Bullying has always been a problem, but the lasting impact of the phenomenon was only begun to be considered fairly recently. Today, there is even more opportunity for bullying than there was in the past, due to modern school structure, after-school activities, and social media playing a huge role in our children’s lives. We all know that bullying is a serious issue, and that something needs to be done to keep our children safe from bullies—and to keep them from becoming bullies themselves. Unfortunately, physical deviations are often a trait that bullies use to torment other children, especially ear and nasal imperfections. How does teasing about their noses hurt children and teens, and can anything be done to help?
Self-Esteem and the Nose—How Bullies Hurt Other Children
Teasing can start from a very young age—often in the first few years of school. Teasing that can turn into bullying is often directed at a certain physical trait, such as a large nose. This kind of teasing and name-calling can make a previously confident child unsure and self-conscious about their nose. Physical appearance is deeply linked to self-esteem, and problems often grow worse over time, as children approach adolescence and experience even more uncertainty and awkwardness. Bullies can deeply affect other children, and can even motivate kids to want plastic surgery, with their cruel names and alienating actions.
Teens and Rhinoplasty
Going through puberty and the teen years isn’t easy, and most young people go through a period of time in which they do not feel comfortable in their own bodies. Combining that with insecurity around their peers, many teens become withdrawn, losing their confidence, and thinking that if only they looked different things would be so much better.
Many teens have hated their noses for years, and while this often stems from peers’ opinions, it does not change the fact that a nasal imperfection can have a major impact on a teen’s life. It is often during the early to mid-teens that kids start thinking about plastic surgery.
Is Rhinoplasty the Right Choice for Your Child?
The nose is a slow-maturing part of the body, but it does tend to stop growing during the teen years—at about age 15-16 in girls and 16-17 in boys. While most plastic surgeons prefer to wait until age 18 for surgery, there are some exceptional cases in which teen rhinoplasty is called for. It’s a tricky situation, because you don’t want to send a message as a parent that the opinions of others should dictate your decisions about your body, but for some teens who experience extreme bullying, rhinoplasty can help improve confidence and self-esteem tremendously. It’s a huge decision that each family needs to make on their own.
Will it Help? Will it Fix Everything?
Even if you do consider rhinoplasty for your child, you need to be aware that the procedure won’t fix all your family’s problems. Bullies use nasal imperfections as just one reason to attack, but will often come up with another insult if forced. Additionally, though a rhinoplasty can have major emotional benefits, it can also be a very difficult procedure at a time when identity is shifting already. With that said, some teens do benefit greatly from the procedure.
Be Cautious—and Explore Other Options
If you are considering nasal surgery for your teen, be cautious, and don’t rush into anything. Meet with some rhinoplasty surgeons and discuss your options. Exhaust all of your channels within your child’s school to help curb bullying, and give your child the opportunity to talk to a therapist if possible about the impact of bullying. If you do decide to let your child move forward with the surgery, you will need to make sure he or she is both physically and mentally mature and prepared for the challenges of rhinoplasty.
Confide in an Expert
Of course, you want only the best for your family, and choosing a rhinoplasty surgeon can be a very difficult decision. The procedure is very complex, requiring a highly skilled and experienced surgeon to perform the surgery. The best way to discuss your options and vet potential plastic surgeons is to begin scheduling consultations with prospective candidates. You should only meet with board certified facial plastic surgeons specializing in rhinoplasty, like Dr. Shervin Naderi.
Dr. Naderi is a renowned rhinoplasty surgeon, whose skills are so well-known that he focuses nearly 100% of his professional energy on rhinoplasty procedures. If you would like to discuss your family’s options with Dr. Naderi, call the Naderi Center in Herndon, VA (703-481-0002) or Chevy Chase, MD (301-222-2020) to schedule your consultation today.