Mamma’s Got A Brand New Bag…er…Face. Nose. Belly.

my-beautiful-mommy.jpgIs the media baiting us again? I can’t wait to hear what our friends at Beauty and the Breast have to say about this one!

Being a writer, kids around me are accustomed to me soliciting feedback, in this case, about a new children’s book called “My Beautiful Mommy,” which “explains plastic surgery to kids.”

Not exactly Good Night Moon or the Berenstain Bears…But stay with me for a sec.

On the way home from school today I floated the trial balloon of ‘what ifs’ about getting breast implants and cosmetic surgery to a car full of preteens and watched closely in the rearview mirror for reactions.

After the smirking ‘yougaddabekidding me’ look from my daughter, who didn’t miss a beat with, ‘So what story are you working on NOW, mom?’ and her friend’s more provocative response, dripping with irony, ‘At your age? But that’s for younger people!’ we got into quite a lengthy, enlightening body image conversation…

bimbo2.jpgFor starters, none of this surprises me in our appearance-based culture that brings us social media ‘games’ like the infamous Miss Bimbo, sexualized slogans and innuendo, tween thongs and provocative panties.

I keep hoping this big-breasted, buxom, billboard, ‘babe-licious/Hooters girl’ absurdity will simply become passé and go out of style. Fat chance, as long as the media-moguls are hawkin’ the ‘must haves,’ and plastic surgery statistics/procedural trends look like this despite dangers and FDA reports on mishaps and complications.

No question body image is a massive concern trashing teenager’s psyches but take a mild exhale knowing the book buzz appears to be more of a sensationalist attempt for Oprah-fication rather than ‘best-seller’ material, since a deeper dig shows Newsweek is fanning the flames in a ‘web exclusive’ to get people in a kerfluffle.

In actuality the book is apparently self-published so it isn’t exactly Doubleday, Bantam, Penguin material. Teresa Nielsen Hayden’s comments are sublime in this thread.

Check this out from Nielsen Hayden of the Making Light blog:

“Big Tent Books (not to be confused with Big Tent Entertainment) is a vanity press and marketing and fulfillment operation. It pretends it’s separate from another company called Dragonpencil–in theory, Big Tent is a marketing and distribution firm, and Dragonpencil is a publisher–but they’re really a single organization run by Jerry and Samantha Setzer. The two companies have the same address and phone number. Big Tent’s award-winning books get all their awards from Dragonpencil. Dragonpencil’s deluxe publishing package includes marketing and distribution by Big Tent. And if you poke around their sites long enough, you can find the page where they admit it.”

Now there’s some decent connect the dots reporting!

Still, in larger context, one quick Google search shows a proliferation of “mommy makeovers” at ever-increasing young ages, as a new generation of parents reared on beauty ideals ‘want their body back’ fast…so this is still worth discussing, book focus or not.

For those of you predicting a judgmental rant-fest on the normalization of nip-n-tuck procedures and objectification…

Guess what? Fooled you!

Body image and plastic surgery IS an ‘issue’ that needs explored, because to me, ANY personal choices adults make once they’re parents land on kids in a ‘monkey see monkey do’ manner. (whether you’re tipsy at a party or self-critically assessing yourself in the mirror, you’re their role model, as Alice Aspen March reminds us, “pay attention!”)

heman-mattel.jpgEveryone has their own spin on the slice-n-dice topic, but there’s a need to put ALL body image content/adult analysis into a child-like, ‘in their shoes’ perspective to see where it’s landing on kids it would seem…

Much like religious fights devolve into a ‘my god is better than your god’ tug of war, plastic surgery debates end up distilled into a pro and con personal choice debate, rather than framing solutions and lines of demarcation to handle the topic proactively and shift the context to a child’s point of view if you’re even remotely considering elective surgical procedures.

Their biggest fear? The inherent danger of losing you.

What if the doc had used the book as an education tool about plastic surgery instead of a marketing one? (e.g. car crash scars, hair-lips, laser tattoo removal or any other aesthetic alteration that was a personal ‘choice’ but not tweaked into some faux ‘ideal?’)

