We have always had mixed emotions about plastic surgery. And we're not judging, because it's none of our freaking business what anyone does to their face or their body. Our only concern regarding the hundreds of thousands of women who go under the knife each year is for their children and children in general. We think that plastic surgery sends a very strong message to little girls and little boys. Girls now grow up listening to radio commercials pushing tummy tucks and boob jobs to "get your best bikini body," and reading ads in the back of nearly every woman's magazine for different ways to surgically enhance their appearance. These girls are being taught from a young age that they are not good enough the way nature made them, and that their appearance is something that must constantly be perfected. It's no wonder that most of us grow into women who, on some days, feel insecure about our appearance and our bodies. It doesn't help that everywhere we turn, we are faced with a new way to fix ourselves.
The message plastic surgery sends boys is for them to grow up with an even more unrealistic, idealized view of what a woman "should" look like: skinny with big boobs, a flat stomach, a perky butt and a tan, flawless face. And what are these boys and girls supposed to think when their mother comes home from the hospital not with a little brother, but swollen and miserable with bruises and bandages? What about when the bandages come off and their formerly "normal" mother now looks like their Barbie doll? How are children supposed to understand this?
Well, we're not the first to wonder. A plastic surgeon thought the same thing and decided to write a children's book called My Beautiful Mommy, which helps mothers explain to their children how plastic surgery isn't a bad thing--it just helps make "mommy beautiful."
We're not sure how to feel about this book. Granted, we don't have children yet and haven't had plastic surgery, but there must be a better way to explain to children why mommy's face is suddenly super tight and she now has giant D cups. We don't think the best explanation is that it's because mommy wasn't beautiful before, but she is now. Children think their mothers are beautiful no matter what. Their mother is the first person on the planet that they fall in love with, and will forever be their idea of beauty.
Sure, the book has some clever wording to explain what the hell is going on with mommy and why she now looks like a totally different person. But our biggest problem with the concept of the book is this: what if mommy is a flat-chested woman with a crooked nose, but she gets herself fixed and tells her daughter that she's doing it so that she can be beautiful, and then the daughter grows up to be a flat-chested woman with a crooked nose? What is she supposed to think about herself? How will this girl ever believe that the features God gave her are beautiful enough when her beautiful mommy paid $50,000 to change them?
You all love to give your opinions, and we don't usually invite them, but we want to know: what do you think about My Beautiful Mommy? Is this simply a useful tool for mothers who want to explain plastic surgery to their children, or is this an evil doctor who is trying to capitalize even more on women's insecurities and is perpetuating the same insecurities in the next generation as a result?