But how do we explain this to our kids? The sinisterly named “My Beautiful Mommy” is a self-published book written by a cosmetic surgeon (go figure). It is supposed to help kids understand the transformation their mothers are about to go through, with the help of Dr. Michael, the superhero-like surgeon. The story, recommended for ages 4-7, follows a mother, who is depicted with a hook nose worthy of Shylock and a belly pooch revealed by the parade of crop tops she insists on wearing, as she undergoes elective cosmetic surgery.
So, let me get this straight. Women can apply some critical thinking and come to the conclusion to have plastic surgery, but they can’t figure out how to explain it to their kids? They need this book to do it for them.
The book enforces the insidious notion that cosmetic surgery is acceptable, positive, and even necessary. It serves the dual-function of falsely reassuring mothers that their surgery will have no negative impact on their children, whilst also advertising to the children themselves: a next generation of clients. Clever, opportunist marketing.
I’m not going to line the author’s pockets by purchasing a copy of the book to review. So you’ll have to make do with these comments from other reviewers – they speak volumes:
“A great way of sugar coating your personality disorders for your developing children! I recommend it along with the book, ‘Beautifully Bony: a child's guide to embracing mommy's anorexia,’ and of course the classic, ‘Doping daddy: a pop-up book about your father's ballooning biceps’.”
“If the Dr.'s plastic work is as bad as his writing, I would be very worried!”
“This is just a glorified advertisement to mothers to go use his services”.
“This is written like a horrible fairytale gone wrong. The mother looks like a plastic Barbie dressed like she is working the street corner”.
“Plastic surgery implies one thing: the person is not happy with his/her body. By making plastic surgery sound like a perfectly natural and fascinating process, it warps a child's view of their own body”.
“BLACKLIST THIS DANGEROUS MISOGYNISTIC PROPAGANDA NOW.”
“Why didn't they name it ‘Why Can't I Recognize My Mother Anymore?’”
“This book isn't for your kid. This book is for you, so you feel good about what you're doing.”
“This book is for the little girls who will get boob jobs for their 16th birthday presents, and for the little boys who will never consider dating a girl who didn’t get a boob job for her sixteenth birthday.”
“I wonder if he will write the companion book, "Mommy won't be coming home any more because she died from complications relating to elective surgery"”.
UPDATE: Journalist Chris Scullion has emailed over his own retake of the book. Despite its colourful language I'd rather give this version to my children than the original! Here's his retake, just for laughs: