Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Rite of Passage

I'm not a huge TV watcher these days. I find myself unable to focus while watching a show. I'm either reading while watching ( which equates to not really watching), playing on my phone or zoning out. There just doesn't seem to be much on TV that really holds my interest, which isn't a bad thing I think.

After watching football on Sunday Dateline came on. The program was about a non profit organization called "Little Baby Faces" which provides plastic surgery to children born with facial deformities, but recently has opened it up to bullied teens as well.  Here is the best link I could find:

Little Baby Faces Dateline Report

I expected to see teens with horrible deformities and birth defects. Cleft lips, etc. But as they showed several of the teens applying to the program I was perplexed. They looked just fine to me! Did they look like super models, no. But most people don't look like supermodels. I was instantly entranced by the show, curious as to how this all works. Is a big nose now considered a birth defect?

Don't get me wrong...I'm not against plastic surgery necessarily. If some people feel the need to really "fix" things about their appearance then more power to you. If it makes you feel better, great. When it comes down to it, we could all be better looking, right? I mean there is always something that could be "fixed". I myself have a few things that I'd like to tweak with, and who's to say I won't somewhere down the road. I've entertained the idea, but it's a big commitment and I don't feel it necessary for me at this point.

But what bothered me about this was that these were kids. Like 14 year old kids. 16 year old kids. Kids not yet done developing and growing. Who knows how they will look 5 years down the road? What started out as a huge nose might not be so huge later on. I'll use my husband as an example. Yes his nose is large. We joke about it all the time. But it was a LOT bigger when he was 14! He has grown into a bit. And while you wouldn't consider it small by any stretch now, I think he looks just fine. And furthermore, is anyone really attractive at 14? That's like the worst age ever. If you didn't get made fun of and called ugly for the way you look at some point in school you were the exception, not the rule. At least that is my understanding. It's an unfortunate rite of passage that we all go through.

I hate the idea of bullying, and I hate that people make fun of other people for the way they look. But I'm not sure that teenagers running out and getting plastic surgery because of it is the answer here. What if your nose gets fixed and people still make fun of you. What then?

We all know it's what's on the inside that counts. But we all want to be attractive as well. I get the desire, but taking kids who have yet to really develop their own self worth and identity and "fixing" their face doesn't feel right to me.

There was one girl on the program who actually had a visible eye lid deformity. It was a birth defect and they did help her, which I think was awesome. And surprisingly she seemed to be the one that was most OK with not being helped if she didn't get picked!

When it comes to bullying, is surgery really the best answer?

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