They Called Me Zit Face

Bullies take many forms. I realized today that bullies are not necessarily those big scary kids that threaten to beat up other kids for lunch money, they can also be the pretty girls in gym class that say mean things. A bully may hurt other kids either physically or emotionally, and neither one is better than the other. It seems to me that anything that is done for the purpose of making another person feel bad should be considered bullying. I am not sure if I am dealing with a bullying situation here or just a bunch of thoughtless teenage girls, but nevertheless my daughter came home from school very upset today.

When she got home, her face was puffy and red. It was evident to me that she had been crying, so, of course I asked her what was wrong. Rather than clamming up (which was what I had expected) she blurted out, “They called me zit face!” I asked who she was talking about, and through her cries, I was able to make out that she overheard a few of the girls in her gym class talking and they referred to her as “zit face.” My daughter assumed that they were referring to her.

Luckily for her she has gym class with two of her close friends who were with her at the time, so at least she wasn’t alone. I asked her if she was sure they were talking about her and she shrugged and said, “Well who else has zits as bad as I do?” Her comment was so painful for me to hear. I didn’t quite know what to say in response. Regardless of what I say, how she feels about herself is what’s important right now.

I can’t be sure if these girls that allegedly referred to her as “zit face” were trying to be mean or talking about someone or something else. I guess that point doesn’t matter much because regardless of the intent of these girls, my daughter has it in her head that they were referring to her because she thinks of herself as a “zit face.”

All of my research on acne and zits and self-esteem has not prepared me for how to console my daughter when her feelings get hurt because of the inconsiderate words and actions of other people. The only thing I could do was listen and try my best to make her feel better with my presence rather than trying to say something that probably would not make her feel differently right now about herself or the interaction with these girls.

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