Kids can be mean. Everybody thinks they know that, but I don’t know if grown ups have any idea how horrible kids really can be. My brother keeps saying, “just wait until middle school!” but I don’t have to: kids started picking on me when I was 8.
We didn’t start having cliques in our school until last year, third grade for me. Everyone pretty much got along but things were different at the start of that school year. Girls were always bragging; who had the coolest purse, whose vacation was the most expensive; who had the most fashionable clothes, the biggest house, the best haircut, and all that stuff is really stupid to me. My family and friends don’t care about those things, so all of it was super crazy to me.
In my group of friends, we like each other because of who we are, not what we have.
Not only were they bragging about what they did have, they also started pointing out kids who didn’t have these so-called “cool” things. And it wasn’t just the girls either; boys were just as mean, sometimes even meaner than the girls! So the popular kids went into their groups and spent their time picking on the kids who weren’t like them.
Then came fourth grade…
I was in art class lining up to go back to our classroom when a boy in front of me turned around and said, “Katie, you trying to grow that in or what?”. At first I didn’t even know what he was talking about but the more he stared at my upper lip, the sicker I felt. It was humiliating. I knew I had a little hair on my lip and one time a kid had commented on my hairy arms and legs on the bus, but it was so embarrassing. He didn’t stop when I turned away from him either, he just said even louder, “Katie! Are you growing your mustache in? It would look beeeeeautiful! Ha ha ha!” He and a few other classmates teased me all the way back to our classroom and I had a hard time not jumping up and running out of the room that day.
I wanted to cry. I wanted to crawl into a dark room and stay there forever.
When I got home, I told my mom what happened and I cried and cried. She said kids used to pick on her, too and that we come from a long line of Belgian and Italian women who have had to deal with the same things only they didn’t have many options to deal with it. She told me how her Grandma Emma used to use Great Grandpa’s shaving cream, razor and shave her chin all the time! That made me laugh and she gave me lots of hugs and said I could come with her to the salon the next day.
I was scared, but I didn’t care how much it might hurt, I did not want to be picked on for that ever again. If there was something I could do about it, I was going to do it – that was for sure.
The next day we went to see her hair and makeup girl Kara at the salon, Mom went first and let me tell you, watching her have her lip and eyebrows waxed looked terrifying, but the fear of that pain wasn’t anything compared to being teased again if I didn’t go through with it.
I sat down and Kara talked me through everything before she got started. It didn’t seem like it would be too bad, so I took Mom’s hand and Kara let it rip… literally. Oh my gosh, did that hurt! She finished up and put some crème on my face to make it feel better and I got a hot chocolate with mini marshmallows for being so brave. It really wasn’t so bad and now I go every other week so I’m kind of used to it.
The crazy thing is that after I had my lip waxed, kids started asking if I had started shaving my lip! Like it wasn’t enough to talk about me when I had hair on my lip, now they had to talk about how I didn’t have hair on it!? These kids need to find something better to do with their time; they must have pretty boring lives if my lip is all they have to talk about!
The worst part of kids teasing me about something like my lip, or hair on my arms or my weight, is that I already felt annoyed about these things on my own. Having other kids picking on me for them just made it worse. I had already wanted to do something about it, but wasn’t in a hurry to do anything about it until it was called out by someone else. I know now that if kids have an issue with me, it’s their issue. Nothing I can do is going to change their issue for them.
I learned that kids are going to pick on other kids no matter what, so if you feel like changing something about yourself, then you should do it for you. They’re only going to find other things to pick on you for, so just be you and be happy.
I’m fine with waxing my lip every few weeks because it’s something I can do to make me feel pretty and good about myself, but you should never change yourself for anyone else!
Girls: Please love yourself just the way you are. If someone has a problem with you: it’s their problem, not yours. If you want to change something about yourself, do it in a healthy, positive way and only do it for you. Don’t forget; you shouldn’t want to be like everyone else, if everyone was the same, life would be boring! What makes you different from everyone else is what
makes you you.
Be you. Be yourself. BeYOUtiful!!