Bullied teens seeking free plastic surgery from nonprofit
We're all well aware that bullying has become a HUGE problem in this country. But is plastic surgery really the answer? According to Little Baby Face Foundation it just might be. The nonprofit in New York City helps provide free plastic surgery for young kids with facial deformities that have been victims of bullying. But what kind of lessons are the bullies themselves receiving from all this?
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After years of bullying, 15-year-old Renata decided it was time to give plastic surgery a chance. The young girl had been constantly tormented for her nose so badly that she stopped attending school and has been home-schooled for the last three years.
"They were just calling me 'that girl with the big nose,'" she told NBC News. "It just really hurts. And you can't get over it."
What even made this kid consider plastic surgery? Apparently she and her mom Michelle read about another teen named Nadia Ilse last year who had plastic surgery done through the Little Baby Face Foundation.
"I tried convincing myself that I am fine the way I am, but I just don't believe it anymore," she wrote in her application letter.
Renata wound up being chosen to receive plastic surgery. Dr. Thomas Romo, the director of facial, plastic and reconstructive surgery at Lenox Hill Hospital, diagnosed her with a hemi-facial microsomia, a condition that left her face underdeveloped and with a nose leaned to the left. Not only did he offer her a new nose, but also added a chin implant to balance her face.
In my opinion, Renata looked perfectly fine before the surgery. And the fact that she had to get plastic surgery to fight off bullies really bothers me. It's almost like saying that it's her own fault she was bullied.
"Are we saying that the responsibility falls on the kid who's bullied, to alter themselves surgically?" New York psychologist Vivian Diller said in an interview with NBC News on this topic. "We really have to address the idea that there should be zero tolerance of bullying, and maybe we even have to encourage the acceptance of differences"
I understand this organization offering children with severe facial deformities like cleft or facial palsey free plastic surgery. But my concern is that cases like Renata's or more minor would lead more kids to believe that plastic surgery is the answer to bullying when in reality the bullies are the ones that need to do the changing.