To me, this is where this book totally missed their opportunity for a hall-pass.

ccfc-summit-08-logo.jpgIn My Beautiful Mommy (sorry, but they lost me on the title alone) their shallow perpetuation of a damaging beauty myth trumps what could have been a potentially insightful dialog about overall body image, self-perception, and personal agency.

“Mom explains she’s going to have operations on her nose and tummy and may have to take it easy for a week or so. The girl asks if the operations will hurt, and mom replies, “Maybe a little,” warning she’ll look different after the bandages come off.

The girl asks: “Why are you going to look different?”

Mom responds: “Not just different, my dear – prettier!”


Can you GET much more toxic than that in distorted ideals of societal expectation and self-absorption?

Gosh, they could’ve gone the ‘neutral’ approach, applying the concept of plastic surgery to everything from a dog bite to a child’s face (yup, been there, done that too) or burn victims, acne/dermabrasion, preventive skin cancer peel, deviated septum, droopy eyelids… all are ‘corrective/elective cosmetic procedures.’

The Newsweek article quoted child psychiatrist Elizabeth Berger, author of “Raising Kids With Character,” as saying,

“…Then there are the body image issues raised by cosmetic surgery–especially for daughters. Berger worries that kids will think their own body parts must need “fixing” too. The surgery on a nose, for example, may “convey to the child that the child’s nose, which always seemed OK, might be perceived by Mommy or by somebody as unacceptable,” she says.”

Gee, ya think? The media and marketing machine cue kids how to look, dress, smell, groom and behave as they look to their parents for grounding…What happens when the grounding is quicksand? Squishy stuff, folks.

Mind you, if you’re in the self-righteous camp of anti-beauty enhancement universally, you’d better be able to answer the inquisitive toddler who wants to discern what’s different about putting on makeup, shaving your legs, mani-pedi nail polish primping, because frankly, that’s all based on aesthetic perceptions of a beauty ideal too…

When’s the last time you had your eyebrows plucked, bikini line waxed, or found yourself asking ‘do these jeans make me look fat?’

It’s all quite similar; kids are absorbing the body image cues like a sponge.

“No, no,” you protest, “that’s WAY different than going under the knife…the hospital, scariness, and bandages thing.’

Okay, then how does that differ from cosmetic mole removal, laser birthmark treatments, stitches and scar repair, etc.?

There’s a substantial difference between self-empowerment and conformist body shame. One’s a teaching moment, one’s a toxic one. Playing devil’s advocate here, but you see my point.

To a young child, (book is evidently written for age 4-7) all they know is you ‘look hurt’ or ‘bruised’ or whatever and they’re worried. (again, all depends on the ages, but you get my drift)
raccoon1.jpgWhen I first read the blurb about taking the fear and trauma out of children’s reactions to bandages and hospital settings, I nodded along, ‘ok, I truly DO get that part.’

After all, my daughter STILL has a deep-seated fear of raccoons* and complete toddler recall of me slinging her on my hip and toting her to my mandatory prophylactic rabies shot series at Stanford.

I was offered a plastic surgeon consult to look at the slash/scar on my leg…which has since faded, but her memories have not…even at age two, seeing me in a hospital repeatedly subjected to shots, pain, bandages and such, even though it became ‘routine’ to me…So a book that answers ‘will mom be ok?’ could be comforting reassurance if executed well.

mona-lisa-boobs.jpgAlas, this book is clearly marketing Barbie-ism and unobtainable ideals that perpetuates the objectification of women, and men (check out the muscle-bound Doctor Michael in the book’s visual gallery at Newsweek; dysmorphia and steroid use boys? Oh, and the ‘dream bubble’ of the buffed boy avatar placing the beauty queen crown on the moms’ head, complete with flashy house & car)

I’m so VERY thankful to have a pro like Dr. Robyn Silverman join our team as Shaping Youth’s body image expert, to address some of these core issues with solution-based tips, and a parental ‘heads ups’…

Dr. Robyn will join us tomorrow with an introductory post on body image and kids…Clearly, not a moment too soon!

We welcome her with open arms, helpful content swaps and vital contributions to our ongoing projects here, where she’ll be serving as an ongoing Shaping Youth Correspondent and official National Advisory Board member.

