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Teen Girl Bullied into Plastic Surgery

How far would you go to spare your child from bullying? For parents of 13-year-old Nicolette Taylor, it was allowing their daughter to get a nose job after she was subject to bullying at home and on Facebook, according to ABC News.

Nicolette was a child model (she once graced the cover of Parenting’s sister magazine, Babytalk!) who broke her nose twice—at ages two and eight—leaving it disfigured. After getting teased multiple times a week, both in school and online, the family decided to take action and scheduled an appointment with a surgeon this past summer.

Plus: Bullying in the Digital Age

Nicolette’s mother, Maria Taylor, defended her decision on Nightline, when correspondent Juju Chang suggested that other parents might find the situation questionable:

“I think it’s fine. For a while, we say, ‘It gives you character.’ But if that’s the one thing that makes her so insecure, I don’t have a problem with it.”

Nicolette became the youngest rhinoplasty patient ever for Dr. Samieh Rizk, who says that 25 percent of the surgeries he does are on teenagers. Dr. Rizk explained that a nose is fully grown on a female at age 14 or when her feet stop growing. According to the Nightline report, nearly 250,000 teens had cosmetic surgery last year, and while there are no official age limits, most doctors recommend that teens be fully grown before having facial plastic surgery.

Plus: Sleep Deprivation May Turn Kids Into Bullies

Nicolette, who was just a few weeks out of 7th grade at the time of her surgery, was so moved by her new nose that she cried upon seeing it.

But the question remains: Does getting surgery ultimately mean “the bullies won,” as some detractors claim? Should we teach children to embrace imperfections that cause them significant anguish in the spirit of character building?

Would you allow your tween or teen to get plastic surgery if she were being bullied about her appearance?