Samantha Shaw will soon be able to enjoy putting her hair up and wearing earrings, two things she never wanted to do a week ago. Samantha just had otoplasty, commonly known as “pinning back” the ears. Before her surgery, her protruding ears made her the target of lots of hurtful questions by both children and adults.
As I was reading this news story, I couldn’t help thinking that this may not have been a good idea. I mean, sure, the little girl’s ears were extremely noticeable and now will have a break from being teased about her ears. However, kids are silly (some are mean-spirited) and will tease other children about anything they don’t understand. So soon, little Samantha Shaw will have to deal with being teased about something else.
And how will she handle that, the future teasing? Will she be able to cope with it and understand that there’s nothing wrong with her? Is anyone teaching her that she’s not the problem and that the problem is with those who tease her? Will her self-esteem be high enough that she’ll be able to brush off mean-spirited taunts? I think that’s the main issue here: self-esteem. You can nip, tuck, clip, remove, replace, implant whatever you want. You can change your body however you see fit, but are you doing it for the right reasons? Children, and adults, will find fault with others no matter what.
Instead of telling kids to stop teasing, and lead by example, we tell them that others need to do anything they can to change whatever we don’t like, or understand, about them. I could be naïve, but body augmentation at a young age, not for health reasons, seems like a poor message to send to children.
- Little Girl Hopes Cosmetic Surgery Will Stop Bullying (abcnews.go.com)
- Cosmetic Surgery: The Answer to Bullying? (abcnews.go.com)
- “Her ears look great. Throughout the checkup after surgery and when she got the bandages off, there…” (shortformblog.tumblr.com)
- Bullying: Complex Social Problem That Hits Parents Hard (livescience.com)
- Parenting Solutions: Teased (education.com)