More on Dr. Robyn’s body image resource blog, Kiss My Assets tomorrow. (which you can always access from our sidebar blogroll)

Then we’ll hear from the teen girls at New Moon Girls Media and hear what THEY have to say on all of this…from body image to ‘America’s Top Model’ and more…Stay tuned!

(*Raccoon story footnote: I used to volunteer in a wildlife shelter so when I had a run-in with a raccoon family chasing my golden retriever I was amazed to see that all my interventions/training to make loud noises and such didn’t work on the masked beasties; they cornered me in the garage looking for food, because my neighbor was evidently ‘feeding’ them like pets, so they lost their fear of humans! I wrote a piece called “Keep them wild for the sake of your child” detailing my experience if any of you ever need to leave it at the door of someone who’s being clueless about cute critters. I adore ’em too…but they’re not pets! I shudder to think about my two-year old (at the time) getting cuffed instead of me.)

Visual Credits:

Mona Lisa in USA ‘’

Raccoon photo: The Reference Frame (a Czech physicist blog; love these internet finds; fascinating!)

Hat tip to my dear pal Betsy Brill at HandUp Congo for alerting me to this blog fodder. Now go visit her inspiring blog and see why “A hand up is better than a handout.” She’s amazing.



  1. A handful of noteworthy comments on this children’s primer on plastic surgery from the Newsweek and Boing Boing articles:

    Posted By: seekingthetruthaboutimplants @ 12/19/2007 2:16:22 PM

    “These are the Chemicals Found in Breast Implants. Breast implants slowly degrade over time causing all of this crap to make it’s way into your body. One of my “safe salines” deflated 9 months ago and this is now what I am dealing with. Trying to find a way to rid my body of these chemicals and toxins. If this isn’t enough to change someone’s mind about getting breast implants, I don’t know what is.”

    ??? Methyl Ethyl Ketone
    ??? Cyclobexanone
    ??? Isopropyl Alcohol
    ??? Denatured Alcohol
    ??? Acetone
    ??? Urethane
    ??? Poly vinyl Chloride
    ??? Lacquer Thinner
    ??? Ethyl Acetate
    ??? Epoxy Resin
    ??? Epoxy Hardener
    ??? Amine
    ??? Printing Ink
    ??? Toluene
    ??? Freon
    ??? Silica
    ??? Flux
    ??? Solder
    ??? Chlorplatinic Acid
    ??? Metal Cleaning Acid
    ??? Formaldehyde
    ??? Talcum Powder
    ??? Color Pigmentation (Printers Ink)
    ??? Oakite
    ??? Cyanoacyrylates
    ??? Ethylene Oxide
    ??? Carob Black
    ??? Xylene
    ??? Hexone
    ??? Benzene
    ??? Hexanone 2
    ??? Thixon-OSN-2
    ??? Rubber
    ??? Acid Stearic

  2. More doozies worth reprinting from the blogs above:

    Posted By: ladyjasmin @ 12/21/2007 12:13:20 PM
    “I am not sure if society is breaking up families over images of young women, however it is affecting how women in general feel about themselves. There are so many reality shows about cosmetic surgery and how it is so good etc. Then they are all the advertisements like Victoria Secret where the women have the bodies of young girls, but huge breasts! Usually if you have large breasts (which is fat mind you) then you have a “womanly” body with curvy hips and thighs. However, then there are woman like me; I have curves everywhere from having two children, but my breasts are lacking. I have never had much in the breast area yet I never had problems getting the attention of the opposite sex. My husband loves my breasts and tells me I do not have to change. Then why do I feel the need to get larger breasts? Is it for my self-esteem or is it society’s perceptions of women? I do not know. All I know is that I have been considering breast enlargement for some time and am planning to have it for a 30th birthday present. I hope I am making the right decision and do not leave my children motherless over larger breasts.”

