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Child Gets Plastic Surgery to Prevent Bullying

Should Plastic Surgery Be Used to Stop Bullying?

A 7-year-old getting plastic surgery sounds extreme, but the girl's mother says it's to prevent her from being bullied over her cup ears, one of which is a lop ear.

When interviewed on Good Morning America the little girl, Samantha Shaw, said that she wasn't bullied, but the mom was adamant that she was, especially by adults. To me, it sounds like her mom's the one with the issue; maybe the girl wouldn't have a complex about it if her mom wasn't so concerned about her getting the surgery. The doctor who performed the surgery, Dr. Steven Pearlman, said this about using plastic surgery on children: "Well, it depends where you draw the line. If it's minor, if it's cosmetic, absolutely not. But in my book and [that of] most of the medical community, the plastic surgery community, ears that stick out is not a cosmetic issue."

I feel like it's crazy to look at bullied children as the ones who need to change, instead of the bullies. Maybe parents and teachers should focus on teaching kids (or adults!) that we shouldn't make fun of people for their abnormalities, and that we all have things that make us unique and special, which is a good thing. On the other hand, I can see that there's a difference between deformities that hinder quality of life versus cosmetic procedures that prevent someone from being teased. It's not always black and white.

So I'm wondering, do you think it's right to use plastic surgery on a child to prevent bullying? Or does it depend on the situation?

Image Source: Getty
Join The Conversation
Bettye-Wayne Bettye-Wayne 6 years
Okay, there's the before and after. I can see why she did it, I mean the one ear looks curled over. I don't think the surgery is a big deal, but the mom thinking the daughter was bullied, while the daughter thought she wasn't? Hello therapy for that poor girl! Also what's the point in getting surgery if you're going to go on tv about it? Won't her classmates tease her more now? I have to wonder what the mother's motivation behind all this is.
looseseal looseseal 6 years
It would be ideal if the bullies can be made to STFU, but we don't live in an ideal world. I kind of doubt getting the ears done will end the bullying. Usually with douchenozzles like those, if they can no longer make fun of you for one thing, they'd make fun of you for something else. If they want to target this kid, they will always find a way. In fact, changing yourself to fit their fickle ideals only sends the message that you're weak and they have power over you. It's like dealing with wild dogs. Never show weakness or they will eat you alive.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 6 years
Yeah I think I agree that ear tucks are a non issue. If your ears happen to stick out getting an ear tuck is as common as getting braces for your teeth. I believe a parent should take these measures to help their child succeed in society as adults. Obviously more invasive procedures involving the face, chest and lipo should not be a measure the parent of the bullied child should even consider. I find it odd that in any society the family of a bullied child would do this but the family of the bully won't discipline the aggressive behavior.
katialoves katialoves 6 years
its become common. im sure its easier than braces also more risky, no? but i think adults should make this surgery decision for themselves. (as with genital circumcision) also, i think ears sticking out is cute on boys or girls. some people might not like it but its certainly not as unattractive as some other 'normal' faces/bodies. however put this in perspective, for any of you who even think this is a tiny bit extreme, why circumsize a baby boy? (or giirl, for thse other cultures) its much more dangerous and completely irreversible! toty (#5) your mom sounds great
sillybunnie sillybunnie 6 years
I don't think pinning back ears is a big deal. The recovery is much faster and less painful then the 2+ years of braces that most people put their children through. My mom took my brother to a plastic surgeon to get a huge and deep mole removed when he was 10 because it kept growing. I guess he could have live with a huge mole on his face but really I think he would appreciate it when he gets older that he doesn't have one there.
totygoliguez totygoliguez 6 years
I do think it's extreme. Look, I'm far from perfect, but my mom always taught me to love and accept myself, and made sure I had a high self-esteem, and that gave me the courage to deal with all the obstacles life through at me. Like a lot of people, I was made fun of because of my differences(even by teachers) but it never affected me. Bullying is not OK, but parents need to teach their kids self-esteem and to defend theme selves. Having kids make fun of you is part of the growing-up process. It will make you stronger.
anonymoushippopotamus anonymoushippopotamus 6 years
I think people need to toughen up their skin. I'm not saying that bullying is in any way acceptable, BUT as an adult these children will have to fend for themselves, especially throughout their career. It seems this poor girl was bullied more by her mother than by her peers. Parents need to accept the "flaws" in their children just as much as they must accept those that are apparent in themselves. This is not the right way to combat bullying; it will inevitably exacerbate the situation.
bryseana bryseana 6 years
I think it's a natural instinct for parents to want to protect their kids. Parents get their children braces for similar reasons. It can be bad if it's an on going issue where the parent wants to always correct every "flaw".
Rjs-baby-girl Rjs-baby-girl 6 years
I don't think that this kind of ear surgery is a big deal, I always thought it was a common thing to get the ears pinned back when they stick out a lot as a kid. Now if we were talking about a nose job or lip injections, it'd be another story.
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