It is becoming increasingly popular for teenagers who are the victims of bullies to turn towards plastic surgery in order to boost their self-esteem. One teenager resorted to a new nose, chin and ears at the extremely young age of 14 after being taunted by school bullies. Her classmates would call her ‘Dumbo’ ever since she was six years old. She felt that by having surgery she could stop the abuse.
Outrage around the globe
This teenager’s story was shown on CNN and sparked outrage from many over the fact that young children were having surgery so that they would not be bullied anymore.
The American Society of Plastic Surgeons released figures showing that over the last 15 years more and more teenagers have been having plastic surgery such as breast enlargements, hair removal, rhinoplasty and ear pinning. Doctors argue that teenagers should learn other methods to deal with bullies rather than resorting to surgery at such a young age.
In America, nearly a quarter of a million teenagers have cosmetic procedures in America. Two of the most common treatments were to pin back the ears and to treat a cleft palette. In Britain, a survey of plastic surgeons revealed that there are still a very low percentage of teenagers having treatments, with only one or two coming into surgeries.
In America patients can go straight to a plastic surgeon for treatment whereas in the UK patients have to go to their GP’s first and get referred to a plastic surgeon. This means that many cases where plastic surgery is not needed can be screened out.
Statistics show that the only surgery performed more often on men than on women is otoplasty, more commonly known as the re-shaping of the ears.
Although primarily performed on children, the new found popularity in cosmetic procedures has men seeking out the minimally invasive surgery to repair overly protruding or misshapen ears. There are several different types of otoplasty but most are considered reconstructive rather than cosmetic, hence allowing a patient’s health insurance to cover the costs.
Perhaps it is because men tend to wear their hair shorter than women that they are gravitating to this type of surgery. The most frequent type of otoplasty is pinback otoplasty where a piece of the cartilage is removed from the ear. The remaining cartilage is then sutured back together so that the ear will mend and grow closer to the head, reducing the look larger than average ears.
Another type of otoplasty involves snipping a section off the ear lobe to lesson the length of the lobe caused by a congenital defect or the childhood habit of ear pulling. Birth deformities such as missing the visible part of the ear called the auricle, and syndromes like Stahl’s ear can also be eliminated through the surgery. Otoplasty can also be used to correct injuries caused by trauma to the ear or to correct surgical scars. Otoplasty is not used to correct problems with hearing, it is only effectual in correcting the outer shape of the ear.
The Hospital Group on Birmingham, England reports that men are more likely to have this procedure than women because hair styles dictate that men’s ears are more easily seen than women’s.
A spokesperson for The Hospital Group said: “We carry out more ear re-shaping procedures on men as they tend to suffer with this problem a lot more than women do. Women more commonly grow their hair and therefore can cover ears they are not completely satisfied with.”
For whatever their reason, men are now joining women in the plastic surgery revolution as they accept societal norms for what the perfect body should look like.