The first day of school this year will be quite different than years previous for one persistently bullied teenage girl in Georgia. After years of escalating torment-- including chants of ‘Dumbo’-- 14 year old Nadia Ilse recently underwent cosmetic surgery paid for entirely by a charitable organization. The otoplasty—or ear surgery—was a simple procedure that could very well have a drastic impact on the teen’s life going forward.
Bullied in the first grade primarily for her protruding ears, Nadia realized at age 10 that perhaps her only escape from life-long abuse would come in the form of a specific type of otoplasty-- in which the ears of the patient are pinned back.
Unexpectedly, Nadia was given the opportunity to undergo this procedure, at no cost to her or her family, courtesy of The Little Baby Face Foundation-- a charity that offers free-of-charge facial deformity reconstruction and corrective surgeries for children.
Once bright, engaging, and charismatic; the verbal harassment Nadia endured since the age of six gradually transformed her into an introverted, anti-social young woman. Morose with six years worth of eroded self-esteem, Nadia and her family travelled to New York to meet Dr. Thomas Romo, founder of the Little Baby Face. To their surprise, Romo offered additional nose reduction rhinoplasty procedure and a chin alteration--collectively a $40,000 surgical bill-- absolutely free.
Plastic surgery as an escape from intense ridicule has become a recent accent to the ever-evolving, dark issue of youth bullying. The topic first gained national spotlight in 2011 with Nicolette Taylor, a tormented 13 year-old girl in New York who suffered two broken noses by the age of eight. Hounded relentlessly for her misshapen nose at school and especially on the internet, she underwent rhinoplasty surgery- afterwards joyfully stating that her new nose dramatically improved her quality of life.
Nadia is a prime example of Romo’s goal with the Little Baby Face Foundation: newly gained confidence, self esteem, and, simply, a happier state of living for young people who have already at early ages bore a suffocating amount of discrimination on their shoulders.
Although her decision to undergo three corrective surgical procedures is hotly debated, Nadia assures all that her happiness and self-esteem are at an all time high. The first day of school will not only be the first time her classmates witness her transformation, it will be the first truly confident step in her new, young life.
Plastic surgery is never an alternative to tolerance and better human understanding, but many choose to undergo cosmetic procedures simply to ease stress or improve their own personal self image. If you feel that you or someone you know might be able to improve their daily life through an aesthetic procedure of some kind, feel free to contact Plastic Surgery Portal for guidance or to arrange a private consultation with a board-certified surgeon. No surgical procedure should be taken lightly, so evaluating all your options is critically important.