7-Year-Old Gets Plastic Surgery To Avoid Bullying — Can This Be A Good Thing?

♏*PHOENIX*♏ - posted on 04/14/2011 ( 58 moms have responded )

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Just like 7-year-old Samantha Shaw, more and more children are getting plastic surgery — and many of them are being operated on to avoid being bullied! But is this a solution and is it OK?
Thanks to the Little Baby Face Foundation, Samantha, a first grader from Sotuh Dakota, had her ears done– free of charge — by Dr. Steven Pearlman, a NY surgeon who tells ABC‘s Good Morning America that children with abnormalities could face terrible treatment from other kids: ”In my book and [that of] most of the medical community, the plastic surgery community, ears that stick out is not a cosmetic issue.”

Sadly though, kids weren’t the ones who were picking on Samantha. Her mother Cami Roselles tells ABC that it was more likely to be adults that made cruel comments! And Cami was sick of all the taunting.

According to the School Bullying Council, Samantha’s surgery was rough and the 7-year-old didn’t take well to the anesthesia. But, the operation seemed to be worthwhile once Samantha got a look at her new ears!

But, what do YOU think of this?

Some experts say surgical procedures should not be used as a fix, the council says. “Changing appearance is not the solution,” Cheryl Rode, director of clinical operations at the San Diego Center for Children, says of bullying. “We never want to hold the victim responsible for the bullying.”

What do you think...
Would you have your child operated on to prevent bullying?

here is the link so you can see before and after pics

http://www.hollybaby.com/2011/04/14/7-ye...

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Carol - posted on 04/14/2011

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Personally, I think she looks cute with her ears sticking out. Our society's standard of beauty has gotten to be far too narrow. Jeez, can we start focusing on what's on the inside. All this focus on outer appearance is getting kind of tired, quite frankly.

Janessa - posted on 04/15/2011

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wow interesting story but I wonder if ethanic kids will go under the knife to change skin color since being dark isn't never in? Anyways I think this is sending the wrong message you are not good enough for society change yourself. What about I was made this way for a reason. All kids are bullied in some way or other. I was teased because I had huge lips as a child and I went to an all white christian school and also about my skin color. I just dealt with it because thats how life is.

Jenn - posted on 04/15/2011

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My 4 year old daughter has a "cup" ear and she is perfectly adorable. However, should she ever want it pinned back, we will then look into it. It is a very simple surgery and very common. If a person is to have their ears pinned back, it is better to do so while the cartilage is still soft as a child.

This story is in the news because the mother made it about bullying which is a hot topic button right now. Children have been having their ears pinned back for decades.

If the mother got it done for potential bullying, I call B.S. She did it because it bothers HER. She is an adult, she can tell insensitive adults where to get off when it comes to her child. Kids have never made fun of my daughter's ear and most people never even notice it! She actually favors her cup ear to hold her long hair back from her face :)

Children get bullied..and that comes in all forms. I got made fun of because I was shy and my face turned red as a firetruck if I got embarrassed but my mother taught me how to handle myself and the bullies. She didn't try to mask who I am.

Jodi - posted on 04/14/2011

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Can I just say that my daughter's best friend has a large birthmark on her face. It looks like a large raw graze in one area of her facce. Very obvious. Her mother has decided to leave it alone until she is old enough to understand the surgery implications of having it rectified. She is not bullied in any way at all. No-one even comments on it. It is just part of who she is. These are 6 and 7 year old kids.

If that level of bullying is going on at this child's school, it is something that should be addressed. It doesn't need to be that way.

Sarah - posted on 04/19/2011

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I don't like the idea of it. Honestly though, with the bullying problems, I'd rather have a 7-year-old get plastic surgery than have her commit suicide when she's 14.

58 Comments

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Alexis - posted on 04/18/2011

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To be honest I think she was cuter with her ears, and being a red head with freckles is still going to lead to teasing, thats just the way it is. My son has ears that stick out and with the right attitude about it, his ears could help him. They can be what makes you cute, or stand out in a good way. This little girl may have grown into her ears too, I think cosmetic surgery should be up to the individual after they are over 18 and can make their own choices.

