So just came across this article about a 7 year old receiving plastic surgery to avoid bullying at school. The author's view on it echos exactly how I feel about it. (Click and watch the video that was linked in the author's blog, too.) Absolutely ridiculous. I hate that society puts so much pressure on kids.
I was never bullied in elementary school. It was a care-free & fun time in my life. In third and fourth grade I strictly played football at recess with the boys even! I was a super tom-boy until middle school. From third - sixth grade I strictly wore my hair in a ponytail or bun. I hated wearing it down. I hated that it was red. I hated that I was a girl. But I was never bullied at that young an age for anything! Once I got to middle school it dawned on me that personal appearances and social status mattered. I ditched my good elementary school friends on a quest to achieve popularity in seventh grade. I crashed and burned. The girls I wanted to befriend were just too mean. So I fell back on my core group. Eighth grade hit, I hacked 6 inches off my long hair to have a medium-length cut that my mother would style each morning for me. (My hair has a lot of volume so this cut looked more mature than my former long hair.) IMMEDIATELY bullying began. Mean, mean girls. Death threats, verbal sexual harassment, physical abuse, and dirty looks. I begged my mom to take me out every day and home school me. The school counselor was no help. Some of my teachers who I was close to outside of school stepped up and would semi-escort me to class to help ward off some of the abuse. It was awful. But I lived. And with high school came freedom from those mean girls.
I built a lot of character in that time. I learned a ton about myself and a ton about other people and life itself. I learned who my best and truest friends were and I leaned on them. They were amazing and I will forever be grateful towards them for their support. My parents never truly understood the extent of it all - so, sadly, I grew away from them. (This is probably the biggest reason I'm not super close to them to this day.) But bottom line, from all of this - I am okay.
Because of my experiences with bullying I think it is absolutely ABSURD for a seven-year-old to get plastic surgery to avoid bullying! SEVEN?! Come on. I understand that bullying is an increasingly heinous thing going on in our school systems - but plastic surgery is going a little too far, don't you think? Monitor internet usage, raise your children to love who they are and realize they are special - no matter what. If they have body image issues, help them to resolve them in a healthy way. Get them involved in a different circle of friends, different activities, or, hell, switch schools. But plastic surgery? No. It kind of reminds me of Celia (or Cecelia?) in Weeds with her daughter. Season 1 Episode 1 she says to her daughter at her daughter's soccer game: "Go run more Isa-belly, burn more calories - no fruit punch! Only water or diet soda!" What is that teaching our kids, seriously? (Not that children under the age of 13 should in any way be watching Weeds...).
Oh, America. You and your views on self-image & self-worth. I wish this could be improved upon.
**I don't in any way mean to preach about how parents are wrongly raising their kids - I'm not a parent, and frankly I'm on the fence about ever wanting to be one. I just know the hardships I went through and only wish that other kids didn't have to go through them. I know what could have been improved for my situations, so I merely elaborated upon that in this entry.**