In past weeks the media has refocused its attention on bullying to discuss fat shaming and its growingly popular retort, fat acceptance. Recently, Oprah’s program “Where Are They Now” featured a father who pressured his daughter into undergoing weight loss surgery, claiming he would love her more if she were skinny. In contrast the viral video created by a North Carolina radio producer called “A Fat Girl Dancing” has prompted her “No Body Shame Campaign.”

As a plastic surgeon, “fat shaming” is a major cause for teens visiting my office. The patients and/or their parents come in looking for a fast fix to alleviate the pain associated with this phenomenon. Typically liposuction is the option they hope for. However, my response is always the same. “Let’s deal with the global weight issue first.” I encourage them to try my Restore Point Program and empower themselves by improving their health before simply undergoing surgery. The only gain I want to see for my patients is in self -esteem.

Bullying is always wrong, but in my opinion, so is “accepting a state of overweight.”

Parents must diligently work to remain the guardians of their children’s self–esteem and that begins with body image. Unfortunately, we live in a society where success is often equated with the size of one’s waistline. We cannot legislate or police how people feel. However, we can encourage the youths of this generation to take control of their bodies.

If you are ready to challenge yourself to move toward improved health, wellness and enjoy a better body image, the power is yours.

We will be blogging here in the coming weeks about the Restore Point Program—which is a food and fitness plan geared specifically to kids, teens, and their families.

Your only gain will be in self-esteem and your only loss will be in weight.

By: Frederick N. Lukash, MD, FACS, FAAP

Dr. Frederick N. Lukash is a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon specializing in pediatric and adolescent issues as they relate to body image and self esteem. He currently is in active practice at Long Island Plastic Surgical Group and its Manhattan affiliate, New York Plastic Surgical Group. He is the author of the bestselling book, The Safe and Sane Guide to Teenage Plastic Surgery (BenBella).