SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – Kelsy Catalo, 20, heard every kind of insult directed to her and her nose when she was in grade school.
“I got teased a lot,” she said. “I thought that my nose looked like a witch’s nose, and everyone called me big-beak. It really did hurt my self-esteem to the point that whenever I met someone I thought they were looking at my nose and judging me.”
Catalo’s story isn’t uncommon. An online survey in 16 different countries from InSights Consulting Firm found that almost nine out of ten girls ages 15 to 25 wish they could change one feature on their body. About 15 percent of American youth in that same age range admitted to considering plastic surgery.
Catalo had work done on her nose in early June. It was something she had discussed with her parents when she was in her early teens. It wasn’t until recently where she decided to go through with the operation.
“I sent pictures to all my friends,” said Catalo. “They were all excited.”
Plastic surgeon Dr. Daniel Shapiro said he sees many girls like Catalo come in.
“In those teen years, there are basic things that tend to bother kids, and the most common things I see are kids who want to have their nose fixed,” he said. “That tends to be a really emotional issue for kids.”
Shapiro said he’s seen kids come in for some for of surgery when they are as young as 10. However, he doesn’t agree to operate on just anyone who walking in to his office. He meets with the prospective patient’s parents to see how they feel about the operation. He’s also turned some clients down, believing they may need to develop more physically or mature in other ways.
“I really want to make sure that people are developed physically, and emotionally mature enough that this is really what they are looking for,” said Shapiro.
Kelsy Catalo, 20, is shown before her plastic surgery (left) and after. (Photo: Dr. Daniel Shapiro)