Let me start by saying bullying is horrible.

But I am questioning today how it is being confronted.

Watching another stupid morning show and for the second time this week I hear about some non-profit that pays for plastic surgery for kids who are bullied for some aspect of their physical appearance. Right now I am seeing a girl with larger-than-normal ears, and earlier this week I saw a segment about a girl with a larger-than-normal nose. The news reporters do a before and after, interviewing and showing close-ups the girls in both stages.

Can we list all the things wrong with this phenomenon?

  • Granted, I am writing in knee-jerk mode right now and have not researched this issue, but BOTH segments feature GIRLS who feel the need to change their appearance. I need not say more, do I?
  • How many times must I repeat the phrase “blaming the victim”? By getting surgery to rid the problematic physical feature, the bullied is getting modified, when it is the perpetrators that need serious behavior modification to make them less reprehensible human beings.
  • What about those bullied for aspects of themselves that cannot be changed….uh can anyone say sexual orientation? The message I hear is if you are bullied, change what it is about you that is the source of the bullying, and if it cannot be changed, you are shit outta luck.
  • This last one is harsh and cruel, but it needs to be said: a non-profit to pay for kids who cannot pay for plastic surgery, REALLY? Tons of people struggle with medical bills for life-threatening illness on a daily, boring—as in not featured in a news story on TV—basis, and no one cares, no one gives money. I remember being so angry and guilty for that anger this summer upon hearing about how hospitals were treating financially challenged victims of the midnight movie shooting spree free of charge. So, if you are poor and you are lucky enough to get harmed in a life threatening way that is newsworthy, you don’t have to worry about medical costs? But if you are an everyday American, say with cancer, struggling in an unfair medical system, too bad, so sad? If I get cancer again, it will be catastrophic for me financially. If I die, I will just be another casualty of our fucked up health care system, and there will be no non-profit, no news story.

Maybe that should be a news story. Here’s my number Anderson Cooper, call me maybe.


Author: Cancer Curmudgeon

Oct 2010 diagnosed with Stage 3, HER2+ Breast Cancer. Completed treatment Jan 2012. Waaaaaay over pink. Applying punk rock sensibility to how I do cancer.

4 thoughts on “Wrong”

    1. Ha, it gets better/worse. I looked into this a little bit and found the non-profit usually does plastic surgery for kids with deformities, like cleft palates, which is understandable. Imagine donating to this group and then finding money was used for this and you object to it? And that is not half of it. Apparently the news segment I saw that prompted my post was released last summer (while I was going through my just finished treatment depression, so that is why I did not notice it), so CNN was just showing it again to promote some other bullying show. But when I looked at a psychology website’s article about it (posted at that time) and read the comments on the topic, I was disturbed. Most of them fell into one of two awful categories: 1) these girls getting plastic surgery are too young, and that was the ONLY thing wrong with it or 2) the girls are not too young, and this surgery is just like braces or something. Huh, I guess kids getting surgery for life threatening cancer, are they too young? Nothing said about the any of the issues I point out. In the context of the American conversation on bullying, I think my third point needs discussion in those circles…and this is me not even getting on my high horse about the fact that bullying, while terrible, is not life threatening in the way something like cancer is. Just unbelievable.


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