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.