14-year-old Nadia Ilse before her surgery and after. (Photo: cnn.com)
We just found out about Nadia Ilse, a Georgia teen who received $40,000 worth of free plastic surgery to help her avoid being bullied at school. It’s a common story of a kid being harassed at school (or perhaps experienced), but this instance has an unusual ending.
The teen, who had been constantly bullied with names like “Dumbo” and “elephant ears,” began asking for an otoplasty—an operation to pin back her ears—since she was 10-years-old. Ilse said she had grown-up a chatty and outgoing girl, but gradually became more “anti-social” and depressed as the bullying got worse. After researching ways to help her daughter online, Ilse’s mother found the Little Baby Face Foundation, a charity which works with children who have facial deformities to get reconstructive surgery.
The organization wholly funded $40,000 worth of plastic surgery for Ilse, which included pinning back her ears, reducing the size of her nose, and adjusting her chin—all to help her stop being harassed at school. In Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s report for CNN, he also mentioned a fascinating fact: 42 percent of individuals who receive otoplasties are actually under the age of 18, which seems to speak to how often youngsters feel pressured to change the appearance of their ears.
We have mixed feelings about this story—while we’re happy that Ilse is now feeling much more confident in herself, we’re bummed that bullying is at such an all-time high that she felt the need to have surgery. To find out more, watch CNN’s full report:
What do you think about Ilse’s story? Can you relate to her experience?
Another youth culture question that we’re wondering about: How young is too young to wax?