[deleted account]

uh i think her ears were fine the way they were now they just look squished back thats just my opinion. I would not get my daughters ears done thats just silly u grow into your ears and nose. i know when i was little i wanted a nose job so bad and now my nose is fine. how we view ourselves when we are young is gonna change over time. I just dont think its nessescary just cover it with your hair! and it wasnt even kids making fun of her it was adults??? thats just stupid. Im against plastic surgery on kids but then again u never kno if it was something really "bad" like a cleft or deformity then yea i get it fix for my daughter real quick

Cherish - posted on 04/18/2011

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I think she looked cuter with her ears sticking ouy..now her ears dont natural and there odd shaped.You can tell she had work done on them. Thats just wrong. And what kind of mother lets there 7 year old get surgery. What a sick deranged woman..its sad when your own mother doesnt love how you look

[deleted account]

Wow...I personally don't agree with using it as a "fix". If everyone hated looking different and everyone wanted to be the same then we would all be friggen clones. NO THANKS! I enjoy having things slightly different to others. And no offense, but that is just running away from your issues and not dealing with it properly. The should deal with rude idiots properly. A face to face and a kick in the groin. I:<

I mean, I got picked on for being half Japanese. What did I do? Did I bleach my hair blond and get leg extensions to be tall and skinny like the kiwi girls? No. I friggen told those people to eff off and remind them that they aren't perfect either. Really. Is that the image you want to give your children? That being different is wrong and you have to be "normal looking"?

And just for some brain food, please will someone define "normal" to me because I really want to know. D:

Joanna - posted on 04/17/2011

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These are the things that makes unique. I was teased mercilessly throughout my school years for my big nose. I wanted a nose job so badly. Instead I developed a personality and got people to like me that way. Now I love my big nose, and I learned how to be personable at the same time, since I didn't have to rely on good looks to get me what I wanted. These things work themselves out, I wish parents would see it that way - teach your kids to work with what they have and learn to love themselves as is.

Mel - posted on 04/17/2011

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aww Donna Im sorry you had to go thru that for such a long time :( Those people who have bene through these things I guess feel strongly understandly as they know how it feels. I had very minor bullying but not at something serious all fixable, for one my glasses I wore an eye patch at 2- yrs old then glasses from 3-11 years old, but in primary school people would ask to see my glasses and id give them to them every time and they'd drop them in the sand and I kept picking them up then giving them to them every time they asked, what an idiot, I no longer needed glasses after year 6, except reading ones that I never used. I wasnt going to use them again. My husband still reckons I looked so ugly with glasses as a kid though. My teeth were messed up to , it got fixed but primary school was a little hard there wanst enough room for my teeth so one of my front teeth was fully in front of the otehr ones and pushed up at the top of my gums anfd the rest were just a mess, I woudlnt smile with my mouth open and tried to avoid speaking so people woudlnt see but even smiling with my mouth shut you could stil se that tooth, in all my photos, but by high school I was lucky enough to have my mum pay 1000s to get teeth pulled, braces, plate for a few yrs and then they were perfect

Kristian - posted on 04/17/2011

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I think it is disgusting that adults would tease a child about their ears! I feel for her. From a young age I was teased for having a big nose, frome kids, adults, and yes, adult relatives. I can understand why she wanted this. Makes me very sad that she had to endure bullying, especially by grownups who should know better!!!

Jane - posted on 04/17/2011

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Personally I think her ears look fine either way, but the after picture has them a bit too flat. Quite frankly, our family has a genetic affliction for "car door" ears (they stick out so you look like a car with both front doors open) but we've never done anything about them other than rearrange our hair if it is possible. To be honest, if kids want to bully any particular child they will find a way to do it, whether it is ears, glasses, choice of lunch, weight, athletic ability or lack of same, hair color, being new to the school, being a better reader than most, or many more.

Now the adults in her life should have known better. They probably thought they were "just teasing" but they came on too strong. Mom should have taken them aside and asked them to tone it down a bit, especially if they were family.

