A new book aimed at 4-7 year olds just came out called "My Beautiful Mommy". It chronicles a little girl’s visit to the plastic surgeon with her mother for a consultation, their discussions of how mommy will soon be "prettier", an explanation of where the bandages will be and then an illustration of the final results.
Am I the only one screaming "WTF?!" at the top of my lungs?? I actually felt physically ill. Not at the fact that the mom wants a tummy tuck, boob job and a nose job but at the fact that there is a book teaching little girls (and boys) that being "pretty" is important enough to go under the knife. Don’t you think that these little ones have enough crap to wade through without this? Check out some of the illustrations:
It is no surprise to me that this is written by a male plastic surgeon (see the first pic above for his oh-so-buff version of himself behind the desk). What I struggle with here is the fact that little girls have a hard enough time struggling through the regular stuff that growing up brings and now to have this added pressure for perfection to deal with.
In addition, nothing in the book (as far as I could tell) deals with the frivolity of what mom is doing. Nothing in the book comments on the fact that this is only superficial. They never say "Yup, this is pretty silly but it is important to me". I guess it is pretty hard to say "looks aren’t important, it is what is on the inside that matters…but I want rock hard abs, perky boobs, and a button nose damn it!" Ugh.
Really, it is not the plastic surgery here that is the issue for me. I have friends who had their boobs lifted, their tummies tucked and their wrinkles softened. I get it. I’ve had two kids. I see what gravity can do. But it is already so tough for our kids to navigate through all of the mixed messages they get about beauty. Don’t you think this is something that we should be protecting our kids from? I am sure there are other more responsible ways to explain this to your children.
What do you think?