Bullying has always been an unfortunate part of growing up, and there are countless cautionary tales about how far bullying can go and what it can push children to do. Social media seems to have exacerbated the bullying epidemic, as cyberbulling has become a huge problem in and of itself. If your child was being harassed because of his or her appearance, would you consider plastic surgery as a way to fight back against bullying?
How Bad Is the Bullying Problem?
Surviving and thriving adolescence is difficult, but some kids have it even harder when they become victims of bullying. Statistics show that one in seven students was bullied or bullied someone else between kindergarten and 12th grade. Unfortunately, there are endless news stories about how devastating bullying can be when some are pushed to suicide as a desperate way to finally escape incessant harassment. Each day, over 100,000 kids are estimated to miss or skip school because they’re afraid of the bullying they’ll receive.
Feeling accepted can be difficult during the school age years, and kids can be incredibly cruel to someone who doesn’t fit the mold. One of the most common reasons children are bullied is because of how they look. While you can wear trendy clothes or get a certain haircut to fit in with the crowd, when your physical appearance is the reason for the bullying, your options are more limited.
How Plastic Surgery Can Combat Bullying
Anytime the idea of plastic surgery for teens is broached, a wave of debate and controversy ensues. Some will argue that surgically altering anyone who hasn’t yet reached adulthood is never a good idea. Others make the case that when surgical intervention may help reducing bullying and emotional hardship, plastic surgery options shouldn’t be automatically dismissed. In fact, a recent survey revealed that while most parents are fundamentally against the idea of elective plastic surgery for teens, the majority were in favor of procedures that could potentially stop their child from being bullied.
Teen Surgery Is on the Rise
Although teens still represent a very small percentage of all plastic surgery recipients, statistics from the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons reveal that cosmetic procedures are on the rise in the adolescent demographic. Plastic surgery procedures among 13- to 19-year-olds rose by five percent from 2010 to 2011, with almost 132,000 performed in 2011.
Common Corrections for Children and Teens
One of the most sought after plastic surgery procedures for teens and preteens are otoplasty, a procedure that pins back, reshapes or repositions the ears. Overly large ears or ears that stick out are a commonly-teased trait, but this procedure offers a wonderful solution that can stop the bullying and restore confidence. Rhinoplasty, laser hair removal and breast reduction are other common procedures for students suffering from bullying.
Private Charities Emerge to Support Teen Plastic Surgery
Several groups have made it their mission to fight the alienation and depression that bullying can cause for young people. Little Baby Face Foundation (LBFF) is one such group, and they raise money to offer free surgery to children worldwide who are suffering from bullying. By funding these procedures, LBFF hopes to improve self-confidence and quality of life, one child at a time.
Talk to Your Child and a Reputable Plastic Surgeon
If your teen expresses interest in surgical solutions to help end bullying, carefully research plastic surgeons before scheduling a consultation. Choose a plastic surgeon with the right combination of experience and bedside manner to help your child break the bullying cycle and regain self-confidence.