Be that as it may, surgery is always a risk. It is painful and unpleasant and can lead to all sorts of problems (you'll know if you've ever read all the forms hospitals make you sign). Personally I would consider cosmetic surgery to be too risky to put any of my children through. Surgery to correct a cleft palate or a bizarre deformation is one thing, but to pin back a child's ears before you even see how she'll grow into them? No!

Personally I think it is much better to reassure the child that her ears are just fine and to role-play some possible responses, such as "They let me hear better," or "They make me look just like Grandma and I love my Grandma," or something else appropriate to the bully.

By the way, I was bullied periodically for just about all of the things I gave as examples above. There are always bullies. You do best if you can learn to deal with them.

User - posted on 04/17/2011

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Her ears are not the issue. Its bullying period! To think that grown people are the ones commenting on it!! Pathetic and cruel is what the world is coming to,.

Rosie - posted on 04/17/2011

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i think i might if the bullying was bad enough. sure, it'd be great if society changed and stopped the bullying, but how realistic is that?

Begum - posted on 04/17/2011

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i think its perfectly fine to get your childs ears pinned back. if i was her parent i would have done it for sure. But that salso doesnt mean i wouldnt try to install self confidence no matter how you look. This isnt the same thing as a teenager getting teased for small chest and getting implant.

Lynne - posted on 04/17/2011

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My youngest son has ears that stick out. I found out that he could have had a mold made to put his ears in the proper place before he reached 2 mo. but no one told me about that. Other children don't make comments about them, it's the adults. I often get upset over this. He doesn't understand yet but he will.

Ms. Roselles was trying to protect her daughter from others. I can completely understand. I'm angry that I might be put into the position where I'll have to do the same thing. I don't want my son to have surgery but I need to ensure that he is safe from bullying and the effects of that.

There is always more to a story than what we hear. Don't judge when you don't know it all or how you would react in that situation.

Grace's - posted on 04/17/2011

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I had a friend who got surgery for the same reason. He was a year or so older than this girl when he had the surgery. He also got it for the same reason: he was tired of the teasing and name calling (Dumbo, ect). I think this kind of plastic surgery is okay. It's no different than fixing a cleft palate in a child or getting rid of burn scars on a burn victim. While not all may affect the child physically (such as the ears, versus not being able to eat correctly due to a cleft palate) they certainly affect the child emotionally.

Renee - posted on 04/17/2011

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I agree with Samantha's mum... My daughter is only 11 months old and has unfortunately got her fathers ears and when she is old enough she will also be getting her ears pinned back. Yes I know a lot of people may think that it is not acceptable but I suggest you talk to someone like my husband who went through both his childhood and adolescences being tormented by both adults and kids alike for his ears. He has been emotionally scarred for life by the actions of a few. It was only when he turned 17 and grew over 2 feet taller and became bigger and stronger than his tormenters that the tormenting stopped and I am sorry but I do not want to see my little girl go through that. I really wish it was not the case but I have to be realistic and if I can make her life easier by stopping bullies picking on her for something like this I will.

Renee - posted on 04/17/2011

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I agree with Samantha's mum... My daughter is only 11 months old and has unfortunately got her fathers ears and when she is old enough she will also be getting her ears pinned back. Yes I know a lot of people may think that it is not acceptable but I suggest you talk to someone like my husband who went through both his childhood and adolescences being tormented by both adults and kids alike for his ears. He has been emotionally scarred for life by the actions of a few. It was only when he turned 17 and grew over 2 feet taller and became bigger and stronger than his tormenters that the tormenting stopped and I am sorry but I do not want to see my little girl go through that. I really wish it was not the case but I have to be realistic and if I can make her life easier by stopping bullies picking on her for something like this I will.

Mrs. - posted on 04/17/2011

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I don't understand why everyone is so shocked by this. Having ears pinned back is pretty common, no? I thought it might be painful for them, but apparently it seems it's not too bad pain wise in comparison to a lifetime of taunting and battered self esteem.

I'm not sure who said it, it seems this is in the news now because of the bullying aspect...I agree. Everyone has gotten really fired up about the bully issue now that ever celebrity known to man is crying on youtube to show they too care about bullies....and maybe you could watch their new show. I'm not saying it is not a problem, but it seems to have gone overboard.

