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Those boys a couple rows back…

2009 February 3
by Cat Durante

I just finished reading Erik Paren’s article,”Thinking About Surgically Shaping Children” and I have to say my face is blood red with anger. For someone who praises themselves on having encompassed a “wide array’ of opinions through “vastly different” surgeries, he seems to have shouted in every sentence not to have surgically corrective surgery. Did his research bring him to find children whose lives are amazing because of these surgeries? No, it seems he has deliberately tried to find those individuals who despite not chastizing the fact that their bodies were put through these surgeries, find at least one bad thing about them to blame their parents or society?

I cannot say for all of you but I am sick of blaming society for everything. Yes, we live in a corrupt world where ‘abnormalities’ (I might be shot right now for calling them that) of the body are not accepted…please as Dreger states, ‘cool your jets!” Should the individuals of the world decide to change their standards of what constitutes “normal,” we ourselves won’t be around to experience it, nor will our children or our children’s children. There are too many hateful people of the world and I believe Parens overestimates the goodness of the population. From experience, I know those boys in 3rd grade that taunted me about my braces and bruises will never learn their lessons. It’s too late to stop what has begun.

As for those parents who believe that by letting their children be of age to make their own decisions before having the surgery performed, they are in for a rude awakening. There is this paradox: If the parents do decide to have the surgery done when they are children, they risk the child losing out on experiences that could have been wonderful and the parents themselves will be chastised by others such as Parens and Feder for not letting their children be individuals. However, if those parents wait for the child to decide, that child may in turn resent his or her (or both) parents for not having the surgery done to save them from the torment they receive at school and the psychological pain that inflicts.

I thank my parents everyday for letting me undergo dental implant surgery instead of having a fake tooth bridge for the rest of my life. Yes, it is a cosmetic procedure, but personally, I really want to know what it feels like to bite…teeth first…into an apple.  

The picture with this blog is a zebrafish with a cleft palate…I think this brings to mind alot of ethical questions as well. Zebrafish can’t say yes or no to surgery…but would he or she be better off living in exile or being able to eat like the rest of the fish?

2 Responses
  1. Natasha permalink
    February 4, 2009

    interesting… it seems we need some long-term studies in order to more ably judge “what’s best for the children”.

  2. Ryan permalink
    February 5, 2009


    “From experience, I know those boys in 3rd grade that taunted me about my braces and bruises will never learn their lessons. It’s too late to stop what has begun.”

    … it’s never too late. And even if those boys don’t learn from their experiences, it’s likely that someone else will.


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