Bullying and plastic surgery: Would you let your teen get surgery?

September 6, 2012

Bullying and plastic surgery: Would you let your teen get surgery?
Bullying and plastic surgery: Would you let your teen get surgery?

We recently brought you the story of Nadia Ilse, a teenager who underwent otoplasty, rhinoplasty and a chin augmentation after being bullied at school for her looks. The story garnered a lot of attention from the media, and RealSelf.com created a survey to get an inside look at how the public was responding to the news. Their survey questioned 650 people, asking them if they would allow their children to go under the knife in order to avoid bullying.

The overwhelming majority, a full 68 percent, said they would be open to the idea of plastic surgery were it their child who was being tormented. The survey also asked parents what procedures they felt were acceptable. About one quarter said they would approve of ear pinning and nose jobs, which is precisely what Ilse had done.

"It was interesting to see the results of how many people would allow cosmetic surgery as a possible option," said vice president of community and marketing for RealSelf Alicia Nakamoto. "…Every person deserves to feel happy and confident about the way they look despite the reasons why."

Meanwhile, Ilse has come forward following her surgery and spoke with ABC about her decision to change her appearance. She also provided the news source with before and after pictures of her cosmetic surgery, to show the dramatic results. Ilse says she's ready to forgive her tormentors, but she won't forget what they did, and the harsh treatment.

"I believe in forgiveness, but I will never forget the times that they did that, the times they made fun of me, and the times they hurt me," she told ABC. "You have to make them earn it."

Last year, around 1.4 percent of cosmetic procedures were performed on people under the age of 18, according to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. Those between the ages of 19 and 34 accounted for 20 percent of the procedures. Popular nonsurgical procedures for teens are acne laser and light skin treatments and laser hair removal.

Before anyone decides to undergo plastic surgery, whether they're a teen or an adult, they must do thorough research, which includes speaking with a board-certified plastic surgeon. Online research can fall short, which is why it's best to take your questions to an experienced medical professional.

What do you think? Would you let your teen go under the knife, if it meant he or she would avoid bullying? 


The mission of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) includes medical education, public education and patient advocacy. Plastic Surgery News Briefs are summaries of current stories found through various news and magazine outlets that relate to or mention plastic surgery and cosmetic procedures. The views expressed in these news articles do not necessarily reflect the opinions of ASAPS, but are merely published as an educational service to our members and the general public. For additional information on these subjects and other plastic surgery related topics, please go to www.surgery.org

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About ASAPS
The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), is recognized as the world’s leading organization devoted entirely to aesthetic plastic surgery and cosmetic medicine of the face and body.  ASAPS is comprised of over 2,600 Plastic Surgeons; active members are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (USA) or by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and have extensive training in the complete spectrum of surgical and non-surgical aesthetic procedures. International active members are certified by equivalent boards of their respective countries. All members worldwide adhere to a strict Code of Ethics and must meet stringent membership requirements.

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