Think about the nightly showdown you had with yourself and the mirror as a teen. I’m sure there were at least 10 things you spent hours berating. If mom and dad came in with a credit card and offered a permanent solution, would you take it? Be it a boob job, ear tuck, lipo, lip injections and hell, while we’re at it, a cortisone shot for that zit that won’t go away. Most teens would jump for the chance, and the case was no different with Nicolette Taylor. The 13-year-old from Long Island was featured on ABC News after her parents paid for her rhinoplasty.
The reason for getting plastic surgery at 13? Bullying.
Nicolette says she was harassed by classmates because of her appearance — specifically the size and shape of her nose — and that it continued even after school hours on social networking sites. Nicolette’s father, Rob, told ABC News by way of explanation, “You’d buy them shoes. You’d get them braces, which we did.”
Hmm … comparing braces and a nose job? I understand both are procedures done for vanity purposes, but no bones are broken and reshaped when you rock your evening headgear. (Plus, getting braces as a child can prevent dental/jaw issues in the future.) But apparently, Nicolette is not alone. In 2007, a reported 90,000 plastic surgery procedures were performed on teens in order to “reduce bullying.”
Bullying is admittedly harsher now than it was in the past given the explosion of social networking. This has been made brutally apparent by the recent suicide of Jamey Rodemeyer, the 14-year-old boy who was harassed online for being gay (as well as other teens who took their own lives after being bullied online, like Megan Meier). Is the solution then to cancel your teens social networking accounts? Social networking has arguably become a crucial part of socialization. But in cases of such extreme harassment, is its “social” use viewed as more important than your child’s well-being?
The before-and-after photos don’t help her case much: a pale, glum Nicolette precedes va-va-voom tanned and pouted Nicolette. She is sporting classic I’m-so-sexy duckface and appears far beyond her 13 years. I can’t judge the mental toll the harassment took upon Taylor, though I suspect her angst was spurred on by classic teen insecurities. It’s no secret that being a teenage girl is difficult. Raging hormones, changing bodies, and an impossible standard of beauty are ever-present. But shouldn’t old-fashioned practices of development hold true? Most of us get teased at some point of our lives, but as blogger Ashley Cardiff put it on The Gloss, can’t we persevere “until self-esteem develops the old-fashioned way”?
And then there’s this: a web search for articles online about her surgery also revealed a MyNikkiTaylor YouTube channel, which featured over a dozen videos of the young girl dancing and singing songs like the Black Eyed Peas’ “Meet Me Half Way.” Her “about me” section shows a passion for acting, modeling, singing and dancing.
Hmm. Is Nicolette Taylor’s plastic surgery her way to meet the ideal image of a celebrity? Or was her nose job really about combatting the bullying?
Let us know what you think in the comments below.
Contact the author of this post at Stefanie@TheFrisky.com.
Image via Daily Mail UK