you ever compared people's faces? Some people have big noses, some
people have small chins, some people have straight eyebrows, some people
have thin lips, and some people have freckles. What do you have? All of
these differences help you to be recognised by friends, family and
other people who meet you.
if you were born with a face that was considered different in the eyes
of the world? Maybe you were born with a large red mark on your face, or
you weren't born with ears, or half of your face didn't move.
Ride High Pineapple, the main character, Issy Burgess, was born with a
different face. The bones in her skull and face stopped growing too
early when she was in her mother's womb. This made them small, so her
eyes were very bulgy. This was not her fault. It was something that
just happened, just like some people have asthma, or are allergic to
peanuts. But having something that most other people do not have, can be
People stare at people who are different.
it is a very short person, a person in a wheelchair, or someone who
talks to himself, people tend to look, maybe because they are curious,
or maybe because they haven't seen someone like that before.
Unfortunately though, some people can be very mean and cruel to people
who are different. This happens in Ride High Pineapple as Issy is
bullied by The Beast, Tia, a girl in her class.
the story Issy uses her English assessment to tell the class why she
looks the way she is, and also to show that she is more than a face -
she has talents. Issy is great at writing poetry, drawing Anime and
skateboarding. She is also a loyal friend and a loved daughter.
may be wondering, why I gave Issy a different face? Well, because I was
born with a different face, and two of my children were also born with a
different face. We all have the syndrome that Issy has. Issy's
character is based on myself and my daughter. Issy's feelings were my
own when I was growing up. The speech that Issy gave, was the speech
that my daughter gave to her Year 8 English class, just changed to match
Issy. My daughter loves drawing Anime and was into skateboarding. She
also experiences anxiety. The hospitals, Captain Starlight, and plastic
surgeon are all from our personal experience.
you see or meet someone with a facial difference, choose kind. Be nice,
smile and say hello. Remember that even though their face may not look
like everyone else's, they still have feelings, and they have talents.
They want to have friends and be liked. Maybe they can do something that
you can't do.
For more information on facial differences see:
Bullying & FriendshipsThere is a bully in the story; Tia, or The Beast, is her name. She continually calls Issy names, she hurts Issy, and she spreads rumours about her.
The difference between a mean girl and a bully, is that the situation occurs more than once. Issy has been picked on by Tia since Tia arrived in Year Eight.
There are many strategies to cope with bullies. It is extremely important that you do not put up with it. No one has the right to be mean to you.
So what can you do? You can stand up for yourself, and say like Issy did, 'Stop it, I don't like it.' If that doesn't work you can say something funny or walk away. You can tell a teacher. You can tell your parents. You can tell your friends.
Issy kept the bullying a secret and tried to deal with Tia on her own. This only made Issy very angry because nothing was working. It was only when Issy told her best friend Tilly what was going on, and Sarah her skateboarding coach, that she was able to stop Tia. Don't keep bullying a secret.
In Ride High Pineapple, Issy had known Tilly since she was young. She felt she didn't need any other friends, and was jealous of other girls trying to join the group. Over time Issy realised that sometimes she needed more than one friend.
Friends are important. We laugh, play, hang out and share our dreams and secrets with them. Friends accept us for who we are and like us the way we are. Sometimes we do fight with our friends but that is okay, as long as we say sorry and get over it
It is important that friends don't stand by and let bullying happen. Friends who stand with you, are the best type of friends to have. In the story it is Tilly and Tilly's friends who stand up to Tia. Eventually Issy expands her friendship group to include these girls.
Why did I put a bully in Ride High Pineapple? Because I was bullied all the way through school. I was called horrible names about my face. My friends did stand up for me and my brothers tried to protect me. But it still happened. In those days bullying was more accepted than it is today. Thankfully times have changed and you don't have to put up with it.
For more information on bullying see: