nadia ilseIn my opinion, 14-year-old Nadia Ilse has always been a beautiful girl. But she didn't feel beautiful until recently, when the Little Baby Face Foundation paid for plastic surgery to pin back her protruding ears. I guess it would be hard to feel beautiful after years of being called "Dumbo" by kids at school. Apparently Nadia started begging for an operation way back in the first grade, when the "relentless bullying" began.

I don't blame her for wanting surgery, and, sadly, I think her fears that the bullying would "never stop" unless she had the surgery were valid. As a mom, I also understand why her mother contacted the non-profit Little Baby Face -- watching your kid suffer for years must be horrible. So on the one hand, I'm glad LBF stepped up and paid for the otoplasy. On the other hand, I'm not sure how I feel about the additional rhinoplasty (nose job) and mentoplasty (chin job).

The thing is, there was nothing "wrong" with Nadia's nose or chin. There was nothing "wrong" with her ears, either, except that they made her an easy target for cruel kids. In an ideal situation, Nadia would have learned how to love herself exactly the way she was, ears and all -- in your face, bullies. This was not an ideal situation, however (if ideal situations even exist). So the ear surgery ... okay, fine. (The majority of kids who receive free corrective surgery from Little Baby Face have severe facial deformities such as cleft palates, by the way.) But why "fix" features that weren't even causing problems? What kind of message does that send ... to Nadia?

I guess the most important thing is that Nadia is finally confident in her appearance: "I look beautiful, this is exactly what I wanted, I love it," she said. And hopefully the bullying will end now.

Being bullies, however, they might just find something else about Nadia to pick on, like the color of her nail polish or her clothes or the way she chews her food. Perfection doesn't protect anyone from bullying. Only self-esteem can do that.

Would you get your teen plastic surgery for an issue like this one?


Image via CNN