Her mother had recently become unemployed and also had a nine-year-old son with cerebral palsy at home to take care of. At first, the girl didn't want to bother her mother with her problems, but she eventually confided in her begging for surgery. The girl's mother was surprised to find out the severity of her daughters troubles, who had recently began chocking it up to 'migraines' to mask her reasoning for crying. Her mother contacted the Little Baby Face Foundation which is based out of Manhattan, NY. The organization provides free surgeries to children with facial deformities who have financial needs.
Dr. Thomas Romo, who is president of the organization and head of facial plastic surgery at Lenox Hill Hospital, volunteered to do the work free of charge. He pinned her ears back, operated on her nose and even shortened her chin. The total amount for her work came to $40,000. For free. Dr. Romo explained that the girl wasn't picked because she was bullied, but because of her facial 'deformities'. Her mom feels that it's no different from a child receiving braces.
My question is, does this seem a bit extreme? Aren't we sending the wrong message to our children by telling them that looks really do matter? TLC has a show that comes on called Toddlers and Tiaras, where parents enter their children into competitions to be judged based on their looks. I've seen kids that are so confident at the beginning of the show just break down and bawl their eyes out when they don't win. Doesn't it seem cruel to tell a child you aren't as pretty/handsome, your hair doesn't look as good, you can't sing/dance/do magic tricks etc... as the next person? In my opinion, this is just setting them up for disaster. Children already go through so much just trying to fit in, but when the parents join in on the shenanigans, who do these children have to turn to?
What happened to the days where parents told their children they were different because they were special? What happened to parents teaching their children morals and respect for others? Where are the parents that tell their children that they are beautiful in spite of, smart in spite of and that they can succeed at whatever they set their minds to despite what anyone else thinks or feels about them? I think we as parents need to redevelop the kinds of relationships with our children where they won't find it strange or awkward to come to us if they have a problem.
So many children have opted to do the opposite of what this young lady did. Even though she considered suicide but decided to go to her mom instead, some children do commit suicide or rather they will become homicidal killing others because they have been bullied. I do commend this young girl on that decision. As I look at her before and after pictures, I do see a slight difference. I notice her chin is shorter and that the tip of her nose not so narrow. The most evident is the pinning back of the ears. But, I also notice that her eyebrows seem to be arched now and the color of her hair has been changed. She still has a slight crookedness to her nose as well. although now, it's not as obvious. Could the extra minor changes have been attempted before those permanent drastic changes were made? She does seem happier in the after picture, but could that just be psychological?
Although these physical changes have been made, has no one stopped to think that she looks like one, if not both of her parents? The physical has been changed, but the genetics are still there. What happens when she has children of her own and they inherit some of those same traits? Does the cycle continue or does it stop? What happens when she has fully gone through puberty and decides she doesn't like her breasts or her butt or something else about herself? Is cutting on yourself the answer to achieve what society deems to be beautiful?
I went to the website of the foundation that did her surgeries. I read a list of the services that they provide. Now, remember Dr. Romo saying that she wasn't picked because of her being bullied, but because her face was deformed? Well, I don't see her issues listed under the deformities they have there. And first of all, as I look at this girl, I don't see any deformities at all on her face. If even the doctor who is treating you says your face is 'deformed', what in the hell do we expect this child to feel like? Her mom compared it to a child needing braces. So, you mean to tell me if my child needs braces, he actually has a deformed mouth? I don't get it.
The surgery was estimated at $40,000. The foundation is a charity that consists of a board of doctors that donate their time to perform these surgeries on needy children. They also accept donations according to their website. Now, I don't mean to seem harsh, but that $40,000 worth of service could have gone to a child with much more serious issues in my opinion. Especially if you're gonna ask for donations to help provide these services. I would like to think that my money was actually going to help a child with life threatening problems other than someone who's only problem is just that they aren't happy with the way that they look.
What do you think readers? Am I being asinine about the story? Do you think that this girl's mother could have handled the situation in a different way? Do you think children are conditioned into thinking that the way we look determines whether or not we would/should be accepted? If you were the parent here, how would you have handled this situation? I would love to hear your feedback.