Can you believe that when a Montana mother complained to her daughter's school that she was being bullied because of her early development in the mammary department, the school recommended a breast reduction?
Seriously, a boob job for a thirteen year old! What the hell were they thinking?
Probably that it was easier to get rid of the problem than to deal with educating the kids about things like this. No wonder the mother was horrified.
I remember when I was about fourteen or fifteen, I bought myself a bottle of some sort of potion that promised to get rid of my acne, leaving smooth, silky skin behind. But I found myself suffering from buyer's remorse about half an hour later.
Rather than getting rid of my spots and giving me the peaches and cream complexion I wanted, I ended up with a face that was red raw, the skin cracked and peeling away. Turns out there was a small (teeny tiny) disclaimer on the side of the bottle that warned it "may cause temporary irritation".
Oh yeah, my skin was irritated, and so was I.
I had school the next day, how could I go looking like that? I remember telling my my mother that I refused, absolutely refused, to go if I still looked like a beetroot. And I remember her answer was "You're not staying home from school just because your face is red".
At the time I was horrified, and so angry. How could she make me go to school looking like Quasimodo's less attractive sister? I'd be laughed right out of the 9th grade!
But in hindsight I have to admit, she was right. I don't remember if there was any reaction to my red face from my classmates, although if I don't recall it I'm guessing not. But one thing I do know is if I had been allowed to stay home the thing I would have learned from it was that it's okay to hide if you don't look perfect. That my looks were more important than my character.
So thanks Mum for doing the right thing even when I got stroppy and teen-angsty.
Of course my situation was completely different to this girl's. My skin only stayed red for a few days, her chest isn't going to get any smaller on it's own. But I can't help thinking the principle's the same. If you tell a kid that their physical appearance is so important that it requires surgery for them to be "normal", then you can damned well expect them to glean from it that their looks are the most valuable thing they have.
Are we sure that's what we want to be teaching kids?