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I think he gets called ugly

(205 Posts)
shesgrownhorns Thu 06-Aug-20 13:40:45

Ds (12) is going into year 8 at high school. He says he enjoys it but I am really worried about him. He's chubby, wears strong glasses and there's no denying that his ears stick out. I know that he gets called names at school, he's made the occasional remark (she calls me Mickey Mouse) being an example. He's not complaining or appearing to be upset by this, just mentions it in passing but he shrugs it off saying he doesn't care when I ask him about it. This morning dd (11) and him were bickering and dd said 'have you looked in the mirror recently' . I told her to apologise for this and he said 'it's ok, it happens often.' He said this in a quiet but matter of fact way. My heart went out to him. I don't know what to do to for the best - do I talk to him gently and ask if he's being called names persistently? My fear is that in doing that I look like I am assuming that people do actually view him as ugly. Another option is to ignore and laugh off, but is this making too much light of it? I cannot possibly believe that he is not hurt by this even though he shrugs things off. AIBU to be worried sick?

OP’s posts: |
Thesuzle Thu 06-Aug-20 13:42:27

Get his ears pinned back, kid in my school did it way back in the 70’s. She was so happy

Finfintytint Thu 06-Aug-20 13:43:59

Yes, ears can be sorted and also lenses can be thinned.

BunningAndStrave Thu 06-Aug-20 13:44:07

Speak to him and offer him contact lenses, ear pinning and start feeding him healthier food. Get him doing some sports. He'll thank you later.

OverTheRainbow88 Thu 06-Aug-20 13:44:10

Gosh such a hard one, if I’m being honest I’m unsure of the answer. You don’t want to laugh it off as actually it’s not funny and you don’t want him to think it’s ok to be teased and called names and also for him to call other names. Can you get him different glasses and get the lenses thinned out? I’ve done that to my own. - but again that’s kind of victim blaming; changing his appearance to suit others so maybe a bad suggestion!
Sorry this hasn’t been too helpful.

OverTheRainbow88 Thu 06-Aug-20 13:45:00

It seems unfair that he should have to change all his appearances to fit in with what others deem ‘acceptable’.

Tlollj Thu 06-Aug-20 13:45:27

Get his ears pinned back, thinner lenses and help him lose weight.
Shouldn’t have to everyone is beautiful etc. But I would if I could.

CodenameVillanelle Thu 06-Aug-20 13:46:33


It seems unfair that he should have to change all his appearances to fit in with what others deem ‘acceptable’.

Yes it is. But is it better to be the one that goes your own way and gets picked on or the one who conforms and has a tolerable teenage hood?

OverTheRainbow88 Thu 06-Aug-20 13:49:49

Hmmm yes I get that! That’s why I’m so undecided about how I would respond.!

CherryPavlova Thu 06-Aug-20 13:50:41

He sounds like he's coping well so don't try and make him feel sorry for himself. Most children get teased, or are given nicknames, for one thing or another.
There are things you can do to minimise differences and make name calling less likely but please don't try and give him a victim mentality - that isn't saying name calling is right but it is something most children need to learn to cope with without parental interference and undermining.
Get him contact lenses, get rid of his chubbiness discretely - more exercise and healthy portions not 'a diet', maybe ask whether he'd like you to pay for his ears to be pinned (its not going to happen on NHS in the current climate) or grow his hair into a style that minimises the obviousness of them protruding. Then reinforce his confidence and support friendships and social activity.

BadDucks Thu 06-Aug-20 13:50:59

I had my ear pinned back when I was 12 and really glad my parents got it done for me. I also had very high prescription glasses at that age and it’s true people were not kind. If you can afford to get the lenses thinned as much as possible that will help, also the shape of the frames impacts the the effects of the lenses so ask the optician for the best frames for his his prescription type.

I tend to wear contact lenses a lot now even though I have expensive, highly thinned glasses. My school years have left me with too many scars about my specs!

From a health perspective you need to get on top of his weight too.

Secondary school kids can be bloody horrible it’s awful to think he might be getting a hard time poor lad.

BookWormBitch Thu 06-Aug-20 13:51:13

I think it’s really sad to re-enforce the idea that he’s ‘ugly’ by giving him surgery and putting him on a diet!

