13-year-old Nicolette Taylor went under the knife to avoid constant taunts and harassment from her peers. Is your teen being driven to teenage plastic surgery due to bullying as well?
There’s a moment in all of our lives when we stared into the mirror and wished we were looking at someone else. Someone else who is a thousand times better looking than what we perceived we look like. Someone who has straighter teeth, shinier hair, clearer skin…and perhaps even, bigger boobs?
This situation is certainly not unique; even one of the most beautiful women in the world can look into the mirror and find faults with herself. Yes, this situation is not unique and it happens to the best of us…but when it starts at a young age, it could lead to bigger problems later on in life.
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The story of 13-year-old Nicolette Taylor, has been making the headlines and finally, it has hit theAsianparent.com.
Nicolette, a former child model, has broken her nose twice in her short life and because of that; her nose has been slightly crooked. After enduring online harassment and name-calling multiple times a week because of the shape of her nose, the Long Island native decided to take drastic action and went under the knife to fix it.
Although Taylor accepted teasing as a normal and unavoidable part of growing up, to her, social networking sites like Facebook made it 10 times worse.
“Everyone could see it,” she said to Nightline.
“All my friends could see it, all my new friends, and I didn’t want them saying things. Because gossip goes around, and it really hurts.”
With her parents’ blessing, Taylor went under the knife … and got a new nose. Despite the many criticisms, Nicolette’s father Rob Taylor told ABC news that his wife and his decision was one any parent would make.
“You send them to a good school, you’d buy them shoes. You’d get them braces, which we did. It’s that kind of thing,” he said.
Going under the knife
Stories of teenagers going under the knife due to taunts and bullying are hardly new.
Dr Douglas McGeorge, who specialises in plastic and reconstructive surgery, claimed the bullying is so bad that some children and their parents felt there was no alternative. He denied it had anything to do with teenagers wanting to look like their idols.
“Children are very cruel and there’s a lot of stigma attached to appearance,” said Dr McGeorge, president of the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons.
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The good doctor said he had already performed surgery on a 14-year-old girl’s nose costing around £3,500 after she was targeted over her appearance at three schools. Most clinics refuse to operate on anyone under 18, but children can have any medical treatment if they have their parents’ consent.
He said he had also given teenage girls who were not developing at the same rate as their peers expandable breast implants to prevent them from being bullied.
No easy fix
It’s hard to find teenagers who are completely content with their looks. Add the misery of peer teasing to the mix, and many a youth might jump at a perceived fast fix for their “flawed” body parts.
But teenage plastic surgery shouldn’t be seen as an easy way out, for both parents who just want to protect their children and the kids who are being bullied themselves. Bullying, in its own way is a rite of passage for anyone lucky enough to survive the murky waters of childhood and into adulthood.
Self-esteem is something that everyone needs to develop on their own time. Parents are sending the wrong message to their children by letting a child get plastic surgery at such a young age. Instead of taking the bullying and taunting and turning it around to a positive thing, such as teaching the child to ignore and to hold herself higher than her tormentors, they are letting her succumb to the pressure and to mould herself into tormentors’ ideal of beauty.
Besides, is being beautiful all there is to an individual, young or old?
Some of the greatest entertainers of the world have been told that that they need to change the way they look because they do not fit the ideal. Barbra Streisand was told to fix her big nose because she did fit this ideal. She went on to become one of the world’s greatest entertainer, and bona-fide living legend…without ever getting rid of her so-called problematic nose.
Cindy Crawford was told to get rid of her mole at the beginnings of her career because it was taking the focus away from the rest of her features. The mole she was told to get rid off would later become her trademark.
There is more to a person than they way that they look and in today’s world of pre-conceived beauty ideals, parents need to instil self-esteem into their children early on. There are many trials and tribulations that comes with being a teenager; the raging hormones, the frizzy hair, the imaginary passionate one-sided love affairs with celebrities…but it is only temporary.
No one stays a teenager forever and features that your teen might hate today might become one that he or she will come to love later on in life.