Sunday, June 12, 2016

"Is your nose real?"

Dear Rhonda and Dr. Cheri,

My granddaughter, Carla (not her real name) has had her ears pinned back, her nose reshaped, and her breasts enlarged.

Carla was bullied in elementary school for being fat and then in middle school because she developed anorexia. Once she was in high school for a year, she was attractive if not beautiful.

Carla’s mom then started with the surgeries to make Carla feel better about herself but I don’t think Carla felt or even noticed that something might be wrong with her ears, nose, or breasts.

Now Carla runs around school flaunting her new good looks. She quit being friends with anyone who was a friend. She knows that kids know she’s had plastic surgeries.

Evidently, however, Carla has taken the offense and started asking everyone she knows if “those are real” or “is that real?” She even pulled on someone’s eyelashes to check on them and one side came off. Now that girl is calling Carla a bully.

I think Carla’s learned to be rude, but her mom thinks it’s good that Carla “stands up for herself now.”

Carla and her mom think this is okay. They live in California, by the way. Am I wrong to be a worried grandma?

Dear Worried Grandma,
It’s always good for grandmas to be alarmed when valid reasons arise. However, let’s make sure that you are worrying about the most important reasons of concern. Let’s determine together how you may possibly help Carla and how to approach her and her mom.

We do not agree with parents making life altering decisions for their under-age kids. Yes, we said “for” her because a teen Carla’s age cannot do that on her own - and with good reason.

Carla was most likely confused and insecure about her looks when her mom allowed her to change them.

Now that Carla’s changed her external self, she has gone on the offense to make up for her inability to know how to stop being a victim and she sounds as if she’s hiding behind her “new beauty” to empower herself.

Carla may benefit from a life lesson about learning how to Define Yourself Before Others Do™ - a motto we teach to help adolescents empower their own self with identifying their internal and external self using our 5 C’s to develop her good leadership skills; Civility, Courage, Confidence, Creativity, and strong Carriage (stand tall and have eye contact).

Carla seems to know that her new beauty could be misconstrued as pseudo-beauty and her new rude behavior of trying to point out what she thinks is fake makes her feel powerful because she is mocking what she considers to be hypocritical.

Our opinion about altering your appearance is that you must make sure you have the maturity to decide what is a reasonable modification to your looks- to feel well enough about yourself in order to stop focusing on yourself and focus on the things that matter the most like creating healthy relationships and service, and not making extreme changes to hide behind.

Please approach her mom and ask her to read this column. Then ask them both to go into therapy now before Carla crashes and burns under her new looks and new bad-mannered behavior.

Signed,
Rhonda and Dr. Cheri

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