyone under the age of 18. We hesitate to operate on them unless there's a compelling reason to do so."

There is so much more than just a physical change for young people. …

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