Child makeover – seriously?!

In today’s session we heard and discussed a lot about cosmetic/plastic surgery, but we only talked about adults. Why did we totally ignore plastic surgery for kids? Because it doesn’t exist, as it is completely crazy, unacceptable, and no parents would let their kid undergo cosmetic surgery?  – Well, that is what one could think. Still, it does exist. Of course. Such as so many other things that are actually too extreme to be true.

Researching about cosmetic surgery for kids I came across this documentary about a 7-year-old girl getting bullied because of her big ears. Her parents claim that surgery was the only option and that they only wanted the best for their child. Of course. All parents do. Naturally, as a parent, you do everything possible to keep your kid with a big nose or protruding ears from being teased by other people. Is going to a surgeon to fix everything that is “not right” a good way, though? One could argue that, dealing with the situation that way, you’re automatically confronting your child with this standardized ideal of beauty. In Samantha’s case, by having her undergo cosmetic surgery her mother encourages her to believe that her ears are too big and that there is, in fact, something that is abnormal or not beautiful about her face. Her mom even supports the “arguments” of the kids in school or other people who bully her, since she actually agrees with them and, therefore, takes her girl to a surgeon. (– How the hell, if not at her parents’ suggestion, does this little girl even know of plastic surgery? She probably doesn’t even know yet how to spell it! –) At the end of the video Samantha’s mum says “Kids are mean. They just are”, so she actually gives in to the kids’ bullying (even though she also stated that it was the parents that were mean to her girl) by having her child undergo plastic surgery. Jared, the Subway spokesman, in Super Size me says something that fits to that: “The worls is not going to change, so you have to.” It seems like changing your looks is the only option and changing the way others treat you or/and raising your child to believe in itself is considered impossible. Personally, I think this is the exact opposite of what one should do. Isn’t it more important to raise your child to be a confident person by valuing it in any kind of way, no matter what it looks like? And I’m not saying that Samantha’s parents don’t do that, nevertheless, to me it seems like they opted for the simplest way. Of course, a huge amount of love and appreciation from the parents’ side does not automatically make a girl with big ears be above all the bullying. A way to prevent this problem could be to build up an awareness that there are all kinds of people and that this is one thing that makes mankind diverse and beautiful.  Moreover, you should explain to your child that you do not stare at people or judge them by their looks, as there is no “right” or “wrong” in the way we look.

Or are we, in fact, being selfish or careless by comforting our child with these “empty phrases” and what we should really do is actively try to change something if our child gets bullied?

Is plastic surgery the most effective and, therefore, right answer to bullying? What do you guys think?

2 Responses to Child makeover – seriously?!

  1. juliapohl says:

    Well, I can only recall a situation where a friend of mine, I think we were in 6th or 7th grade or so, who had always had “Dumbo ears” (ears that seemingly weren’t attached to the head enough), had her ears fixed. She was really unhappy with the situation and felt so much better after the surgery. I don’t think that any of us I don’t know if there’s a right answer to whether surgery is okay for younger kids or not – I think that both the kids and the parents have to weigh out the consequences and effects with and without surgery. This is an individual decision which might be ok for some and not okay for others.

  2. juliapohl says:

    Somehow, my sentence was interrupted. It was supposed to mean: I don’t think that any of us thought that her surgery was a scadal or weird or anything. Maybe we were just too young to think about it critically. I don’t know…..

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