Eighth grader Navana Britto had a nose job a few weeks ago after kids at school started saying her nose was “messed up.” The comments made her uncomfortable in her own skin, and it seemed like plastic surgery was the best answer.
I honestly do hope everything works out for Navana (who I’m sure was super cute in the first place), but plastic surgery to stop bullying? Kind of extreme, and I have my doubts about it working. Experts say that more and more girls in junior high and high school are going under the knife in reaction to mean comments at school and online, but I’ve yet to see one article where a girl says getting plastic surgery solved her problems.
As a matter of fact, changing the way you look to stop bullying might only make things worse—it’s almost as if you’re saying the mean kids were right all along, that they were doing you a favor by pointing out how “different” or “weird” or whatever they said you were. And if they do stop bullying you over whatever you “fixed?” Chances are they’re going to find something else about you to pick on anyway—because bullying isn’t actually about you, how you look, how you act, or what kind of clothes you wear—it’s about some other kids who think they need to tear other people down to be powerful.
Gloria Steinem—one of the coolest gURLS ever—once asked, “If the shoe doesn’t fit, must we change the foot?” I say no, we don’t need to change the foot (or the face!) but I’m not knocking girls who go the plastic surgery route, either. In total honesty? In ninth grade, I wanted a nose job myself. There was this guy I thought was cute, and I heard him refer to me at a party as “the girl with the wide nose.” Those words stuck in my head for-ev-er, and although I’m still kind of sensitive about my nose, I’m so glad I never got it changed. If I had, I wouldn’t look as much like my mom or my grandmother—women who mean everything to me, and who I’m ultra-proud to look like.
Do you think plastic surgery can stop bullying? Do you know anybody who’s gone under the knife because of mean stuff other girls and guys said to them? Would you judge them for doing it? Do you secretly wish you could have plastic surgery? Get talking in the comments.