‘You have the biggest ears I’ve ever seen!’
Such were taunts Nadia Ilse faced from classmates at school starting as early as first grade. Bullied for years because of her physical appearance, Nadia began asking her mother for plastic surgery to get her ears pinned back at just 10-years-old.
Now at 14-years-old Nadia has undergone $40,000 worth of plastic surgery to do just that and also alter her chin and nose to match.
The Little Baby Face Foundation, a non-profit organization that provides free corrective surgery for children born with facial deformities, provided Nadia with an all-expense paid trip to New York for her plastic surgeries. Although she only wanted to get her ears pinned back, her doctor recommended that she also have her chin and nose done to balance out her features.
Nadia says that she feels better about herself now and hopes that the bullying will stop when she gets back to school.
“I’m going to be nervous at first, but I think I can pull it through and that they will realize what they have done and they will stop,” says Nadia about returning to school.
Will Nadia’s new look stop her tormentors? That’s a hard question to answer and one that the young girl will face head-on come fall. And what did the bullies learn from Nadia’s plastic surgery? That their taunts and name calling could have the power to convince someone to go under the knife and change their appearance. Is that something we want to teach children?
What about Nadia herself? Will all the plastic surgery erase seven years of bullying?
While her new look might have given her a new boost of confidence, Nadia’s self-esteem has been scattered throughout the years by her bullies. Her external make-over, does not fix the internal damage that has been done.
I also have to say that focusing on her external beauty sends a very negative message to Nadia and reinforces notions that women and girls are valued based on their physical appearance rather than what they think or do. Women and girls need to learn to build their self-esteem based on their talents and skills, not what they look like.
What do you think? Do you think Nadia’s plastic surgery will help her self-esteem in the long run?
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Photo credit: Photo by madelineyoki used under a Creative Commons license.