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Bullied Teen Scores Free Nose Job from Nonprofit for Facial Deformities

2 minute read

A homeschooled teen who was bullied about her nose got a free nose job from a NYC nonprofit that provides plastic surgery to deformed, low-income kids.

Renata, 15, said her classmates teased her so much about her nose that she hasn’t been to school in three years. The homeschooled teen told NBC‘s Today Show that other kids called her “that girl with the big nose.”

So Renata and her mother turned to Little Baby Face, an organization that provides free plastic surgery to underprivileged kids with facial deformities. In 2012, Little Baby Face famously operated on Nadia Ilse, a 14-year old who requested her ears be pinned back so that her classmates would stop calling her “Dumbo.”

When Renata requested her nose job, she wrote, “I tried convincing myself that I am fine the way I am, but I just don’t believe it anymore.” She was chosen to receive the surgery after foundation director Dr. Thomas Romo diagnosed her with hemi-facial microsomia, which means her nose leans to the left.

Dr. Romo also performed a chin job, to help Renata balance out her face.

While psychologists say teens shouldn’t have to resort to plastic surgery to avoid bullying, Renata’s mother defends her daughter’s decision. “Parents correct kids’ teeth with braces to make their teeth straighter,” she said. “They’re still the same kid on the inside, but, unfortunately, people are judged on how they look.”


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Write to Charlotte Alter at charlotte.alter@time.com