Self-Confidence Not Surgery

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As I watched a major national news program on a recent morning, my interest was piqued by a story of a 14 year old girl who was being bullied at school because of her large ears.

Wow, pobrecita! 

Her mother seeks out a non-profit which funds cosmetic surgeries.

Que!?!  Aren’t moms supposed to tell their daughters they are beautiful no matter what?  What about the kids who bullied her what lesson are they being taught?  Now I am getting annoyed.

The non-profit pays for the girls ears to be pinned back and a nose job AND a chin implant.

Ummm….I’m pretty sure the reason she was being bullied was because of her ears when did her nose and chin need to be fixed too?  And now I’m wondering if my tween is within earshot of the TV because I definitely don’t want her to hear this. 

The girl’s mother compares the surgery to that of getting braces.

Well sure, if the standard orthodontic package now includes botox, tummy tuck and eye-lift then yes it is just like braces.  

The girl then admits (after some prodding by the interviewer) that she briefly thought about suicide but decided it wasn’t the solution.

Now I want to throw the remote at the TV.  Why would you ever ask anyone on national television – let alone a teenager- to admit that they have contemplated suicide?  How is that helping?  Oh, that’s right it just makes for a better story.  

Piece ends and we cut to news anchors who banter back and forth about how wonderfully inspiring this tory is and how the girl’s mother is now going to seek psychological counseling for her daughter.

Verdad?  Now she is going to seek psychological counseling.  She didn’t think of that before the cosmetic surgery?  

As a mom of a tween,  I work hard to teach my daughter to be confident and love who she is.  This story undermines all of that.  It sends the message that instead of building self-confidence, we should find drastic ways to change our appearance or behaviors.  It also puts blame where it shouldn’t belong – on the victim instead of the aggressors.  

Then I saw the story of Talia Joy Castellano, a 12 year old Latina battling cancer.  Her YouTube videos on make-up application are thorough and joyful.  She embraces who she is.  The hardships that she is dealing with and makes the best of it.  This is a story I want my tween to hear!   (She has some great make-up tips for us moms – and for fun around the house with the tweens –


What stories have you heard that shocked you as a parent?  How do you build self-confidence in your tween?  Hablamos.


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