I don't think this would even be news if it weren't for that. It would be like, Girl Gets Her Ears Pinned Back!
Then everyone would say, "So what, my cousin/neighbour/ex bf/mother in law did too." No big news there except for the bully thing.

Brittany - posted on 04/17/2011

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I don't think that having that surgery was the best idea for a child that young..I would never encourage my son to do something like that, but on the other hand, I don't know what it is like because my son doesn't have anything that that. There was nothing wrong with the little girl before the surgery and any adults who said differently obviously have some self esteem problems themselves, it is terrible to think that the comments could hurt a 7 year old so much to make her want surgery. I had surgery when I was around that age and I was terrified, I would never have asked to have it done. Shame on those adults who made those comments!

Donna - posted on 04/17/2011

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I truly feel that any of you who replay NO have absolutely NO IDEA what it's like to be bullied. When this happens it lowers your self esteem tremendously.

Meegan - posted on 04/17/2011

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I had huge ears as a child, but I grew into them. Yes I was picked on, but unfortunately thats what kids do. Her ears might be "fixed" but there will be something else that kids will find to pick on. Are you going to run to the surgeon every time the child is picked on. My parents told me that if it still was an issue when I was 16, then I could have them fixed. By then I could've cared less. Honestly, the picking made me a stronger person. If we shelter them too much they wont make it in the real world.

Donna - posted on 04/17/2011

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ACTUALLY I know exactly what this family was going through. As an adult I had jaw surgery a year ago, I am now 47, to fix my buck teeth. I was bullied for years and years and a great deal of the bullying was done by ADULTS!!! The last straw was 5 years ago as I was out celebrating my 20th wedding anniversary and a woman and her teenage daughter found delight in embarrassing me in front of a restaurant full of people. I left that day in tears, but knew that this would NEVER HAPPEN AGAIN!! So YES YES YES, I believe that our children should have operations done if it will save them from years of bullying.

Donna - posted on 04/17/2011

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ACTUALLY I know exactly what this family was going through. As an adult I had jaw surgery a year ago, I am now 47, to fix my buck teeth. I was bullied for years and years and a great deal of the bullying was done by ADULTS!!! The last straw was 5 years ago as I was out celebrating my 20th wedding anniversary and a woman and her teenage daughter found delight in embarrassing me in front of a restaurant full of people. I left that day in tears, but knew that this would NEVER HAPPEN AGAIN!! So YES YES YES, I believe that our children should have operations done if it will save them from years of bullying.

Sarah - posted on 04/17/2011

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I work for a plastic surgeon, and we normally would not operate on a first grader I can completely understand what these kids are going through since I see the boys and girls who undergo surgery and witness their self esteem rise afterwards. Seeing them smile and show their ears off is so rewarding for them. I am all for it!

Holli - posted on 04/17/2011

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I don't agree with this at all. I was made fun of a lot in school because of my large nose, and later for my flat chest, but I grew into my nose and accepted that I'm beautiful just the way I am. It's a hard lesson to learn for those of us who aren't barrier dolls but nobody is perfect and how you look doesn't define who you are. Changing your child's appearance to keep them from a little teasing is just teaching them to look how others want them to look.

Holli - posted on 04/17/2011

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I don't agree with this at all. I was made fun of a lot in school because of my large nose, and later for my flat chest, but I grew into my nose and accepted that I'm beautiful just the way I am. It's a hard lesson to learn for those of us who aren't barrier dolls but nobody is perfect and how you look doesn't define who you are. Changing your child's appearance to keep them from a little teasing is just teaching them to look how others want them to look.

Margaret Freda Oakley - posted on 04/17/2011

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I think this whole situation , Mom, Daughter and DOCTOR , is STUPID........:-(

Elfrieda - posted on 04/16/2011

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Wow. That seems really far-fetched. And the girl wasn't even being bullied, her mom was scared she might be bullied. I can see it if the child has a harelip or something else that is really a deformity, but ears? I'd wait to see if it really was a problem before "fixing" something that could have been a unique quirk.

