Book explains plastic surgery to kids
Wed Apr 16 2008
Frequent readers of this blog know I'm fairly liberal when it comes to parenting gear and kids' products. Remember, I'm the one who thought the "Someday I'll get trashed at prom" onesie was hysterical. So, when I received a press release for a new children's book about plastic surgery called My Beautiful Mommy, I went into it with an open mind. After all, I figured, kids see enough plastic surgery transformations on reality TV and in the real world that a book explaining it to them wasn't a half-bad idea.
That was, however, before I read an advance copy of the book (it hits shelves on Mother's Day, of course). The first problem is that My Beautiful Mommy was written by Michael Alexander Salzhauer--a plastic surgeon! Salzhauer seems to have put out this book as more of a promotional tool than anything else. In fact, the plastic surgeon that the mom in the story goes to see is named Dr. Michael.
In the book, a little girl accompanies her mother to the new, special doctor who strongly resembles Gaston from Beauty and the Beast. During the consult, he takes pictures of the mother in a "funny gown." On the car ride home, the mother explains to the little girl that she is going to have an operation on her nose that will make her prettier. When the girl tells her mom that she already thinks she's "the prettiest mommy in the whole wide world," the mother thanks her but then says she's going to have her tummy done, too.
Is this really what a children's book about plastic surgery should be teaching--that you have to have surgery to be prettier?!? Never once did the book mention anything about being pretty just the way you are. If anything, it teaches kids that everyone needs plastic surgery.
Another point of contention: The mother wears a belly shirt throughout the entire book. Why would someone who needs a tummy tuck show off her stomach? And who even wears shirts like that anymore?
I guess we should be thankful the book wasn't about boob jobs or something--though I'm betting that'll be the sequel....
What are your thoughts about this story? Would you buy My Beautiful Mommy? It's intended for kids ages 3 to 7. Do you think plastic surgery is something we should talk about with our kids? If so, is this the right way to go about it?
Share your thoughts below...