Wednesday, April 16, 2008

My Beautiful Mommy

A plastic surgeon in Florida has penned a children's book to help explain the effects of plastic surgery to young 'uns:

"My Beautiful Mommy" is aimed at kids ages four to seven and features a plastic surgeon named Dr. Michael (a musclebound superhero type) and a girl whose mother gets a tummy tuck, a nose job and breast implants. Before her surgery the mom explains that she is getting a smaller tummy: "You see, as I got older, my body stretched and I couldn't fit into my clothes anymore. Dr. Michael is going to help fix that and make me feel better." Mom comes home looking like a slightly bruised Barbie doll with demure bandages on her nose and around her waist.

The text doesn't mention the breast augmentation, but the illustrations intentionally show Mom's breasts to be fuller and higher. "I tried to skirt that issue in the text itself," says Salzhauer. "The tummy lends itself to an easy explanation to the children: extra skin and can't fit into your clothes. The breasts might be a stretch for a six-year-old."

The book doesn't explain exactly why the mother is redoing her nose post-pregnancy. Nonetheless, Mom reassures her little girl that the new nose won't just look "different, my dear—prettier!"

I love how the surgeon has made himself to be some chiselled Greek god in the book.

I won't judge women who resort to plastic surgery -- it's a personal choice, albeit one that requires a certain amount of risk and quite a lot of money. But I do wonder about the message mothers who frequently undergo plastic surgery send to their daughters. It is one thing to have the odd nip and tuck when you're middle-aged and saggy, quite another when you're swapping implants every five years. You could end up with a daughter who wants a boob job for her thirteenth birthday.


Anonymous said...

OMG! I'd love to get my hands on a copy of this! will be checking it out to see if we have this. THANK YOU!

Tine said...

Okay seriously what is *bleep* is wrong with the world these days?! :O

Shryh said...

I can't find it on amazon, but I'm sure it'll appear very shortly. I'll keep you updated if I see it anywhere. :)

Shryh said...

tine: In a way, I think the book has its place in our beauty-obsessed culture today. I'm sure little children get worried when mommy goes to the hospital and comes back bandaged and groaning in pain for a week. But I bet the book doesn't cover the part where mommy sues the surgeon for malpractice when her implants burst. >)