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Teens Being Bullied Leading to Plastic Surgery?

Updated on June 3, 2013
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My Aha Moment....

I recently read an article entitled When Plastic Surgery is Used as a Solution to Bullying.

Then it hit me (like a freight train), with two young daughters, I have way more to worry about than my mother, her mother or many mothers before that ever had to worry about.

First off I want to say that while parenting boys has got to be both a blessing and a challenge; I was blessed (or challenged) with girls. I can appreciate that boys can be unruly, unjust and just as moody as girls. However, I cannot accept that boys are bullied, harassed and judged as much as girls are. And IF they are just as bullied, harassed and judged they are not as emotionally affected by it as girls.

Body Image

A girl starts obsessing about her body image from an early age. It seems that this is a way to "fit in" or be accepted. While I can recall this being somewhat of an issue when I was younger it was not nearly as extreme as it is today.

This CAN be healthy if the focus is put on proper diet choices, portion control, exercise etc. but more often then not it's taken overboard by impressionable teenagers (or pre-teens). As a result eating disorder statistics are through the roof. Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia and Binge eating disorders seem to take center stage with adolescents when managing his or her weight is an obsession rather than a informed lifestyle choice.


Personal Style

I'm so thankful that my girls have no options about what to wear to school other than shoes. They HAVE to wear uniforms and that takes away a lot of the trends associated with clothing. I remember being in school (3,000 some odd years ago) and clothing being an issue. I was fortunate enough to have parents who were financially capable of providing me with the "in" trends but I had some friends who's parents were not as capable.

I can recall how mean children, pre-teens and teenagers can be at this age. If you aren't wearing Nike's, Hollister or Ralph Lauren you just aren't cool. And it's ALL about being cool and fitting in at this age. We can thank young Hollywood for what our children interpret as trendy, however most of us are not as "financially stable" as young Hollywood, now are we?

Celebrity Plastic Surgery Gone Wrong

But Plastic Surgery?

Know what really irritates me? Girls feeling that they are not good enough for "Jim, Joe or Bob" because their fat, their hair's brown, their eyes are blue and their breasts or noses are not asymmetrical. In essence taking their body image to such an extreme that they feel plastic surgery is the only option to "fix" these issues and become "perfect" for society or in an attempt to avoid ridicule. It irks me to the umpteenth degree. And scares the beejeebees out of me.

I remember a friend of mine back in high school asking her parents for a graduation present. Which is normal, I asked for a graduation present too; I asked for a car (I know greedy, selfish, etc. I was 18). My friend, she didin't ask for a car, a new wardrobe, an apartment or a pet elephant, she asked for breast implants! ABSURD! INSANE!

Had I asked my parents for breast implants or a nose job for that matter they would have committed me. Or grounded me. Either way it was NOT happening (over their dead body, probably mine too). I would have been presented with all the "facts" the cost of a nose job, the process, probably given a video on nose jobs gone wrong etc. But it would never have happened. My friend on the other hand got her breast implants.

Scared....

I'm scared to death what society, the media, and Hollywood will "tell" my daughters is necessary to fit in will be such an extreme that I (but most likely them) may not survive the transition into the next phase of life.

As it stands now ridicule is just "normal" for children, children are just mean. To be honest I think it's "good" that children learn that life is not all butterflies and rainbows in an effort to familiarize them with the trials and tribulations of life (to an extent). But I will not stand by and let my little girls be influenced to such a degree that they feel chagning their body parts is necessary to be happy. Just the idea is crazy. CRAZY!


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    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      Your talks with your girls about true inner beauty will help them to stand during these early years of self-acceptance. There will always be bullies, but if a parent lets their child know that they are loved for who they are, encouraged to be someone and to help others -- they will not be harmed by the negativity. Your being there for them is what will make the difference -- what a blessing you are to them!

    • Rfordin profile image
      Author

      Rfordin 5 years ago from Florida

      Hey Teaches,

      Nice to see you here (as always). It's crazy how much I try to instill in my YOUNG girls about self-esteem and being proud of who you are on the inside..... only to have them catch a "Bratz" commercial or a Barbie doll in some kind of form fitting, short clothes, with a PERFECT figure. Trust me I focus on who they are and how great they are but even at their ages they feel the backlash of social acceptance.

      My 5 year old is gorgeous (if I do say so myself). She fits the sterotypical mold of the "All American Girl" dirty blonde hair, big blue eyes, a smile that goes on for days etc. However she does have an overbite (due to her thumb sucking - another topic). Regardless she is picked on! She's 5!!!!! It just irritates me to no end that her's my little girl (who does not pick on ANYONE) she's sooo overly empathetic its almost scary and they torment her because of her overbite. Needless to say I wanna go kick some 5 year old butts...but at the same time I know SHE has to be the one to realize that what others say negatively about her looks or her for that matter is "nothing" in comparison to who she is.....GRRR. Bianca (the daughter) starts kindergarden on Monday... I just keep hoping that she's ready to enter a tough world of bullying, ridicule and all the rest of the c___p that accompanies growing into a strong woman...

