More and more parents are allowing their children to have cosmetic surgery because they're being bullied, Dr Joe Niamtu told ABC News.
“We like to treat these children before they enter school, so it’s not uncommon that I’m doing 4- or 5-year-olds,” Dr Niamtu said. “And the reason is bullying, or peer pressure. It’s been shown to have the ability to psychologically affect their self-esteem or body image for the rest of their life.”
He says bullying or peer pressure can cause children to live with negative self-image for the rest of their lives so it's best to act as early as possible.
Bella Harrington of Virginia in the US did just that. The 11-year-old underwent the paediatric plastic surgery procedure in December last year to repair her "elf ears".
New York Post reports that the girl was mercilessly teased because the tips of her ears pointed slightly away from her head. She was self-conscious and just as shown in the video below, it regularly had her in tears.
“They’d always, like, point it out,” Bella told the news outlet. “At first, I didn’t care about it but then the more people pointed it out [the more] I wanted to change it.”
Bella’s mother, Sabrina Harrington, says the surgeon reasoned that it's really no different than getting braces, which also changes your appearance. “If it’s going to make you feel better about yourself, so be it,” he says.
Sabrina told television channel XKhan that her daughter now makes more of an effort to tie back her hair because she's not so shy about her ears.
This isn't a new thing at all and there are many parents who’ve allowed their children to have their elf ears repaired.
At 9 years old, Elwood Sanderson-Sheard went under the knife due to excessive bullying in 2016. He researched the possibility of plastic surgery himself.
Elwood, who hails from the UK, was apparently vomiting because of the anxiety of going to school and being called names such as “Dumbo”. His parents told The Mirror that their son is a lot happier and far more self-confident now.
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