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Friday, September 29, 2023


Plastic surgery a lazy way out of avoiding bullies, accepting who you are inside

Francis Emelogu//The Daily Cougar

Francis Emelogu//The Daily Cougar

If you’re a kid who’s insecure about your nose, a nonprofit called The Little Baby Face might just be able to help you out.

According to Today, The Little Baby Face foundation in New York City is a nonprofit organization that provides “free plastic surgery for low-income children who have facial deformities.”

In the case of 14-year-old Renata from South Carolina, she was given the opportunity to reconstruct her nose: something that she had been bullied about in school.

“They were just calling me ‘that girl with the big nose,’” Renata told Dateline.

As the bullying in school progressed, Renata’s self-esteem dropped. She experienced depression but refused to speak up about the issue to either her school’s administrators or her parents. Instead, her mother, Michelle, decided it would be best to allow her to be home-schooled.

This did not change her feelings of self-doubt, and she decided to apply for help from The Little Baby Face. The team of plastic surgeons at Baby Face provided Renata with both a free nose job and an added chin job to help “balance out her face,” according to TIME.

When questioned whether she believed she was doing the right thing, Renata told Dateline she believed the surgery would help deter bullies.

“I think that if they see you getting the surgery to fix something that they’ve teased you about, I think it would make them feel bad and maybe it would change their mind about doing it.”

Dr. Thomas Romo, the plastic surgeon who reconstructed Renata’s face, completely supports her decision to receive plastic surgery.

“If they go back, and they are the best-looking kid in the school, and they’re not getting bullied anymore … that’s just the (same type of) feedback that you would get from a patient that you operated on their heart, and they’re jogging again.”

Although Renata did receive support from both her family and the Little Baby Face Foundation, there are many who would also say her way of combating her bullies is both extreme and ineffective.

Psychologist Vivien Diller told Dateline that plastic surgery simply would not have the lasting effects that Renata thinks she will receive.

“If you can find a way of enjoying how you look, you can gain the kind of confidence that can last you a lifetime.”

I don’t believe that Renata’s surgery will have any positive impact on her life. I don’t think changing the way that she looks will help her in any way.

When I was Renata’s age, I was bullied relentlessly. I was bullied for being short, for being fat, for being Mexican. At that age, if someone had offered me plastic surgery to change myself into a tall, skinny Caucasian girl, I probably would’ve said yes. But that does not change how wrong that move would have been — how much I would regret it now.

My ugly features define me and have shaped me into who I am. It upsets me that Renata believes changing herself to fit into a cookie-cutter perception of beauty is going to benefit her in any way, because it won’t.

Plastic surgery won’t help Renata find people who love her, give her the self-confidence she’s yearning for or change how beautiful she thinks she is.

Renata needs more than a nose job or a chin job; she needs to find love for herself. She needs to learn to appreciate the weird parts of her body — because we all have weird parts of our bodies — and understand that beauty is not about how you look, but rather, it is a state of mind.

Opinion columnist Carolina Treviño is an advertising freshman and may be reached at [email protected]

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