Women are getting plastic surgery younger and younger -- but when you hear about a 16-year-old getting a facelift, your first reaction is probably, "That's crazy!" In the case of Zara Hartshorn, who lives in England, I'd have to say a facelift is entirely justified. Zara was born with a rare condition that prematurely ages her -- and the teen could easily pass for a middle-aged woman. The condition is genetic and her mother suffers from it too. So no wonder when a plastic surgeon offered to help Zara, mom allowed her teen to go under the knife.
Zara suffers from cutis laxa, which makes her skin and features appear much older than normal. Zara suffered from years of cruel bullying, but when a surgeon in the U.S. learned of her plight, he offered to help.
At 16, Zara was given a facelift, and feels it makes her look much younger. She says:
Before I had surgery I was picked on for looking different, now I look the same as other girls my age. I don't feel like people are staring at me when I walk down the street anymore. I finally feel like a teenager. I've carried some hurtful comments with me all my life but now I feel ready to leave the past behind and forgive and forget.
Ugh, people can be so ridiculously cruel. Interestingly, Zara has never lacked for boyfriends. She has a 22-year-old boyfriend now, and says she has had them in the past. Despite that, she says she "never accepted" her condition -- until her facelift.
Like most facelifts, this one will need updating every few years to keep things in check, so this isn't a permanent solution, but if it brings Zara some relief, I'm all for it, though I'm normally staunchly anti-plastic surgery. But when it comes to cases of malformation or something that looks totally out of the norm and causes the person distress, then why not?
Zara's mother tried to get her to accept the way she looked, telling her she was beautiful and to ignore her tormenters -- her mother has the same condition and passed it down to Zara. Her mother, however, was supportive when Zara was offered the free facelift. "I know I'm lucky to have had the opportunity and it's something my mum would have loved to have been offered," she told the Daily Mail.
Should her mom have insisted that Zara accept herself as she is, like she did? That would have been heartbreaking for any mom to do. Yes, Zara does have to accept that she doesn't look like other kids, and she still doesn't. But if her surgery gave her a confidence boost, then it's well justified. But mom will have to be around to support Zara when she inevitably realizes that the facelift won't solve all her problems.
Do you think Zara should have had surgery?
Image via HorianVarlan/Flickr