ONTD Political

Bullied Teen Given Free Plastic Surgery

12:17 am - 07/29/2012

Nadia Ilse, Bullied Georgia Teen, Receives Free Plastic Surgery From Little Baby Face Foundation

Nadia Isle

Nadia Ilse is looking forward to the new school year, when she will no longer be called "Dumbo" by her peers for her "elephant ears."

To ward off school bullies who began taunting her in the first grade for her ears, Nadia begged her mother at the age of 10 for an otoplasty -- an operation to pin her ears back.

The teen, now 14, was recently granted her wish by the Little Baby Face Foundation, a charity that provides free corrective surgery to children born with facial deformities.

Nadia told CNN that the bullying turned her talkative self into a withdrawn, antisocial girl. The taunting "hurt so much," she told CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta.

nadia isle

When the Little Baby Face Foundation was contacted by Nadia's mother, the organization brought the duo to New York City from Georgia and did more than just pin her ears back. The organization's founder, Dr. Thomas Romo, III. also performed reduction rhinoplasty, reducing the size of the nose, and mentoplasty, altering the chin.

The foundation covered the estimated $40,000 cost of surgery.

Avoiding school bullying by going under the knife is on the rise among American teens. In 2007 alone, about 90,000 youth underwent cosmetic surgery -- though not all cases were the result of teasing.

While Nadia says she knows she should have been accepted as she was before the surgery, she also knew the bullying wouldn't end and has no regrets following the procedure.

"I look beautiful, this is exactly what I wanted, I love it," she said.

Nadia must still start counseling as part of her treatment to overcome the years of psychological distress from bullying, but Little Baby Face board member Don Moriarity told MailOnline that Nadia's new outlook demonstrates the group's mission.

"We like to say that Baby Face transforms the lives of these children and gives them newfound confidence," Moriarity said.

Nadia's story emerges months after 13-year-old Nicolette Taylor was featured on ABC's Nightline for her nose surgery to overcome online harassment and name-calling at school. There was also global outcry when 7-year-old Samantha Shaw had her ears pinned back to escape name-calling and harassment last year.

So through all this, what advice would you give parents? Gupta asked Nadia.

"Give your children a lot of love and affection and tell them that they're beautiful every single day," she said.

Most states now have bullying laws that require schools to adopt bullying policies, andefforts to combat school bullying have escalated over the last decade, according to a report released in December by the U.S. Department of Education.

Between 1999 and 2010, more than 120 bills were adopted by state legislatures tointroduce or amend legislation that address bullying, harassment or similar behavior in schools. By the time of the Education Department study's conclusion, there were 46 states with enacted anti-bullying laws, 36 with regulations that work against cyberbullying and 13 that give schools the authority to monitor and address bullying behavior even when it occurs off school grounds.

Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/28/nadia-isle-bullied-georgi_n_1712548.html

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astridmyrna 29th-Jul-2012 06:12 am (UTC)
Wait, have the bullies been expelled then? Surely some justice must have been brought upon the bullies who made a beautiful girl feel ugly about herself.

I'm glad that Ilse feels better about her body and is going through therapy, but I don't agree with her parents letting her have the surgery. That won't, as Ilse said herself, stop the bullying. It's a temporary fix, and it sounds like Ilse knows that too. If she gets bullied again, then I hope she's gained the strength to tell them to piss off and then inform an adult to throw the book at them.
rock_bottom 29th-Jul-2012 06:16 am (UTC)
Well said. And I haven't seen anything that mentions the fate of her bullies... that is a great point.
nope_de_plume 29th-Jul-2012 06:14 am (UTC)
Wait so it says they do this for children with facial deformities, what were hers? Because I can't really tell from the before pic that's there
mollywobbles867 29th-Jul-2012 06:18 am (UTC)
She doesn't have any. I saw a piece on this on CNN this morning. From what I could tell (didn't have my coffee yet), she was made fun of for having a large nose. When the surgeon starting talking about "fixing" her ears and chin, I had to change the channel, tbh.

Edited at 2012-07-29 06:18 am (UTC)
tigerdreams 29th-Jul-2012 06:23 am (UTC)
"Correcting" whatever a bully is harassing you about isn't the solution to bullying, but I'm glad that she feels better about herself now. Maybe the self-confidence boost will be what she needs to help her recover from the harassment.

