7-year-old girl gets plastic surgery to avoid being bullied. What would you do?

"Good Morning America" continued its exploration of all-things-plastic-surgery on Thursday, interviewing seven-year-old Samantha Shaw, a first grader from South Dakota who recently went under the knife to pin back her cup ears and fix a fold on her right ear.

Apparently, the number of teens and children getting plastic surgery has gone up 30 percent over the last decade, with more and more young people resorting to operations in order to avoid bullying. However, Samantha told Juju Chang that she hasn't been bullied, per se. Her mom said that others have made comments in front of Samantha — with adults being worse than other kids — but confirmed that the surgery was more preventative, so that her daughter wouldn't get bullied in the future.

New York Dr. Steven Pearlman, who performed the surgery free of charge thanks to the Little Baby Face Foundation, strongly believes that any abnormality can result in torture on the playground. But when asked whether he actually suggests that children get plastic surgery to avoid bullying, Pearlman responded, "Well, it depends where you draw the line. If it's minor, if it's cosmetic, absolutely not. But in my book and [that of] most of the medical community, the plastic surgery community, ears that stick out is not a cosmetic issue."

Brings up an interesting topic. I don't know if I would allow my 7-year-old to get plastic surgery to avoid bullying, but it's hard to say when you're not in that position. What would you do?

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Comments

April 14th, 2011 at 8:22 pm

No matter how flawless, accomplished, or beautiful one appears to be as a person (inside and out), people will still find reasons to cut you down. In fact, one could argue that the MORE you’ve got going for you, the MORE you will actually end up becoming a target of cruelty purely based on the fact that it seems people are increasingly insecure these days and instead of being mature about their feelings acknowledging that they have areas to work on, they’d rather lash out with jealousy.

We can protect those we love all we want, but at some point they will have to realize the world is a very hard place. I was an ugly kid. I wore baggy jeans and overalls, didn’t always brush my hair, took pleasure in jumping in mud puddles, even got mistaken for a boy on several occasions – BUT I was a KID. Worrying about superficial things such as being a beauty queen at seven should NOT ever become a “normal” concern. Not only did this mother fail in teaching her child that there are more important things in life than her aesthetic appeal, but by going public with her daughter’s insecurities, I’d put money on it that MORE bullying NOT less will result as a consequence.

April 15th, 2011 at 7:39 pm

I think the parents did the right thing by correcting her ear, although they were a bit selfish by saying they did it because of “other parents’ comments.” Samantha may not have had to suffer bullying before the surgery, but she is also only 7. Once she hits middle school and high school, I think her chances of getting made fun of with that ear she had would be much greater. It’s not worth it to have her live with a cupped ear and be treated differently from other people just for the sake of being unique.

I think the surgery will save Samantha from a lot of emotional pain in the future.

April 19th, 2011 at 1:29 pm

‎”plastic surgery” makes it sound unnecessary, vain & dangerous. All surgery is dangerous, however this is considered corrective surgery and I believe that we have to weigh the dangers and do what we have to do to protect our children. Teenage suicides due to bullying are staggering and should terrify any parent. My son had this done when he was about the same age, and it was covered by our medical.

Was circumcision discussed on this program? The majority of circumcisions in North America are done for cosmetic reasons, not for medical or religious reasons.