~ If somebody calls you beautiful, laugh at them, you are more than that.~
So recently whilst I was lost on YouTube I stumbled across this concept- free plastic surgery is being offered in the US to children and teenagers who experience bullying, based on their physical appearance. Whilst I know that bullying is incredibly damaging to a person's self esteem and self worth and often leads to a long lasting negative perception of oneself and in worst case scenarios, suicide, what I also know is that when you want to deal with a problem you have to deal with the problem itself. In his case the problem is the bullies, who are telling others rude, hurtful and untrue things, who need to be dealt with.
By offering teenagers free plastic surgery to change an aspect of themselves, adults are teaching children that they are and have been at fault which only justifies and sympathises with the actions of bullies, and telling victims that they are the "problem" only gives bullies the right to continue with their destructive behaviour. Adults are also teaching children that their self worth is determined by others' opinions, which will affect these children throughout their lives as they will feel it is necessary to change themselves for others and ignore their internal feelings and desires.
I think the concept of "victim blaming does largely come into play here- the idea that the victim needs to be different or to do something different in order for the perpetrator to stop. It evolves from the human desire for control. Realistically we can't control the actions of another human being, so we look to something we can control and we convince ourselves or our children that it's their nose or ears or chin that needs to be "fixed." Parents, if you think that this will solve your child's problems with bullies, wait until they get bullied for having plastic surgery! The bully is going to try to find anything, realistic or not, to make their victim feel insecure, miserable and worthless.
What I think really has to be done here is education. Schools need to take an active interest in the welbeing of their pupils and parents need to properly guide their children and help them understand that self acceptance is the only way to happiness. Bullies behaviour should be addressed seriously- they should be confronted by teachers and parents and taught that their behaviour is unacceptable and will not be tolerated, however should be made to see a counsellor or psychologist as it is common for people who bully others to have family problems such as traumatic events or abusive or negligent parents. In this way the root of the issue is dealt with. I think it is also important to note that most people who were bullied had said they hadn't noticed the "problem" with their physical appearance before they were bullied about it.
All in all what I am trying to communicate is that adults should really guide their children and teach them to accept their unique traits and features because they are what makes them individual, and not to comply to the superficial expectations of society, rather to find meaning and joy in who they are and what they do.
Until next time⭐️