Sunday, 18 March 2012

"Mommy’s Getting A Boob Job"

What would you like for Mother’s Day? A meal out? A bottle of perfume? A bouquet of flowers? Breast augmentation surgery? Of all the mothers I’ve spoken to, most declare that they would consider a boob job after they’re done breeding. In fact, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, in 2007, one third of the 348,000 breast augmentations and 148,000 tummy tucks were ‘mommy makeovers,’ or surgeries designed for women seeking to restore sagging body parts due to aging or pregnancy weight gain.

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”.


“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:


dumbsainthood said...

Really? Wow.

Alex said...

Oh my god! I was so scared coming to read this entry, as I was afraid you would be recommending the book. This is horrible :( I think that most women who get cosmetic surgery do not realise that there is any other way to be and will poison their kids with or without the book. Thanks for writing this, the book is really showing how acceptable it now is :(

Angela said...

Just started following your blog - I love all your posts! This book is crazy. Wow!

Cati Olivion said...

When I was young I was dating a guy I'd grown up with, and as things got more serious we started talking about marriage and children. At one point he mention that once we found out we were having our first baby he would start a savings account so that when we were finished having kids he could buy me a boob job to lift everything back up! At the time I just shrugged it off with only a touch of insecurity. Luckily I did not marry him, and my current husband would never dream of having me alter myself to erase the evidence of our children from my body. The other guy and his new wife just had their first baby last month and I only hope that the years have grown him up enough to not expect the same of his wife, but I'm not sure.... He was always incredibly vain himself.....

Johnny Bonkers said...

So the book is grossly opportunistic. Correct. Yet it's a fact that many moms have plastic surgery. So if they choose to do that, telling her child that mommy is a cocaine snorting slut and that she looks like sh!t after surgery, as in the satire to the book, doesn't help at all. I'm all for reinforcing self acceptance with both kids and moms. But if one mom chooses to have plastic surgery, stoning her is as dumb as being too vain and image-fixated.

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