With the holidays behind us and the promising dawn of a new year, many feel it’s time to make the annual commitment to self-betterment. The New Year’s Resolution gives us a chance to reflect on the journey behind us and pinpoint goals for a successful future.
Commitments to weight loss is one of the most common resolutions. For some, it’s also the hardest to achieve.
While we’re wrapped up in our own insecurities, it’s easy to forget that children are also subject to uncertainty about themselves. Rapidly changing from one year to the next, it can be difficult for children to feel comfortable in their own skin throughout development.
This is especially the case if the child has a different appearance than their average peer.
In these cases, it’s particularly important to encourage positive body image in conjunction with a healthy lifestyle.
What’s not needed is making children feel bad about themselves for their appearance. Yet Anthony Masyse, then 9, of Forest City, North Carolina, told WLOS that his visit to see Santa during Christmas 2016 ended in humiliation and tears.
As part of the time-honored holiday tradition, mother Ashley Masyse took Anthony and his siblings to visit the Santa Clause employed by Forest City. By the time it was all done, she wished they’d never went.
“When I got done, he said lay off the hamburgers and french fries, and that really just disrespected me and I felt awful,” Anthony told reporters.
A shocked and protective Ashley reported the poorly behaved Santa to his supervisors.
Children are caught in a precarious position between peer influence and lack of dietary control. Their friends encourage poor eating habits in line with media campaigns while they may not actually have control of the household’s menu.
Regardless of Anthony’s situation, the Santa was entirely out of line. In crossing that line he shattered a child’s belief in Santa and possibly himself. Anthony never wants to visit Santa again.
The Santa, identified as Earl Crowder, was forced to apologize, but Anthony said he knew Crowder didn’t mean it. Ashley called for Crowder to be fired and the city said disciplinary action would be taken, but Crowder resigned.
Crowder had been working as Santa for the last 12 years and was shaken by the incident.
He was later admitted to the hospital for pulmonary complications and supporters rallied around him on social media, insisting that the incident was not reflective of the man he is.
The thing is, we don’t get to pick and choose what moments serve as representations of our entire selves. Crowder never denied or provided explanation for his comments.
Representing Santa cannot be an easy task. However, if you don’t have anything nice to say, probably best to stick with “Ho-Ho-Ho.”
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