Meanwhile, I hope the bullies have been dealt with harshly.
sestree 29th-Jul-2012 12:28 pm (UTC)
Yeah I had to think that as well. I was bullied from elementary school on for a great many things and most of them weren't really connected to how I looked - it was just an easy target.

What it was was I was an outcast and an obvious victim (sorry kids - like adults - can smell it on you I think) of severe child abuse. As abusers exist due to silence and that is ingrained in the victim, you don't call out the bullies and it perpetuates.

However the other side of that coin is whatever you can do to cope. If this helps the victim - and others - then I can't really throw stones. I still carry the baggage at 48 years of age through thousands of dollars of therapy.
romp 29th-Jul-2012 07:01 am (UTC)
I also don't see deformities. She's on the spectrum of what people look like. Yikes.
yackyackyack 29th-Jul-2012 07:58 am (UTC)
IKR? To me it looks like her features may have been a little "big" but she would have grown into them as an adult.
jeterluva 29th-Jul-2012 07:03 am (UTC)
I've seen something similar on the local news were I live but it was a little boy who wanted his ears fixed.
It might be wrong but I think this surgery is stupid. But I guess it's not different then someone who get implants because they were made fun of for being flat chested.
teacoat 29th-Jul-2012 07:08 am (UTC)
Are there fourteen-year-olds getting breast implants? Because that is ALL KINDS of fucked up. Unless you means adults in which case... an adult getting plastic surgery is nowhere near the same as a kid getting it. :/
(no subject) - Anonymous - Expand
maclyn 29th-Jul-2012 07:06 am (UTC)
Charity that claims to be about helping children 'fixes' the face of a fourteen year old so she won't get bullied. Fucking eww.
teacoat 29th-Jul-2012 07:21 am (UTC)
Seriously. When I read "children born with facial deformities" I assumed they meant like, you know, actual deformities. That actually impact someone's quality of life*. If her self-confidence is up, that's great. But if she stops getting bullied, that'll be why, not because of the plastic surgery itself. If it didn't boost her self confidence, then instead of her ears they'd just find something else to bully her about. Like, I don't know, getting plastic surgery?

(*Not that I'm trying to say that getting bullied doesn't impact your quality of life, because I think w all know that it does. But she wasn't being bullied because of her ears, that was just the excuse. :/)

Edited at 2012-07-29 07:21 am (UTC)
(no subject) - Anonymous - Expand
romp 29th-Jul-2012 07:45 am (UTC)
Something will be found. Thin lips, small eyes,...anything that doesn't match the beauty ideal.

I knew someone who signed up to have her ears pinned back but she was in the England and by the time her turn came up for this cosmetic surgery, she'd outgrown her self-consciousness and refused the surgery.
gargoylekitty 29th-Jul-2012 07:29 am (UTC)
FFS, her ears weren't the issue, bullies will pick anything, often even just making up things to harass their victims. The idea that "fixing" these kids via surgery is helping is just gross.

I mean, I can understand the desperation, the wanting to have a quick fix to make it stop, but that fix should come in addressing the bully, not performing unnecessary cosmetic surgery on children.
girl_fusion 29th-Jul-2012 09:31 pm (UTC)

And to add, it may be safe to assume that the quick-fix syndrome will hinder her in the future when life gets hard.
spyral_path 29th-Jul-2012 07:31 am (UTC)
She had no facial deformities whatsoever. She was a perfectly ordinary looking teenager who got plastic surgery so she could look model perfect. O feel like this is all kinds of wrong. Instead of teaching kids to embrace their own differences and the differences of others, we have them get plastic surgery to conform to an impossible ideal?

My sister's ears stuck out. We never thought she was deformed. I find the suggestion that this girl had facial deformities requiring corrective surgery gross. She was perfectly normal looking. Do I need skin grafts for my acne or hair transplants for my thin frizzy hair? How about breast implants because I'm a grown woman who never got out of a trainer bra?

This story reminds me of that twilight zone episode where everyone was surgically altered to look exactly the same.
koshkabegemot 29th-Jul-2012 02:29 pm (UTC)
How about breast implants because I'm a grown woman who never got out of a trainer bra?

This is me. I'm lucky if I can fill a B cup, if that.