Brittany - posted on 04/16/2011

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I find it absolutely nuts that a mother would have her child get plastic surgery to change her appearance to something people would deem more "acceptable". That's just teaching our children that you can fix "imperfections" instead of teaching them that they are beautiful the way they are. I'll be the first one to tell you my son has big ears, he got them from his father, but never in a million years would I tell him I feel he needs to get surgery to "fix" them. That's just sick and goes to show you how vain we've become. I think she actually looks worse in the after picture then she did in the before picture.

Brittany - posted on 04/16/2011

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I find it absolutely nuts that a mother would have her child get plastic surgery to change her appearance to something people would deem more "acceptable". That's just teaching our children that you can fix "imperfections" instead of teaching them that they are beautiful the way they are. I'll be the first one to tell you my son has big ears, he got them from his father, but never in a million years would I tell him I feel he needs to get surgery to "fix" them. That's just sick and goes to show you how vain we've become. I think she actually looks worse in the after picture then she did in the before picture.

Mel - posted on 04/16/2011

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I dont think Id be willing to do thatwith my child at 7 years old. It seems very extreme IMO. God I wanted a breast reduction at 12 too and I went to the doctor and got a refferal to a plastic surgeon as a teenager but then I grew up and got over it. Im with the other posters I dont think she looked that bad before the surgery

Toni - posted on 04/15/2011

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OMG I could never do that to my kid. She looks like any other normal kid who may have ears like that. She doesn't look abnormal, she looks fine. I think her after photos make her look funny. And the fact the surgery was does because her MOM was upset about it is sickening. I think its disgraceful for the organisation to have operated as well. This is just enforcing to the entire world that if you look slightly different you're abnormal and need to be fixed. Shame shame shame!!!!!

Marylea - posted on 04/15/2011

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That's fucked. She looked fine before the surgery and kind of weird afterward. I worked for a woman who had her daughter's ears done when she was like 5 because they stuck out and the mother thought that were ugly. People are so messed up.

Jenn - posted on 04/15/2011

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I disagree. She won't get bullied for having the surgery. She may get teased for having her face splashed all over the news but kids live in the now and they aren't going to care that she had her ears fixed. By high school, no one will know or even remember! There will be many other things to get teased about by then...like zits!

~♥Little Miss - posted on 04/15/2011

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What a total cutie by the way. the before is adorable, so is the after....but I don't see it as being worth it. I figure the teasing will get worse with the kids knowing about her surgery. Especially come high school years.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 04/15/2011

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Nope, once the kid is fully grown, and 18 it is their choice. I think it is a shame that anyone would feel the need to have their kid fit in so much, that they risk plastic surgery when the child is not even fully developed. You have no idea how that child is meant to truly look.

Bullying should be dealt with through the proper channels. Not a quick fix of a scalpel blade.

Isobel - posted on 04/15/2011

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and now I've seen the pics...she was old enough to decide for herself and you can tell that she's smiling with her eyes now...I feel like less of a hypocrite.

Isobel - posted on 04/15/2011

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It's funny cause I don't believe in plastic surgery for children in general...but I knew a bunch of kids who had their ears pinned back and it never seemed to have harmed them.

I guess I'm gonna have to put it in the same file as ear piercing...not my favorite thing but not earth shattering either.

Nikkole - posted on 04/15/2011

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The mother and this girl said she was not being bullied the mother wanted her daughter to go ahead with the surgery so she could avoid possible bullying in the future, the mother doesn't know for sure if she would get made fun of she should have waited!

Tyrae - posted on 04/15/2011

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The before pictures are definitely cuter. I could be completely biased because my daughter has ears like that and I think they are absolutely adorable. I call her my little chunky monkey (she's only 5 months) because her ears stick out and it's a complete term of endearment. Children should not have to feel like they aren't beautiful. When are people going to realize that everyone is beautiful in their own ways. We are made the way we are for a reason.

When I was growing up I had huge ears too, they stuck out funny and my mother always said it was because I put my hair behind my ears. At 22 my ears are perfectly proportioned to my head. People grow into these things. Everyone looks slightly awkward as children and that's what makes us all so damn cute :D

♏*PHOENIX*♏ - posted on 04/15/2011

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Putting myself in the women’s shoes…..

