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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?

  • http://www.uscentrist.org Agnostick

    Does this bother me?

    Not nearly as much as being pounded over the head with four or five “NewsWhore” ads every time I visit this site, asking me “Is Hillary finished?”

    I’m about ready to find a new blog. Maybe a cool “retro blog,” where all I have to worry about ads for the incredible new x-10 camera. At least the college girl babes on those digital abominations were a lot easier on the eyes than Hillary’s puckered piehole.

    Agnostick
    agnostick@excite.com

  • http://www.writeslikeshetalks.com/ Jill

    Argh – lost the comment when I got the Captcha wrong.

    I wrote about this last week – you need to RSS WLST my blogging friend. :)

    The Dr. has stopped responding to my emails re: how did a vanity press book end up with Newsweek – so now we have to get Newsweek to talk. Wanna help?

  • TerenceC

    Actually I find “Mommy” to be pretty hot – she has sort of a Judy Jetson thing going on – I find myself to be curiously aroused.

  • http://2012ad.livejournal.com 2012ad

    This kind of thing makes me so, SO upset. This guy is creating kids who will view plastic surgery as an easy way to make themselves beautiful according to the slanted standards of an incredibly vain society, instead of viewing it as an expensive and risky procedure with results that are often disappointing. But he’s not thinking about it like that; he’s planting seeds for his money tree of tomorrow.

    Plastic surgeons make money off of the low-self-esteem of others, and it’s unfortunately become a very profitable business. What we OUGHT to be teaching our kids is that they should love themselves for who and what they are, and not go to extreme measures to conform to a society whose views on what is “beautiful” or even “normal” are incredibly unrealistic.

  • http://www.uscentrist.org Agnostick

    Friendly reminder to Jill & others who find themselves confounded by Captcha…

    In the Captcha window, just to the right of the box where you type your answer, are three red buttons, stacked in a column. The top button will give you a new “challenge” every time you click it–no penalty!

    I unashamedly admit that I sometimes hit that little button four or five times before I get a challenge that I can read!

    –Ag

    P.S. The best part about Captcha, of course, is how sometimes the two words in the challenge mysteriously relate to the article you’re trying to comment on. (Example: An article on Tom Delayed might have the challenge words, “Fractured standard”)

  • http://www.warning1938alert.ytmnd.com Jimmy the Dhimmi

    Hey, someone needs to teach those Beverly Hills kids not to feel so sad because they don’t recognize their mommies.

  • Charlotte Plastic Surgery

    The book does address an important means of communicating with children in a format that is easiest for them to understand, and I believe for that reason alone it is a good tool to facilitate communication between parents and children relative to plastic surgery procedures.

  • http://drstewartmd.com/ Dr. Stewart, Cosmetic Surgeon

    yep I haven’t read it either so I shouldn’t judge it yet..but it sounds like a bad moral story for children.

  • Will Guide

    Does the children’s book lady know that you have a habit of saying the most inappropriate things? “You’d be surprised.” Maybe it was her polite childrens-book way of trying to get you under her covers?

  • Megadyne

    I strongly disagree that children should be a part of this process. If you really think about it, there is no way to really justify the decisions to do breast implants, for example, in their eyes. Therefore, they are not justifiable overall.