You may disagree with it, but some parents are opting for plastic surgery to stop their children from being bullied.
According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, cosmetic surgery procedures for children are up; procedures that range from nose jobs and pinning back ears are all being performed at a young age. According to latest reports, 35,000 rhinoplasty procedures (nose jobs) were performed on patients age 13-19 in 2010.
One New York surgeon says that he has his young patients draw pictures of how they see themselves before surgery. The self-portraits, he says, often show sad faces. Many of the portraits also show ugly images that may be associated with real life bullying. His goal is to make his patients feel better about them.
"Everything is done for balance and harmony. Nothing is done to the extreme. Everything is to put kids under the bell curve of feeling like other kids, feeling like they're part of the crowd," said Dr. Frederick Lukash. "Plastic surgery is one spoke on the wheel of self-esteem."
Opponents of say parents should encourage and help boost self confidence in their kids instead of focusing on the physical look.
"I think that rather than focusing on physical look of an individual, we should really be focusing on encouraging them and encouraging their self-confidence," said Dr. Nava Silton, a child psychologist. "Community and parents need to work together to ensure that children are treated well and they're not being bullied.
But cosmetic surgeon Dr. Lukash disagrees.
"Bullying will occur in a certain group of people in certain ages. If we start to see these things happening, then it warrants a discussion," said Dr. Lukash. "Every parent wants their kid to rise above the crowd, but in order to rise above the crowd, every kid wants to feel part of the crowd."