I've thought about getting implants, but then I remember that surgery terrifies me and I always think I'm going to die before I get put under anaesthesia. So, no, not doing it. XD That and I hate the pain/recovery afterwards. Fuck that.
automat 29th-Jul-2012 08:04 am (UTC)
ontd_p yet again is incapable of understanding that other people are not comfortable with physical traits that make them ~unique~. That's great if you're happy with your body. Other people however, are not. It is not your right to judge what they do to correct their appearance. Their body, their choice.

So apparently to most of you, just because what this girl has isn't as severe as a cleft palate that means that she should be stuck with the an appearance that makes her severely unhappy for the rest of her life? Riiight.

She is happy with herself now. That's all that really matters.
kishmet 29th-Jul-2012 08:17 am (UTC)
You must've posted this comment just as I was writing mine

Basically THIS, idg the people saying she's not disfigured enough, as if that's the point of the whole surgery when the girl herself says it's about self-esteem/confidence
kishmet 29th-Jul-2012 08:14 am (UTC)
I get why the comments above mine are dissing the idea of plastic surgery for a perfectly cute kid, but ffs let's stop judging the parents, charity, etc

It's not that easy to magically ~love your body~ at that age no matter what your parents say - she's at school probably 6-6 1/2 hours a day with these bullies and you know what, if plastic surgery's the one fucking thing that can make her feel enough better about herself that she can survive it, then kudos to the adults who made the right decision. This kid's a teenager, not a figurehead for a natural beauty campaign jfc
natyanayaki 29th-Jul-2012 08:36 am (UTC)
What affects my opinion most of all is that she is a child. Her face is going to change, her opinions are going to change, her personality is going to change and her preferences are going to change. What if she grows up and she misses her "quirky" ears? I know that when I was 14 there were things I wanted to change about my physical appearance, things that now as an adult I'm proud of and try to highlight. What if she goes through that?

And purely on a shallow, cosmetic though...how do cosmetic procedure affect the way we age. When individuals are young, many often have features that seem to look "odd," but are features we grow into. If a child has feature he or she will grow into, what'll happen when he or she grows into modified features?

I support an individual's right to cosmetic procedures, I think cosmetic surgery can be awesome, but no I don't think that a child should necessarily have a purely cosmetic procedure. What if the surgery had gone wrong? What if a child having a cosmetic procedure gets a life threatening infection? What if a child has a reaction to the anesthetics?

Ultimately it's her body and it's her choice, but my concern is that she may not old enough to fully comprehend the potential consequences or dangers of a purely cosmetic surgery; I wonder if the surgeon thoroughly discussed potential issues with her/her family.
(no subject) - Anonymous - Expand
leprofessional 29th-Jul-2012 08:16 am (UTC)
I am not against plastic surgery at all...

HOWEVER, kids do a lot of growing up between the ages of 12-20ish. Facial dynamics can change completely, including nose size. I think any plastic surgeon who does cosmetic surgery on someone so young in absence of a deformity OR an issue that can be permenant (i.e. ears sticking out, etc.) is completely irresponsible.

Also makeup does wonders in making some people feel more confident, and it's not putting anyone under the knife.
natyanayaki 29th-Jul-2012 08:43 am (UTC)
Not to mention that purely cosmetic procedures have their dangers, what if a surgery goes wrong and the result isn't what the CHILD wanted? What if a child obtains a (life-threatening) infection? A reaction to the anesthetics? There are dangers involved in many elective cosmetic surgeries, and I'm not sure that a child has the maturity to comprehend the potential...that is if the child or his/her parents are even informed.

Plus, why are some posters here sure that she'll be unhappy all her life for having an "odd" feature? I have features that I hated as a teen, that I wanted to correct, that I embrace now as my personal quirks. I worry that this is as effecting as hiding clean laundry between the bed sheets because company's coming over.
ion_square 29th-Jul-2012 09:10 am (UTC)
feel bad about the bullying but surgery shouldn't be the answer :(

more like kids should stop being assholes.
lozbabie 29th-Jul-2012 09:56 am (UTC)
I understand the pinning of her ears. There's nothing wrong with having them pinned. But it's all kind of fucked up to change her nose and chin. She's DOURTEEN!
flcadam 29th-Jul-2012 10:22 am (UTC)
She looks really good! I'm glad that plastic surgery was able to help in her case.
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