Feeling self-conscious about your appearance and getting teased for some minor imperfection is pretty much a rite of passage for every teenager. But some teens are seeking plastic surgery to avoid being bullied. Would you consider it for your child?
Aubrey Woodward, who's 13, tells TODAY she's thinking about plastic surgery to get her ears pinned back, because, she says, "it makes me feel really bad" when she gets teased about her protruding ears. "I can hold off a little longer because the teasing hasn't gotten too bad yet," she says.
Ear pin-backs are one of the most common plastic surgeries for teens, along with nose jobs and breast reductions. The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons says ear surgeries can be recommended for children as young as 5 -- to avoid even the potential of teasing at school.
But as psychiatrist Janet Taylor points out, plastic surgery doesn't cure bullying. Bullies are usually acting out of their own pain and insecurities, not responding in a logical manner to someone's physical appearance. If you don't get picked on for your ears or nose, maybe it'll be your name, your fashion sense -- or the fact that you got plastic surgery.
Of course, all the nice talk about loving your imperfections may feel hollow when it's your teenager coming home in tears after being teased for some minor physical flaw. Would you allow your child to get plastic surgery to avoid bullying?