To ward off school bullies who began taunting her in the first grade for her ears, Nadia Ilse begged her mother at the age of 10 for an otoplasty, an operation to pin her ears back. The Georgia teen, now 14, was recently granted her wish by the Little Baby Foundation, a charity that provides free corrective surgery to children born with facial deformities. The organization’s founder, Dr. Thomas Romo, 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 teens 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.
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