Saturday, September 27, 2014

Should I Go 3.10.14

Dear Rhonda and Dr. Cheri,

My mom put me in pageants since I was two and “we” won a lot of prizes. Sometimes I loved winning the dolls and money and most of the time I didn’t because my mom would sell my dolls and stuff and say I had enough.  I won a prize called the Ultimate Grand Supreme once. She called everyone and even my dad came over for a party she gave because I won that prize.  The real reason I liked winning was because then my mom acted so nice to me and bragged about me to her friends. But if I didn’t win, she would say that I was stupid for doing a dance wrong or not smiling enough.

My mom ran around yelling at everyone about me not having enough time or that the judges weren’t fair. I felt so bad. She yanked on my hair and then she bought wigs. She sprayed hair-spray in my eyes one time. I had to have false teeth when my teeth started falling out when I was six.  She got really mad at me one time because my tooth fell out and I wanted her to put it under my pillow for the tooth-fairy. She threw it away and said that it was going to ruin my chances of winning, and made me stay up late practicing smiling, but not showing my teeth because my flipper didn’t fit and it hurt. I had to wear false eyelashes and most of my dresses were too tight because my mom said I didn’t win enough pageants to buy more dresses that fit.

I drank sugar drinks and energy drinks and now my dentist told me I have five cavities. My mom told me it was worth it because I won pageants. My mom said it helped pay for the nice things we have. 

Now I’m in junior high school and my mom put up all my pictures of me winning pageants on Facebook. Some boys saw them and said I was the ugliest girl they ever saw. My girlfriends said I look like a freak. They laugh at me and when I told them it hurts my feelings, my friends said it’s my mom they are laughing at because she’s in the pictures too and she’s really fat.  I come home from school every day and talk to people on-line that don’t know me in person yet, but they are my real friends now. One of the girls I talk to wants to meet me and wants me to take a bus to her town which is three hours away.

Should I Go

Dear Should I Go,

We are so happy that you asked us about your most important question: Should you meet people that you don’t know and have only talked with them on-line?
Do not go! Please don’t go! You do not know if that person is a harmful person, regardless of the kind and caring things they say. You could be in very real danger.  Tell them they may come to meet you with a school counselor, teacher, or the police. If they are real friends, they won’t mind coming to meet you at a safe public place with other people that know you. Many predators hide behind pretend names and feelings. That is how so many missing persons wind up being abducted or worse.

We do not support pageants for children or youth under the age of 16. France, in fact, passed a law banning beauty pageants for children under 16. Any adult caught ignoring this law could face two years in prison and many fines. We should support the same laws here in the United States.  The French understand that children need to be protected from controlling adults who place children in imminent risk or serious harm. A child’s well being, safety (emotional, sexual or physical) is the responsibility of adults who should not subject children, youth and toddlers to adult competitions and often times adult talent routines and costumes.

Ask your school counselor or an authority figure to direct you and your mom to a professional therapist or social worker so you may work through your pain.  It may be necessary for you to switch schools. Drop off any social media for now (until you have had therapy with your mom) and stop communicating with your new unknown “friends” immediately. Do not see them. Develop new friends at church or other community activities.

Being in pageants does not define you. Develop new internal and external talents that you enjoy!

Rhonda and Dr. Cheri

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