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Does New Book Help Children Understand Plastic Surgery or Undermine Self Esteem?

By April 18, 2008 - 11:32am
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A Florida plastic surgeon has written a book called "My Beautiful Mommy" the first known picture book aimed at 4-7 year-olds that tries to reassure kiddies about Mom going under the knife.

Needless to say it has stirred up some controversy. Supporters say it adds to understanding about plastic surgery while opponents complain it undermines self esteem. Where do you stand?

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What do little kids know about self esteem, they are just believing what they see. You are right Todd, they asses the situations by looking at the peoples reactions so they are highly influences by those reactions. What could possibly be wrong about kids being aware of plastic surgery??

October 31, 2008 - 6:23am
EmpowHER Guest

teaching your children you are unhappy with yourself. I'm not sure that's a lesson I want to teach my kids.

Some absurdly high percentage of American girls has tried to diet by 4th grade. We hardly need to encourage dissatisfaction with looks to our children; they get fed plenty of that by the media. For my family, I'd rather send them into the world with as much love and confidence as they can get, because the media messages are hard even for the strongest women to resist.

I also agree with previous posters that women ought to be free to get whatever surgical procedures they want. I am not talking about outlawing plastic surgery! But there are some things that simply aren't child-appropriate. I wouldn't give my children details about a number of necessary medical procedures, either, though of course I would tell them I was going into the hospital and that the dr.s were going to help and that I would be fine.

April 23, 2008 - 8:56am
HERWriter Guide

nothing to do with plastic surgery. I believe in the freedom to change anything about our bodies we darn well please. It's nobody's business but our own.

Exactly! It's nobody's business but our own! Ours and our doctors.

Why do parents feel the need to 'share' just about everything with their children? That noise last night? Oh, nothing, sweetie, just your father and I getting it on... That yelling last week? That's was just us fighting over the late payments on the mortgage.

And my love handles? Not to worry, honey, a doctor will put me to sleep and cut me open with a knife, suck all my fat out, stitch me up and I'll be right as rain in no time!

Isn't it ironic that many women never 'fess up to plastic surgery. Sometimes not even to their best friends or their husbands? But now let's burden the smallest shoulders we know...

We do NOT need to discuss everything with our children. They are not our friends, not our drinking buddies and not our therapists. They should never be involved in issues they have no control of and no real understanding of.

Discussing a tummy tuck with a young child is to validate the tummy tuck for the adult, not the child. It's for the benefit of the adult, not the child. Adults should never discuss adult-only issues with children. It has nothing to do with the child being 'entitled' to know the truth. That's unfair and self-serving.

So nip, tuck, slice and dice away! But leave your children out of it.

So what DO we say when we return home limping or with bruising and swelling? I'm not actually sure. I never had to deal with it (yet :) ) but I'd be interested in hearing from others. Personally, saying Mom is taking a week's vacation sounds good to me, or that Mom isn't well and needs a rest. Lying? No - just stretching the truth a little. You know, what parents have been doing since the beginning of time to protect their kids and allowing them peace of mind, and allowing their kids to be kids.

April 18, 2008 - 12:28pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Susan Cody)

I agree -- this book seems totally unnecessary to me, from a child's point of view. Why in the world do they need to know this! You're right -- it only serves to validate the adults having the plastic surgery done.

I do feel very strongly that it's our choice what we do with our bodies, and I completely respect another's choice for elective surgery of any kind.

I also feel strongly that plastic surgery is not for me, mainly because I want to be a positive role model for my daughters, and that they know that I cherish and honor my body and recognize the miracle that it is to have given birth to them, let alone be alive and healthy!

One of my dearest friends who is in her sixties once told me that rather than going to the extremes of plastic surgery, botox, or any other attempt to avoid aging, she just stopped looking in the mirror. I just love her attitude!! I've never known anyone who is so comfortable in her skin, and so beautiful inside and out!

You know, come to think of it, rather than have kids read this book "validating" plastic surgery, I'd almost opt for having them read about the horrors of plastic surgery and what can go wrong, the perils of vanity, how true beauty is on the inside, etc. What do you think?

Kristin Park

April 20, 2008 - 10:15pm

Tina T,

I remember when I was a kid my mom got work done on her eye.

Yes, it was a little strange seeing my mom with bandages but it seemed kind of normal because nobody was freaking out.

Maybe that's what happens to kids.

They look around, evaluate situations by judging the reactions from people around and they make conclusions based on that.

If my family members were freaking out, I would have thought it was horrific, but it wasn't.


April 18, 2008 - 12:20pm
HERWriter Guide (reply to ToddHartley)

Good points! Kids definitely look to others to see how they are reacting. Which is why a kid may never cry after a fall until Mom races over and makes a fuss. Then the child reacts - not to the fall - but reacts to Mom's reaction.

But plastic surgery? That's a can of worms. It can, especially with little girls, make them feel like their mother- the most beautiful person in the world to them - feels she has to do something potentially dangerous in order to be prettier, to feel prettier, to be seen as prettier.

This isn't a 'how to tell a child you have cancer' issue. Plastic surgery is a while 'nother ballgame.

April 18, 2008 - 12:34pm
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