Founded in 1974, the Women’s Center was established to:
Dismantle, from a feminist perspective, all forms of oppression, including but not limited to those based on ability, age, class, ethnicity, gender, race, and sexual orientation.
Advocate for an equitable environment free from violence and harassment based on gender, race, and sexual orientation.
Create an anti-racist, non-sexist, queer-affirmative space where all people can feel valued and safe.
Facilitate and strengthen connections among people across lines of difference through programming and educational campaigns.
Integrate an appreciation of Women's Gender and Multicultural Studies across the disciplines.

Friday, April 15, 2011

7-Year-Old Gets Plastic Surgery...That's Right 7.

If the title still isn't clear..yes, 7 year old girl gets plastic surgery. Ear surgery to be exact (her ears "stuck out" according to her mother). This is beyond comprehension to me. Currently, I am graduating (in May!!) with my Bachelor's in Nursing and I am so excited to be starting my career. But a small part of me really wants to take up a career as a motivational speaker for young girls because the more I have learned about body image and eating disorders throughout my 4 years in college, the more I realize these issues stem from insecurities and social constructs of beauty, that women learn and recognize as early as 5, 6, 7 years old.

And by the time we are 11? Well, you can forget about it because at this are already doing damage control for girls and their self-esteem. Bottom line: A 7 year old should NEVER have to be concerned about how a body part looks. They should be exploring what their body can do for them, how it helps them run fast, climb monkey bars, paint a picture, go to dance class, play soccer. They should be curious about how their bodies are growing and ultimately, they should be made to feel proud of who they are. And parents are a critical part of this development.

I have no doubt in my mind that the mother of this girl only had the best of intentions for her daughter. As a parent, I can only imagine the difficulty she must face to know that her child is being ridiculed by other adults and children on the playground. But wait, the girl herself told reporters that she was not bullied by her peers because of how her ears looked. So, it seems to me that this mother is trying to sooth her own insecurities about her daughter's ears, instead of sticking up for her daughter (who is absolutely beautiful by the way) and telling those other adults to back the fuck off. No, instead, this mother has decided that there was something wrong with how her daughter looked, to wage a war on her daughter's body, and in the process, has now projected an idea onto her daughter that she is not perfect, that there is something wrong with her. Isn't that a little sick?

As mothers, as daughters, as sisters, as WOMEN, we must stop putting each other down. We have to STOP making each other feel anything less than perfect, anything less than beautiful. This means, STOP the talk about "what is she wearing", "look at her hair", "she's so fat", "she's so insert offensive comment here". We have no right to judge someone else, because in the end, it is your comment and your attitude that makes that woman go home and throw up. Keep that mental image in your head and picture it before you decide to make an insensitive comment next time.

We have no idea the intense hurt and damage we cause to other women, to our sisters. If a mother cannot stand up for her own daughter, can not assure her own flesh and blood that she is in fact beautiful, what hope is there for this society we live in? How are young girls suppose to grow up and feel confident and beautiful when their own mothers are telling them the opposite?

So I urge you to take this to heart, and tell the women in your life today how beautiful they are, and how happy you are to have them in your life. Tell the young girl in your life how wonderful she is, just for being her.


  1. I feel like the parents seemed really selfish when they mentioned how they didn't like other parents saying stuff about it in front of them. At the same time, it makes sense that the girl isn't getting bullied yet because she is only 7. Once she hits middle school and high school, there's a good chance that might change. The surgery might be saving her a lot of future heartache, and if it doesn't there still isn't any real harm done.

  2. Valid point. However, bullying does occur at young ages, even at 7 years old. Also, at 7, her body hasn't had a chance to grow and develop, so her ear size could change as she grows. I also feel like the mother making a big deal about this is setting a precedent in her daughter's mind that there is something wrong with her. It might not hit her now, but later on in life, that concept could effect her.

  3. Oh my gosh. The mother is risking her 7 year old daughter for that surgery. She's too young to understand these things. She's not even a teen yet. Her mother could have wait for her daughter to be older to have a say to this.