Parents grant 6 year-old’s wish and allow him to get plastic surgery. 2

Gage Berger photograph courtesy of Inside Edition.

Gage Berger photograph courtesy of Inside Edition.

As parents and caregivers, many of us would do anything to make sure that our children never get bullied or taunted for the way that they look.  Last week, the parents of Gage Berger were so overwhelmed by the bullying of their child that they allowed him to get plastic surgery.

Gage who is only 6 years-old recently went under the knife for a life-changing procedure: otoplasty.  Otoplasty commonly known as “ear-pinning” is a plastic surgery used to reduce the appearance of large or prominent ears.

Gage is currently a 1st grader and was being bullied in school for his prominent ears.  Like most 1st graders, he didn’t like going to school but it was for all of the wrong reasons.  Gage dreaded going to school because he was constantly being made fun of, mocked, and relentlessly bullied.  I cannot fathom the fact that bullying is already so common in the 1st grade.

In an interview with Inside Edition, Gage said that the children would tell him “That I look like an elf and I have weird ears.”  He also said “I just don’t want to be made fun of.” As a mother I find this completely heartbreaking and must admit that although I don’t believe in allowing children to have plastic surgery, this case really challenges my beliefs.

His parents said that they would see Gage looking in the mirror and pushing back his ears often.  They were also afraid that the bullying would forever ruin his self-esteem and cause issues in the long run.

His surgeon, Dr. Steven Mobley, said “They often get some not-so-nice name stuck to them, like ‘bat ears’ or ‘elf ears,’ and that sticks with them through middle school and high school.”  Gage was done in the surgical room in about 2 hours and the bandages came off 2 days later.  Inside Edition was there to film his reaction in which he proudly proclaimed “Oh my gosh!” while donning a huge smile on his face.

Click here to see the video: Gage Berger on Inside Edition

What do you think about the decision his parents made?

Would you allow your 6 year-old to have plastic surgery if it meant that she/he would be bullied less?

Do you think that allowing a child to undergo surgery because of bullying enables the bullies and only further enhances the problem by letting the bullied child think there truly was a “problem” and that they needed to be “fixed”?

Please tell me your opinions below as I look forward to knowing what you think about this situation.  The Bergers have received a lot of criticism for what people consider “letting the bullies win”.  Ear pinning is actually a very common surgery, and the American Society of Plastic Surgeons reports that the majority of these surgeries are performed on children.

My only wish is that we could live in a world where I wouldn’t have to worry about my child being mocked for her/his looks.  The Bergers are being attacked for trying to avoid permanent psychological damage, but what I find truly outrageous are the children that go to school and think that it is okay to bully other children because of their looks.




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2 thoughts on “Parents grant 6 year-old’s wish and allow him to get plastic surgery.

  • brigitte

    The reason I am writing this is because I feel people read articles and make an opinion solely based on such a tiny, fragment of the actual big picture. Everyone is entitled to an opinion and I respect them. I just hope that before people who accuse Gage’s parents as “unfit”, have walked in those kids and parents shoes. I am pretty sure whoever disagrees or thinks that what the parents did was wrong, have absolutely no idea what it feels like to have people make fun of your ears (any physical defect) and call you names 24/7 for more than a decade. I was one of those kids. My mom suffered with me all those years and watched me cry for years. As I became older, it became easier and I was able to not be so self-conscious and not let it bother me as much. But no matter what, it always did. Even if I became better at telling people off or ignoring them, it was like this never-ending thing. As much as I would like to say it takes a strong person to not listen or overcome stupidities that kids say, NO ONE understands unless YOU go through this. Everyone gets bullied one way or another and I completely understand this and most of us get over it. The difference lies when it is a very NOTICEABLE physical defect. Personally, I had my ears pinned back when I was 16 years old. To this day, I am 29 years old, I still wear my hair down–Always. I could sit here for hours and tell you stories about how awful and cruel kids were to me. But then again, I am sure you already know because you see it in the news and you hear about it from your friends. As much as I hate to admit, my bullies shaped me towards this kind of behavior and I am sure I am not the only one. Does this make me weak and allowing the “bullies” to win? Maybe. But I have never been called Yoda, the green one, elf, big ears (very creative I know) in person or behind my back. I left the bullies with no ammunition and was able to finally be at PEACE. The worst part was I did not see my ears as ugly it was just a part of who I am. People kept telling me how ugly I was or called me yoda, that as much as one tries to be strong, you eventually start to believe it yourself. We are not perfect. We are not supposed to be. This is what makes each and everyone of us unique. Some people are strong and carry on and do not have a problem with their ears(any physical defect) and own it. I wish I would have been like them but I was not and neither was Gage.
    As a mother, I would do anything to protect my son from harm. There are so many worse things in life. This is just the tip of the iceburg. If it means doing a minor surgery on a kid (it is not a major surgery) then so be it. They have the right to do so. This surgery is actually recommended for kids of a younger age according to my doctor who performed my surgery, which actually surprised me at the time.
    Parents know how important their social development is at this crucial time whether it be at 6 years old or 13 years old, it does not matter. Body image is definitely one of the important ones fro them. For people who think that the child will not be able to “deal” with problems that are not under his control such as puberty acne, braces, or talking with girls just to name a few. All of these are temporary and not lifelong. The name calling never ends.
    Life is hard no matter what you do or who you are. I have overcome many obstacles and have dealt with so many people from all walks of life with a smile on my face. I am more than confident Gage will too and if he doesn’t, it was not based on this surgery.
    This type of surgery does not affect your ability to deal with “problems” as you get older, here is an example of one of them. After my son was born, my breasts were not as they once were and I was considering breast surgery. After much consideration, I said hell no. I am not going to let society once again shape me into being this self-conscious person. Breast enlargement is this new normal and it shouldn’t be. We need to love ourselves every defect, every flaw, all of it. If people stopped being so damn cruel to one another and so critical of ones body or face, this would not even be up for discussion. We need to stop labeling each other and quit name calling those who are not like you. Because this label continues all your life, no matter the age. Bullying is unacceptable, period. We as parents need to know what is going on with our kids and tend to their every need, whether it be physical, psychosocial, emotional, just everything. We need to be better parents today and always for these kids to grow up and be the best version of themselves. Society needs to stop addressing these insignificant matters and tend to the real ones. I think we should all be thankful to have these types of first-world problems because there is someone out there that is praying to live to see another day.

  • Priscila Post author

    Wow, thank you for your thorough and wonderful input! We love hearing the opinions of people who have actually experienced what they are commenting about. We truly appreciate you opening up this way and giving us wonderful insight on this very controversial topic. We agree that society needs to stop addressing these insignificant #firstworldproblems. Thank you for visiting our blog!