womanThe start of a new school year is fast approaching, which sadly means a whole new year of bullying for many kids out there. But Nadia Ilse, who’s been called “Dumbo” for years now because of her “elephant ears,” isn’t worried. That’s because the 14-year-old Georgia girl has just endured $40,000 worth of plastic surgery, including having her ears pinned back. That ought to teach those mean kids a lesson!

In case you didn’t sense it, I’m being sarcastic. I actually feel horribly for Ilse, who has been taunted non-stop by her peers, but I don’t think that plastic surgery is the answer. To me, it means the bullies have won. Let’s remember that Ilse is just 14 years old, and going under the knife is a big deal no matter what age you happen to be. I’m not against plastic surgery, but is a 14-year-old mature enough to make such a life-altering decision?

According to reports, Ilse begged her mom for an otoplasty – an operation to pin back her ears – starting at age 10. So her mom contacted the Little Baby Face Foundation, a New York-based charity that provides free corrective surgery to children born with facial deformities. Her wish was granted – and then some. Dr. Thomas Romo, III, the organization’s founder, also performed rhinoplasty (a nose job) and mentoplasty (a chin job).

Yeah, I had to do a double-take when I read that. The truth is, I viewed the “before” pictures of Ilse, and she looks perfectly fine to me. Her ears stick out, sure, but it hardly looks like a “facial deformity.” As for her nose and chin? Pretty typical, if you ask me. Obviously Ilse didn’t like them, and I’m not judging her for that. But I don’t understand why her parents and surgeon felt it necessary to give her an entire makeover at age 14.

Ilse’s surgery comes almost one year after Nicolette Taylor, a 13-year-old New Yorker, had a nose job in response to bullying. And last April, 7-year-old Samantha Shaw from South Dakota had her ears pinned back, just like Ilse, as a “preventative measure” to bullying. (Uh, okay.)

The truth is, I’m torn on the subject in many ways. I can’t imagine how Ilse must’ve felt after all those years of being bullied, and so who am I to judge her for going under the knife? She says she feels “beautiful” now, which is heartwarming and will no doubt have a huge impact on her confidence levels and how she sees herself. The part I can’t wrap my head around, however, is that she had way more work done than necessary, especially at such a young age.

(Photo: Masson/Shutterstock)