Is Teenager Cosmetic Surgery Linked To Bullying?

January 17th, 2011
Is Teenager Cosmetic Surgery Linked To Bullying?

Having plastic surgery during teenage years is a growing phenomenon. In fact, in the US thousands of young people are having treatment every year.

While this trend is worrying a number of people, some believe that the growth is connected with bullying. For instance, one student, Erica Morgo who had work done on her nose when she was 15 told ABC News: “I tried breaking my nose once, ’cause I was so fed up with the bullying that I tried banging my face against the door.”

Erica is not alone. Other students throughout America are having cosmetic surgery for a range of things including nose jobs, breast reductions, Botox and even plastic surgery on their ears.

One surgeon, Dr. Michael Fiorello said: “I do see a fair amount of parents coming in with their child because of bullying.

“My preference is, of course, to work out the issues first, the bullying, and the teasing. But there are certain situations where people are mature enough and surgery is a final resort.”

Bullying is and has been for a long time a problem in schools, both in the USA and UK. However whether needing cosmetic surgery in young people is linked to bullying is not something that has been properly researched. While some undoubtedly are moved to getting something done because of bullying, others may equally have felt compelled to get treatment because of other social pressures.

The idea of the link is being supported by one psychiatrist, Dr. Ned Hallowell told ABC News: “The idea of someone getting plastic surgery to avoid bullying, seems to me as crazy and worrisome as if a Black person were to go to a doctor and say, ‘I wanna become White, to avoid racism.’ The problem is clearly with the phenomenon of bullying, and not with the person’s nose.”

If a proven link between cosmetic surgery and bullying is found, this will concern health professionals and the educational establishment alike as it demonstrates that the problem of bullying is probably not taken seriously enough.

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