A 14-year-old Georgia girl underwent facial plastic surgery after being bullied. She says she is now ready to forgive her tormentors, but she cannot forget.
“I believe in forgiveness, but I will never forget the times that they did that, the times they made fun of me, and the times they hurt me,” she said. “You have to make them earn it.”
Nadia Ilse, received a nose job, chin implant and had her ears pinned back. She felt confident of her new looks as she went to school on the first day of ninth grade. One of her former bullies even gave her a compliment on her new look.
Nadia was born with bilateral lop-eared deformities on both of her ears. It is a condition where a person is missing the folds in the ear and the ear sticks out.
Nadia described how she used to be called Dumbo, elephant ears and other hurtful names.
“I act like I didn’t care though I really did. It hurt a lot,” she said.
The Georgia teen kept the bullying a secret from her mother as she did not want to burden.
Her mother, Lynda Ilse, was recently laid off and had been coping with medical bills for her 9-year-old brother Josh. He has cerebral palsy and will need to heart surgery soon.
Nadia insisted that she wanted plastic surgery. It took a year to convince Lynda to agree and finally she did.
Since Lynda did not have the funds to pay for Nadia’s surgery they turned to the Little Baby Face Foundation. It is an organization that provide free surgeries around the world for children with facial deformities who cannot afford it.
Nadia and her mother were criticized for having plastic surgery to stop bullying.
According to Lynda, this isn’t the case. She said Nadia has been asking her to get her ears pinned back for a long time.
“It’s no different than somebody having teeth that requires braces. If you had teeth that stuck out, wouldn’t you go to a dentist and have braces put on?” she said.
The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery said that ear surgery or otoplasty is the most common plastic surgery procedure for teens. There are about 11,000 surgeries performed last year alone.
Dr. Thomas Romo president of the Baby Face Foundation said that they did not pick Nadia because of the bullying. She was picked because she had a deformity and that she could benefit from the surgery.
Although Nadia did say that the bullying was what pushed her to have the surgery their efforts don’t stop there. Her mother plans to sign her daughter up for counseling sessions to help her overcome the negative experiences from bullying.
As for forgiving her bullies? Nadia says:
“I’m not letting you mess around with someone unless you make them earn their forgiveness because if they like you now just because of your appearance that’s idiotic and superficial. You have got to make them see who you are now, so they don’t just see your face. They see who you are, and they can look beyond it.”