As a child who was bullied myself, I can relate to the pain and hurt that is associated with bullying. Bullying has seemed to become an epidemic. But when did this "epidemic" really begin and is being done? Bullyying is nothing new. Hatred is nothing new. Perhaps bullying became MORE of a problem with the wide spread suicides? THAT is the epidemic.
While following up on the issue, I recently read an article that a NYC foundation was conducting free plastic surgery to children with the hope of alleviating bullying. I did not know how I felt about this.
Lets look at the facts:
I refer back to Erik Erikson's stages of change. During the Latency age which is ages 5 to 12, Erickson identifies Industry vs. Inferiority. "Children at this age are becoming more aware of themselves as individuals." They work hard at "being responsible, being good and doing it right." They are now more reasonable to share and cooperate, (Allen et al, 2003). Erikson the elementary school years as criticle for the delvelopment of self confidence. Next comes adolescence years which are ages 13-19 years. This is the age where one askes themselves, who am I, really? Youth is a time of radical change—the great body changes accompanying puberty, the ability of the mind to search one's own intentions and the intentions of others, the suddenly sharpened awareness of the roles society has offered for later life, (Gross, 1987).
Now that we have some facts, lets take a look at one foundation, Little Baby Face Foundation. As I said, my first impression was that of uncertainty. So naturally, I had to do some digging to see what this was all about. The foundation's team of surgeons and medical providers volunteer their time to provide the best corrective surgery and medical care to children born with facial deformities worldwide, regardless of a families' ability to pay. Most importantly they also offer family support and connection to services and support groups. This piece is critical - especially with bullying. Children will always find a reason to bully and will always continue to be cruel. I read about Nadia Ilse (age:14). To ward off school bullies who began taunting her in the first grade for her ears, Nadia begged her mother at the age of 10 for an otoplasty -- an operation to pin her ears back.
Avoiding school bullying by going under the knife is on the rise among American teens. In 2007 alone, about 90,000 youth underwent cosmetic surgery, (ASPS, 2011).
Speak up! What are your thoughts? Is the a solution for bullying? Does this perpetuate the female stereotype of how society depicts women?
American Society of Plastic Surgeons (2011).
Allen, Eileen; Marotz, Lynn (2003). Developmental Profiles Pre-Birth Through Twelve (4th ed.). Albany, NY: Thomson Delmar Learning.
Gross, F. L. (1987). Introducing Erik Erikson: An invitation to his thinking. Lanham, MD: University Press of America. p. 39.