Everyone seems to get judged on their appearance at some point. You can be too tall, or too short, too skinny or too fat, blonde or brunette or somewhere in between. You can have braces or glasses or pimples or a big nose. Or, like one American teenager Nadia Isle, you can have big ears.
I think everyone has been bullied because of their appearance, and some get it worse than others. For those already insecure, this kind of bullying can be overwhelming. Nadia was called “Dumbo” and “elephant ears” by her peers which lead to increasingly low self esteem. Nadia’s story has made the rounds online, from Ninemsn:
Nadia Isle, 14, of Georgia said being bullied about her appearance had caused her to become introverted and stopped her from socialising since a girl in her grade one class told her she had the biggest ears she had ever seen.
“I used to be very talkative when I was a little kid but now I’m shy. I’d rather not talk to anyone. I’m anti-social,” Nadia told CNN.
Nadia had apparently been asking her mum for surgery to pin her ears back since she was 10-years-old but they simply could not afford to pay for the procedure. Her mum, feeling desperate, did an Internet search and found the Little Baby Face Foundation, a charity organisation that helps children from around the world with facial deformities. After contacting them, Nadia received the surgery she always wanted.
The charity flew Nadia and her mother to New York where she had her ears pinned back and corrective work done on her jaw line.
Nadia also underwent a partial nose job to correct a deviated septum and give her face a more balanced look.
The procedures which could have cost around $40,000 were paid for by the Little Baby Face Foundation.
Seeing herself for the first time after surgery Nadia said she felt beautiful.
“It’s exactly what I wanted,” she said.
“I love it.”
Nadia has said that she knows she should have been accepted by her peers without the surgery but she knew the bullying wouldn’t end and doesn’t regret the surgery.
I am extremely torn on my opinion about this story. On one hand, I had absolutely no idea that kind of surgery would cost around $40,000 and to me that is a lot of money for, and I hate to say this, elective/unnecessary surgery. I also think Nadia has the right to feel beautiful and accepted, and the surgery helped her get there. But on the flip side, she was not horribly disfigured, she did not have a huge birth defect or suffer a serious injury or burns and I don’t know if I think she qualifies for help from Little Baby Face Foundation. I actually feel it’s a bit irresponsible for a charity to pay for elective surgery, especially when it is something as simple as pinning back your ears. But that just makes me sound insensitive because even though I think that the way you look shouldn’t matter, it does.
Nadia is happy and feels beautiful and really, don’t we all wish that every bullied teenager had the opportunity to feel better about themselves?
Do you agree with the charity’s decision to fund the surgery? Would you change anything about your own appearance?