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Ask Rene: Help! My Teenage Daughter Wants A Nose Job!

Unhappy Girl Looking At Her Reflection On The Mirror

Ask Rene:
Help! My Teenage Daughter Wants A Nose Job!


Dear Rene:

I have to remain anonymous as I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings but it’s about my daughter.

Kayla is a beautiful 14-year-old. She is popular in school, gets good grades, volunteers at our church and is very grounded. So imagine my surprise when she asked for a nose job for a birthday present!

I am so confused as to what to do. On the one hand, I feel like she should be happy with who she is and the way God made her. On the other hand, I do see where having the nose she was born with is impacting her self-esteem. Honestly, it could be just a tad smaller. (I think she got it from my side of the family. We all have big noses and as soon as I could afford it, I had mine done a few years back).

Does that make me a bad mother for admitting that she has a big nose? How can I be justified in telling her no when I had the same procedure myself? I have not mentioned this to my ex-husband yet.

I’m so confused. I just want the best for my daughter.

The Nose Knows, Paris TX


Dear “Nose”

Wow, this is tough but not at all unheard of. Kids in that Hollywood scene are flocking to get these procedures done. Remember Ashley Tisdale who had her nose done a few years back (she said it was for a deviated septum)? Just this week we mentioned that international pop singer Charice had Botox and a skin tightening procedure to get ready for her appearance on Glee? One of my concerns was that she didn’t look like she needed it.

Teens think that what they are going through is permanent. They cannot imagine the future, only what they are feeling now. In fact, according to Swiss development psychologist Jean Piaget, because the brain is still developing, children are not really equipped to think and understand the future in concrete ways until after age 12. So it’s imperative that you help her to understand that what she sees today might not be the case tomorrow.

There are a couple of things I would recommend . . .

4. And Finally . . .

Image 4 of 4

It’s important that Kayla understand a nose job is not a quick fix. Changing on the outside won’t change what’s on the inside. I know that sounds very Pollyanna-ish but it’s true. If this were my daughter I would spend the next couple of years building up her self-esteem and making sure that she knows she is beautiful with the nose that no one else has.

Good luck to you!

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Editor's Note: This piece published in its original format on 7/23/2010.

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Combing the aisles at Target in search of the best deal on Cheerios, it hit Rene Syler like the stench of a dirty diaper on a hot summer’s day. Not only is perfection overrated its utterly impossible! Suddenly empowered, she figuratively donned her cape, scooped up another taco kit for dinner and Good Enough Mother was born.

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