It’s so difficult though, I’m not sure what to suggest. I was the same as a teen and eventually chose to get contacts myself and lost weight naturally through a growth spurt. It’s tough as kids are cruel, but maybe compliment him on his intellect, personality etc. Don’t focus on the things people see as negative

Myneighboursnorlax Thu 06-Aug-20 13:51:20

I think I’d be tempted to go down the route of regularly complimenting him on being such a confident boy, and how admirable it is that he doesn’t care what others think. You wish you could be as confident as him, etc.

Even if you think he’s only pretending not to be bothered by comments others are making, that reassurance that confidence is an admirable trait, might make him feel better anyway.

I’d also have said something to his sister like “why does he need to look in the mirror? It’s what’s inside that counts” - pull her up on her comments without making it sound negative to him.

Of course if he wants help in improving his looks (thinner glasses etc) then this should be explored, but I’d say self confidence is more important.

I don’t have a 12 year old son though, nor have I ever been a 12 year old boy, so my advice may be way off.

Northernsoullover Thu 06-Aug-20 13:52:08


It seems unfair that he should have to change all his appearances to fit in with what others deem ‘acceptable’.

My child wouldn't wash if it was left up to him. I let him fester during holidays (within reason) but when he attends school I do my utmost to keep him free from bully fodder.

RedRumTheHorse Thu 06-Aug-20 13:52:13


Speak to him and offer him contact lenses, ear pinning and start feeding him healthier food. Get him doing some sports. He'll thank you later.


Some of his weight will come off as he grows but he needs to get into the habits now of being healthier.

I actually know a few people who said they were fat when they were teens who are thin adults. I also went to school with a girl who was chubby, had acne and thick glasses. Then after the summer holiday when she was 15 she came back to school slimmer, had finally found something that worked for her acne and was wearing contact lenses. She then had different issues but due to her former appearance had no issue telling people where to go.

NeutralJanet Thu 06-Aug-20 13:53:09

It seems unfair that he should have to change all his appearances to fit in with what others deem ‘acceptable

I see where you're coming from, but I also have an issue with my ears which caused me to get made fun of and even now in adulthood I won't have my hair pinned up or tied back because I hate people seeing them. I wish my parents had referred me to have the pinning procedure done in childhood, I'd be looking at a lot of money to have it done privately now and its an expense I can't really justify now I have my own family.

SerenDippitty Thu 06-Aug-20 13:53:50

I would get him thinner lenses certainly. But contact lenses??? There's nothing intrinsically ugly about glasses. My nephew thinks his are really cool.

OverTheRainbow88 Thu 06-Aug-20 13:54:16


But chubby, glasses and ears can’t be ‘resolved’ by a 5 min shower!

EveryDayIsADuvetDay Thu 06-Aug-20 13:54:56

Has his hair got longer over lockdown? (or let it grow before he goes back to school)
Ears will be less noticeable.

candycane222 Thu 06-Aug-20 13:55:50

If you do want to offer: interventions' you can couch it 'now you're nearly a teenager you probably want some trendy glasses' kind of thing - ie its because of time passing, not his particular appearance. So it isn't personal?

BendingSpoons Thu 06-Aug-20 13:58:21

I think you can have a conversation led by him, with quite open questions. Along the lines of: you said people say X? Does that happen lots? Does it bother you? Do you want to change anything? You can reassure him that you think he is wonderful and you are always here to help if he wants you to. He will probably shrug it off though. I would also pick the right time to talk to him.

honeyytoast Thu 06-Aug-20 13:58:33

I would gently encourage weight loss (with the emphasis on fun activity, building strength + healthy balanced food etc) but leave the glasses/ears unless he brings it up first.

missyB1 Thu 06-Aug-20 13:58:58

Talk to him about whether he would like anything to change. Perhaps he would like to lose weight - I would come at that from a health point of view anyway. And I’m sure he’d like thinner lenses, and if you can afford it then ask him to look with you at ear pinning. Make him feel like he has choices.

IwishIhadaMargarita Thu 06-Aug-20 13:59:12

Just ask him if he gets calked names and does he want to improve his appearance. I was desperate for lenses but my mum and dad wouldn’t pay for them (£8 a month). I now rarely wear my glasses as they just don’t suit me (I have a very small face) and even thinning the lenses they are still like bottle bottoms.

candycane222 Thu 06-Aug-20 13:59:22

Same with fitness - though I have to day a very chubby pair of brothers I knew are both now incredibly slim teenagers - once they started gaining height , their shape changed utterly!

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