Is Plastic Surgery for Kids the Right Solution to Stop Bullying?Meredith Carroll
Would cosmetic surgery on kids cut down on the instances of bullying? Some families seem to think the answer is yes, and statistics from the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery point to the fact that over the past decade, the number of children and teens who have gone under the knife for non-medical reasons increased by nearly 30 percent. Some experts argue that bullying is partly to thank for the increase in cosmetic procedures.
Lots of kids adopt defense mechanisms to ward off teasing and bullying for protruding ears, for example. But in some cases, when words aren’t enough, they’re resorting to procedures like otoplasty (pinning back the ears).
Bullying is known to cause problems in victims, and eventually, kids that are picked on can end up lashing out, feeling depressed and having trouble with their schoolwork, according to a report from ABC News. The tormenting at the hand (or words) of another kid cannot be undermined, according to some doctors.
Before performing a cosmetic procedure on children, most surgeons will talk to them over the course of several consultations to find out how they feel and how they interact with their peers. According to parents who spoke to ABC News, with the advent of the Internet and sites like Facebook, bullying has gotten much worse.
Of course there are plenty of experts who argue that allowing a child to undergo a cosmetic surgery procedure to cut down on bullying sends the wrong message, which is that the victim is responsible for being picked on and that performing plastic surgery on a child doesn’t help change the behavior of bullies. That responsibility lies with schools and society, they say.
The cost of otoplasty is between $5,000 and $10,000, and it is the most common cosmetic procedure performed on young children. In fact, besides surgery to repair a cleft lip or palate, it’s the only one acceptable for young children.
It’s devastating to me that some kids, especially young ones, feel they have to resort to pricey plastic surgery to get other kids to stop bullying them. But on the other hand, I think it’s idealistic or unrealistic to say that schools and society will be able to stop instances of bullying.
I’m not opposed to plastic surgery in adults — It’s your body. Do what you want to it. And while I’m generally against a 16-year-old girl going under the knife so she can look more like a model, I can’t say that I’m entirely opposed to a young kid getting a feature fixed that might make him or her feel better about themselves if it’s something that is otherwise causing them anguish, due to bullying.
Do you think it’s OK for kids to get plastic surgery to fix a feature they get teased about?