Friday, April 8, 2011

Career Day Sure Has Changed Since I was in School

Most elementary schools ask the parents to come in and talk to the students about their jobs. Not only does this give kids a chance to hear about things that is outside of their own worldview, it involves parents in the education of their children. Most children are very proud of their parents. In Henrico, Virginia such a day took place. One of the parents that came in is a plastic surgeon. As a Show and Tell prop he brought along breast implants and they were passed around to the kids feel.

This was done without any warning to the parents of the children in this classroom. This presentation was done for the older children, which means they are about 9 or 10. This is an age where they are finding out about their bodies and the changes that they will be going through in the next few years.

We live in society that puts way too much emphasis on our bodies and how we look as it is. Children are bombarded with issues such of these, and it is already difficult for parents to teach their kids it is what is on the inside that really matters. We also have Michelle Obama's lets move initiative that is highlighting the weight of our kids. There is struggle within our schools to deal with the problems of childhood obesity and the lack of exercise our kids are getting these days.

Most children are not mature enough to distinguish the difference between a healthy body image and being too thin. They are also not mature enough to understand the difference between looking a model they see on magazine covers and the reality of what human beings really look like. Not even the model themselves look as good in real life as they do on the cover of Vogue. This puts pressure on many young women to turn to plastic surgeons to find that beauty that they are seeking. It seems that parents are turning to plastic surgery as way to keep their kids from being bullied:

Statistics from the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery show that the number of children and teens who get cosmetic surgery increased nearly 30 percent over the past decade. Experts believe an increase in bullying behavior is one reason for the upward trend.
What exactly are we trying to teach children with displays like these? Can you imagine the giggles that came from these kids when they found out they were touching a fake breast? Small kids don't understand why breast implants may be necessary unless they have the unfortunate experience of a close family member that has had breast cancer. I am sure that there were many children who were very embarrassed by this display. While children are naturally curious, is this a curiosity that we should be enabling in 9 year olds?

Needless to say that most parents were very unhappy when they found out about this display. Parents have the right to decide what their children are ready for and what they are not. Not all parents want their children exposed to an explanation of breast implants at the age of 9. Parents have a hard enough time to guide their children through the very difficult tween years where they are struggling to be like everyone else and have yet to realize that being yourself is much more important. Instead this program is planting the seed that your body image and your looks are the important factors to your self-esteem. It is way past time that the school systems start to realize that as parents we have the right to decide what our kids are and are not exposed to at young ages. Teachers and administrators do not have the right to make these choices for us.

1 comment:

LL said...

Thank heavens the parent didn't manufacture marital aids...I'm simply saying that it could have been worse.

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