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Words are Powerful

The other day I was talking with a friend whose kids are older than mine. Her 11 year old daughter is being made fun of at school because of her thick eyebrows. My friend's response was to get her daughter's eyebrows threaded.

The whole situation made me sad. If someone was making fun of my kids, I would be devastated and I, too, would want do whatever it took to prevent that and to protect them. I don't know what my response would be.

I discussed the situation with another friend and she said, "it's just a part of life. Kids are mean and they make fun of other kids for stupid reasons. I was made fun of for having big feet."  The conversation made me reflect on all of the things I was made fun of for as a kid--
    • Being too skinny: People always told me to eat something, they called me a toothpick, and one girl even had a nickname for me- Skeletor.
    • Wearing braces for 5 years: Every single photo of me from Jr. High through High School has braces in it. You can imagine the names I was called.
    • Big lips. People called me "monkey face" 
    • Having a ton of moles all over my face. "What's that on your face? Dirt?"

Words are so powerful. They speak life or death. They can help or they can harm. Most adults know this and they are able to use caution when speaking- But kids may not have such control and tend to blurt things out before thinking them through. It's the things that were said to us as children that tend to stay with us for the rest of our lives. And it’s worse now with social media. People somehow feel empowered to write/comment words that they normally wouldn't say to your face.

"Be mindful when it comes to your words. A string of some that don't mean much to you, may stick with someone else for a lifetime."

I'm still skinny- people sometimes make comments about my weight and when they do, the voices from my childhood all come back. I currently have two huge gaps in my teeth (apparently whatever my braces did to my jaw all those years is the cause of my migraines, so my new orthodontist is trying to fix it and gaps are a part of his strategy)- a few people have pointed my gaps out on social media and I get super self conscious about it, which is why I never posted this picture.

My face grew, so my lips became more proportionate. I remember being a party once and a lady asked if Dr. Rubenstein had done my lips and if so, she wanted him to do hers too. I thought she was making fun of me at first, but apparently my lips are a good size now.  The moles on my face didn't go away- at some point in time, moles started being called beauty marks. When I started working as an actress, some makeup artists would ask me if they could darken my "beauty mark". 

I don't want to accept that "this is a part of life." I will teach my children that words are powerful and have meaning- that it's not ok to make fun of people. And moreover, that a person's value doesn't come from her looks. This seems cliche to say nowadays but, really, we are all beautiful and have our own "beauty marks” whether the world calls them that or not. It’s true. So rather than be negative, tell people, starting with yourself, what is good about them and what you find beautiful about them. Let’s change the voices in our heads. 

"Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless."

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