Science/Environment

Plastic Surgeon Publishes Pro-Surgery Children’s Book

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To be fair, I haven’t read My Beautiful Mommy, but still…that title is pretty bad.

If this is just a book about the idea that “mommy” is going to have some work done and how to explain it to a kid, that’s one thing. But if it’s more of a story about “transformation” from normal to “beautiful,” well, that seems incredibly unethical to me.

From Newsweek:

What’s the market for a children’s picture book about moms getting cosmetic surgery? No one specifically tracks the number of tummy-tuck-and-breast-implant combos (or “mommy makeovers,” as they’re called), but according to the latest numbers from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, breast augmentation was the most popular cosmetic surgery procedure last year, with 348,000 performed (up 6 percent over 2006). Of those, about one-third were for women over 40 who often opt for implants to restore lost volume in their breasts due to aging or pregnancy weight gain. There were 148,000 tummy tucks—up 1 percent from the previous year.

Salzhauer got the idea for a book after noticing that women were coming into his office with their kids in tow. He says that mysterious doctor’s visits can be frightening for children. “Parents generally tend to go into this denial thing. They just try to ignore the kids’ questions completely.” But, he adds, children “fill in the blanks in their imagination” and then feel worse when they see “mommy with bandages,” he says. “With the tummy tucks, [the mothers] can’t lift anything. They’re in bed. The kids have questions.”

Here’s one doctor’s understandably snarky response…

First, let’s consider toddlers’ views on what makes a person beautiful. Let’s be honest, isn’t it annoying how clueless they are of true standards of beauty? All children seem to think, for example, that their moms are beautiful, even if she has a big nose or sagging skin…or worse.

I ask you: is this a healthy viewpoint? If we don’t teach our toddlers otherwise, won’t they take this misguided view of beauty into later childhood, even adulthood? Imagine the consequences to society if everyone was considered beautiful in his/her own way.

And should we be praising toddlers for how they look, when they invariably possess offensive pot bellies and gross rolls of ‘baby fat’? Give me a break. Who really likes a big fat stomach on any human of any age? You don’t like one on yourself, why should you on a child? Imagine the let-down in store for them when their cherished jelly bellies become objects of ridicule by their peers!

Agreed. Reinforcing artificial standards of beauty so early in life with a book like this is nothing more than clever marketing.

This bother anybody else?