There's no question kids can be brutally mean, and some parents are going to extreme measures to protect their children from the bullying. For 11-year-old Bella Harrington, the bullies commented on her "elf ears" so often that she recently chose to undergo a pediatric plastic surgery procedure. Check out the video above to see her before-and-after picture!
"They would always, like, point it out, but then the more people pointed it out is when I wanted to change it," she revealed to 8News in Richmond, VA. "I thought that they stuck out way too much." Bella's mom, Sabrina Harrington, added, "They were teasing her over it. One thing they said, she had elf ears."
Cosmetic facial surgeon Dr. Joe Niamtu performed the live-changing surgery on Bella, and he pointed out that it's actually a common procedure he does. According to the doctor, about five percent of the population has "protruding ears," and more and more kids are turning to the procedure. "We like to treat these children before they enter school, so it’s not uncommon that I’m doing four- or five-year-olds," he said. "And the reason is bullying, or peer pressure. It’s been shown to psychologically to have the ability to affect their self-esteem or body image for the rest of their life."
While it's extremely sad that bullying caused these young kids to feel pressured to go under the knife, it's still nice that they were able to find a way to escape it. "It was my honor to help this beautiful young lady to escape the effect of peer bullying from her protruding," Dr. Niamtu wrote on his Facebook page. "Even small facial deformities can produce very negative psychological consequences in childhood that can lead to a lifetime of low self-esteem and negative body image. My biggest reward."