      Ok I got a little side tracked!

      BUT....

      Thanks for stopping by!

      ~Becky

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      Girls reach puberty faster than boys and thus they are easily impressed and influenced about how their body should look. Our society has emphasized that thin and beautiful is the way to go. Parents should talk to their children early, even boys, about what is really important in life concerning looks and character. I agree, plastic surgery is not an option for helping children to look "in". Voted way up!

    • Rfordin profile image
      Author

      Rfordin 5 years ago from Florida

      Hey Billy,

      Gee thanks... I woulda much prefered you to lie to me here. I'm just teasing I totally get it...hence the fear I've associated with it. I've been lucky (or unlucky) enough to watch my friends teenagers go through it and when I look at my gorgeous, innocent children I shiver.

      Thanks for stopping by...although next time can you lie? (j/k....sorta)

      ~Becky

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Well Becky, I taught middle school for fifteen years, and high school for three, and I can say without a doubt the worst bullying is with girls...it is more subtle but it is worse by far. Excellent hub about a subject that needs to be discussed more.

    • Rfordin profile image
      Author

      Rfordin 5 years ago from Florida

      Hi Carly,

      I hope that I can weather the ups and downs with my girls while teaching them that it's about who you are not what others "say" you are or what you look like on the outside. I have one daughter who is super sensitive to all issues and I'm most concerend about her. My other daughter is more of a spitfire and I'm concerend she'll be the "tormentor". I just have to hope and pray that I am able to create a solid foundation for them before they are set off into the world of being a teenager.

      Thanks for stopping by!

      ~Becky

    • CarlySullens profile image

      CarlySullens 5 years ago from St. Louis, Missouri

      Becky,

      I am too raising a daughter. I have one of each. My son was born with his ears being different from each other. One sticks out more. I love that about him.

      I tell him it is what makes him special and what makes him my Corey.

      I totally get what you are saying, and it is so sad we live in a society of always trying to conform. I like differences. At a gathering I tend to want to connect to the unique individuals than the cookie cutter people.

      When I think of people doing plastic surgery, I often think of burn victims and amputees. They had no choice in how a trauma now affects their body daily. And yet they can brave their way to get through life as they now are. To me that is significant. A strong reminder that beauty is not on the surface. It is in character.

    • Rfordin profile image
      Author

      Rfordin 5 years ago from Florida

      Hi Angie,

      I look at my little girls everyday and beg them to stay "little". Mainly because I'm petrfied that somewhere along the line their little impressionable brains will see how glorified everything is and "want it", "need it" or XYZ.

      Don't get me wrong as they become teenagers I'm sure I'm going to have to deal with some form of "teenagerisms" (until we NIP it in the bud of course). But I just can't help and think about how society (teenagers mainly) are now, how they were in my day and what they will be like in my children's days. It doesn't look like the skies are getting bluer in that aspect.

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

      ~Becky

    • Angie Jardine profile image

      Angie Jardine 5 years ago from Cornwall, land of the eternally youthful mind ...

      Luckily this sort of idiotic body image obsession was not so pronounced when my daughter was young. Now she is a bloody-minded nearly 40 year old mother herself there will be no way my two grand-daughters will ever be granted any wishes to change their body or face.

      Thank goodness she has the sense to teach them that it's who you are inside rather than what you look like on the outside.

      Sadly, she, like you, is probably out there on her own.

      Good luck!

      This is an intelligent and frighteningly topical hub, Rfordin and it makes me so glad my kids are grown-ups.

    • Rfordin profile image
      Author

      Rfordin 5 years ago from Florida

      3 teenage daughters...?!

      I agree with you 100% as the hub implies. As you mentioned you have 3 teenage daughters (in today's day and age). My little ones are 3 & 5 (both girls) by the time they are 12,13,14,15+ there will be something bigger and better than plastic surgery being used to fit in (if it's possible). My daughters may feel the need to change EVERY body part they own (feet included) sheesh....it's a scary world for them (AND ME).

      Thanks for stopping by.

      ~Becky

    • courtyB3 profile image

      Courtney B. 5 years ago from New Jersey

      We have 3 teenage daughters and I am totally against this as an option. I find it sick that society is now coming up with even more disturbing ways to mess with our girls heads.

    • Rfordin profile image
      Author

      Rfordin 5 years ago from Florida

      Hey Josh,

      I'm glad my little mini-rant/tirad/was not wasted on deaf ears so to speak.

      Thanks for stopping by.

      ~Becky

    • josh3418 profile image

      Joshua Zerbini 5 years ago from Pennsylvania

      rfordin,

      Very interesting read here. You have brought out some very good points. I agree with what you are saying here for sure. Very thought provoking hub, thanks rfordin!