Commish started the conversation, as he usually does. "Okay fellas - your teenage daughter comes to you and your wife and tells you she wants to get a nosejob. This isn't a physical health issue. Do you consider it? T.S. - You're up"
T.S., one of the more liberal members of the group, surprised me when he said "absolutely not. Being a teenage girl is tough, and I can imagine how a whacked-out nose would affect her self-esteem and social ability. But just about every teenage girl has something they are losing sleep over. I want my daughter to be proud of who she is, warts and all."
A couple of other guys agreed. Then Nails spoke up. "It's a tough call. I'm around kids all day. If you guys don't see what these teenagers go through every day I don't think you really know how tough it can be. On the other hand, who's to say the whacked-out nose is permanent? She could still grow into it, it could evolve. I'd say be careful until you at least know she's not going to change again."
I was up next. "No way. I'd try to talk with her about esteem issues, address any underlying concerns. But - this might sound funny and I'm not sure how I'd bring it up with my teenage daughter - maybe an unusual nose turns out to be a good thing. If its that unique, it could turn out to be very sexy. Like you all didn't grow up fantasizing about Cindy Crawford, mole and all! I'm with T.S. - she should be proud of who she is. Commish, what do you think?"
"Well, I'm pretty open to it. Assuming money and health aren't issues, and her self-esteem is that messed up - let's say we consulted doctors and counselors and it could really make a difference - why not make being a teenager a little easier."
"Okay - here's the follow up issue. Your daughter says she wants a boob job. T.S., what do you say?"
"Same response. She is who she is, take pride in it."
Nap finally piped up, with a Cheney-like grin. "It really depends. Are we talking about my daughter, or your daughter. Okay, seriously, if there's no health issue, no way."
Nails: "We're talking about a breast enhancement, not a reduction right?" Couple of snickers, but he went on. "Seriously, think Punky Brewster. Major back issues, you know? Actually, reduction or enhancement, I'm against it for a teenager. My sister had very large boobs and had a reduction in high school. Only problem was, she wasn't done growing, and well, they basically came back a few years later."
Doc looked incredulous. "They came back?! Like a starfish? Only two right?"
Nails just smiled at him. "Seriously, she had the operation too young and needed it again a few years later. But it probably helped with potential back pain and definitely helped her self-esteem. Well, after the second time at least."
Commish summed it up "No way I'd let her do it in high school, but maybe in college, with a doctor's okay I'd be receptive. But if there's no health issue, chances are she'd have to pay for it herself."
I only have boys and, regardless, am years away from dealing directly with issues like this. But once again I really appreciate where the TNH guys are coming from. Check out the survey to the right. What would you do?