WOMEN
08/08/2012 03:30 pm ET

The Upside of Ugly

Nadia Ilse, a bullied 14-year-old, recently received $40,000 in free cosmetic surgery from the Little Baby Face Foundation, an organization that helps children with facial deformities. It sounds like a quite a nice story until you hear what Ilse's "deformity" was: Her ears stuck out a bit.

The Georgia teen's supposedly corrective surgery included having her ears pinned back, a nose job and a chin reshaping. This is our culture now: teen girls thinking that the slightest perceived imperfection—any deviation from what they see in magazines—is tantamount to deformity and in need of surgical correction.

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