Michelle Martin, one teen featured in the segment, had a breast augmentation at 19 after years of being teased for having a small chest.
Martin said the recovery and scars from the surgery were a small price to pay to make up for the scars left by years of teasing and feelings of inadequacy. She said she “absolutely” feels prettier.
“This was just something to make me feel better. To make me happy. To make me feel like a beautiful woman,” said Martin.
High school senior Erica Morgo, another featured teen, says that she was bullied by her classmates in middle school because of her nose. “They would call me Pinocchio. And in school, in class, people would point it out. I felt helpless. I felt like a loser,” she said.
Her mother, Dana Manzella, allowed Erica, then 15, to undergo rhinoplasty to reshape her nose.
“I think that was definitely a good decision, because it brought her back — her self-esteem back up to be able to do activities that she did before, with comfort,” her mother said.
Nearly 90,000 teenagers had plastic surgery in 2007, and doctors say the numbers are growing, according to the report.
“I do see a fair amount of parents coming in with their child because of bullying and teasing and feelings of self-consciousness,” said surgeon Dr. Michael Fiorillo. “My preference is, of course, to work out the issues first, the bullying, the teasing. But there are certain situations where people are mature enough. And surgery is a final resort.”
Popular plastic surgeries for teenagers include nose jobs, breast reductions, breast augmentations and ear tucks.