I would have done the something,
Yeah she looks cute with her ears as they were, and yeah she may have grown into them…but why let her go thru the most critical years of her life being teased and tanted..as she got to high school it could have gotten much worse.
(I believe that girls have it harder then boys growing up….for many reasons)


Anyone here have school age children with ears as large as this little girls?
I don’t, so I don’t TRULY know what it must be like for the parents or little girl.

Bonnie - posted on 04/15/2011

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Kids can be so cruel. I think she looked fine the way she was originally. It's pretty sad that teasing and bullying has to get that bad to the point that a child needs plastic surgery.

[deleted account]

Ears i say okay thats fine.If my daughter really wanted this i would allow her.If she didn't care i would let her be.Others comments are rude but i teach my children its those peoples faults and flaws not theres



Only if it made my girls happy i would allow it.

I also try to build them up so high that no matter how many times people try to knock them down they won't.I teach them to love themselves and be happy with who they are

Although i still feel if your child is miserable then i really would allow it.

I said to my friend a few years back"are my ears big..she said"mmm well you grew into them nicely."lmao it was some laugh.i don't love my ears but sure it could be a lot worse.:-)

Charlie - posted on 04/14/2011

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A girl in my year had her ears pinned back , it was free , she recovered pretty quickly and she had much better self confidence the only difference is it was her choice as a teen who was being bullied .

She wasnt really bullied afterwards may have been that her ears were pinned now or it may have been that she had better confidence , I think it is fine as long as it is under the consent of the person with full knowledge of the implications.

Bullying is scary for a person who knows how it feels at the full brunt of it , bullying kills I can see why the mother may have been fearfull but she should have waited in my opinion . .

Nikki - posted on 04/14/2011

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I am a bit torn with this one. I too agree that society is disgusting with the way we judge and mock others who are not perfect. So I can understand why the mother would want her daughter to feel comfortable with herself. Bullying from appearance can lead to a lifetime of self esteem issues which is not something as mother's we want for our daughters. Sometimes our reassurance is not enough.

If I were in this situation I would have tried a new hairstyle first, 7 years old is very young to be having elective surgery. I would really worry about the complications.

My cousin had this procedure done when she was 10 years old, her ears were really bad, she actually changed schools because she was so tormented.

Nikkole - posted on 04/14/2011

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I think a 7year old having plastic surgery is HORRIBLE she was beautiful before she had her ears done, I really think it was more for the mom because she said she was doing it so she wouldn't get bullied in the future she wasn't getting bullied about it now! She should have waited till she was 18 so she could make the choice not her mother and that way she would have time to think about it!

Stifler's - posted on 04/14/2011

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I think this whole thing is ridiculous. What happens when someone teases her about something else? Does she get more surgery? What happens then?

Mrs. - posted on 04/14/2011

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I heard this is an extremely painful surgery. Am I wrong? Is it really minor?



That being said...I do think the ears were noticeable. Noticeable enough to make her childhood a living hell.



At that point, I guess you'd have to weigh the immediate pain of getting them done with the whole life long scarring of childhood trauma. Hard to say. I don't blame the parents for making the choice, even if it would not be mine.



I would probably try everything but putting my kid under the knife. Who knows though, they may have tried all the things I'm thinking of...a haircut, hairbands, hats...therapy..etc...

Jodi - posted on 04/14/2011

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They couldn't just consider a different hair style?

Having said this, however, I know a couple of boys I went to school with who had their ears pinned back as kids. Probably more about 12 or 13 year old though. And this is going back 30 years, so it isn't a new thing. From my understanding it is also only a minor procedure.

I do think 7 is a bit young, however.....

April - posted on 04/14/2011

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The worlds a cruel place. Honestly i could see why the girl would want to change her appearance. She's seven and even adults are making fun of her ears. That behaviors disgusting, it made her hate her ears. No matter what anyone would of said to her to make her feel good about her ears she wouldn't of believed it because of all the stupid people who comment about them. The surgery made her feel better about herself, what can you say? People are the real predator here, if no one had said anything, i'm sure she would of never thought about the surgery.

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