7-Year-Old Gets Plastic Surgery to End Bullying

Posted by Sasha Brown-Worsham
on April 15, 2011 at 12:00 PM

Seven-year-old Samantha Shaw of South Dakota was sick and tired of being teased and bullied on the playground for her "cup ears," a condition that caused her little ears to stick out. So her parents decided to do something about it. They got her plastic surgery. And now they're taking some heat for that decision.

A 7-year-old getting braces or dental work wouldn't seem all that shocking to us, but a 7-year-old who has their ears altered in order to end bullying sends a chill up our spines?

Why?

Some people seem to think it's just giving in to the bullies, but the fact is the surgery isn't all that uncommon. The ear reaches 90 percent of its full size shortly after 5 years old, and doctors recommend if you're going to do it, do it soon after that. 

I just can't see what the big deal is. Yes, we're giving in to a societal "norm," but what is the big deal here? Her ears stuck out, they were embarrassing, she got them brought in so she would stop being teased. Who wouldn't do that if they could afford it?

Her doctor says that children who have "abnormalities" like hers are less popular, which makes their developing self-esteem lower. It makes sense. And if it were her nose, I might say something else, but it isn't. How can we justify getting kids' ears pierced, braces put on their teeth, or any other purely cosmetic procedure and then say that this is wrong?

Sometimes it's bad to let the bad guys win and other times it's OK. Let the kid have the ears that make her happy and avoid years of teasing and bullying.

Do you think this is wrong?

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Comments:

treys...
Apr. 17, 2011 at 8:47 AM

i think its a decision that would have to be made by BOTH the parents and the child.  i also think parents have to keep in mind that just about every child in the world is bullied at some point in their lives and surviving it can help build character.  i think it is different from ear pieceing and braces because neither require anesthesia and the risks associated with it. just my opinion though.

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