    Posted By: SunshineAustin @ 12/20/2007 12:34:03 AM

    “I had silicone implants under the muscle, and they ruptured. I have had my entire chest detatched 6 times to remove clogged lymph nodes, siliconomas, granulomas, calcifications, and gangrene. There is silicone in my lungs that has caused me to have severe lung obstruction with the airway exchange. There is silicone in my kidneys and in my heart. I have a pacemaker with a defibrillator installed in my chest with wires that go into my heart to pace the beats, and to restart it when it stops pumping and quivers instead.
    I have taken over 10,000 volts of electricity to my heart in the last 2 years.
    Is Silicone safe? Is under the muscle the best method? It has been totally disasterous for me.
    TRUST ME, when you have problems and the insurance company gets tired of paying for all your medical care, you WILL be denied any coverage ! ! ! You will also not be able to get life insurance, nor will you be able to get any credit life coverage, like for when you buy a car or house and pay for a policy to pay off the debt in case something happens to you, So, don’t kid yourself………right now you may be ok, and you may have the coverage………. tomorrow may be another story. I hope for your sake that you continue to be ok, and covered. Here is the toxicity and immunology report on medical devices. it is on the FDA site, no where near the implant or medical device area, but it does tell you information there that it denies elsewhere: READ IF YOU DARE

    wow…I’m going to keep pulling more posts about this as it’s an eye-opener for someone like me who could care less about her miniscule chest size and who is proud to accept her teen daughters ‘hand me downs’!!!

    Anyway, the sheer numbers of people who have not only considered but have completed (and been crippled by) these faux jigglies makes my head spin…egad.

  3. I’m so disgusted, I can barely comment. I’ll just quote my Australian husband and say “Only in America”

  4. Sara, you’ll love this comment, which sums up that dynamic…hilarious but sooooooooooooooo true:

    #8 posted by mcgringostarr , April 16, 2008 9:47 AM

    “This reminds me of possibly the greatest review I’ve ever read of a television show (MY SUPER SWEET 16) that said,

    “This is why terrorists want to kill us.”

    p.s. The thought that we’re exporting media’s appearance-based mind-polluters to damage globally is even more heinous than keeping it in the USA toxic waste dump of entertainment landfill, n’est ce pas?

    How is it in Australia by comparison? (and other countries? weigh in here folks, I wanna hear!!)

    I know Aussies have many of the same junk food issues and such but it seems like they’re able to DO more about it, e.g. ‘parents jury’ etc. What about the body image stuff…is it landing on kids in other countries with the same level of intensity? Sound off…(we had a reader in Africa recently send me a synopsis of how it’s damaging the girls in THAT culture through exportation of ‘entertainment’ imagery, etc.)

    And we all know about the Fiji study where girls began to have eating disorders/body image angst once TV began to pump in ‘ideals’ yes? If you’re unfamiliar, let me know and I’ll send you the link…

    Thanks for taking the time to leave a note! It’s like a cyber hug from afar…

  5. More recon in from the Writes Like She Talks blog about this doctor more, and the potential marketing methodology of pre-press hype to then convert to Amazon; salient marcom strategy, actually. And much like Miss Bimbo, it appears to be hitting the BuzzFeed:

  6. I am a health educator for an eating disorder clinic (Bulimia Anorexia Nervosa Association-BANA) in Canada and the rate at which Canadians are getting plastic surgery is following closely behind our American neighbors. The mere notion of being cut in any way to alter my body seems ridiculous to me, simply based the overwhelming number of people who HAVE to have surgery and wish they didn’t.

    I give workshops to grades ranging from 5 to the university level. We often talk about Barbie and I tell them that if Barbie were alive she would not be able to stand on her own two feet. I go on to explain that she is so misproportioned, with barely a waist, large breasts and no discernable rib cage to speak of. Yet this is who most of the women getting these procedures grew up idolizing. The scary thing is that what young girls are growing up with these days makes Barbie look as innocent as a care bear. The question begs–what is going to happen to the future generation of women?

    Speaking to the question of culture, I think the Fiji study is as clear of an indication as possible as to just how different we are here in North America. I was further reminded of this one afternoon at a university health/information fair. I had my booth set up with the info and stats on eating disorders and an exchange student from Africa approached me.

    He stared at the display puzzled and then finally asked “is this real, like is it a real disease?”

    I replied that yes indeed it was. He smirked and said “in my country people are dying because they can’t have a drink of water, here they are dying because they won’t”.

    That was all the proof I needed to know for absolute certain that our culture is in more trouble than many might realize.

    Perhaps the most unfortunate part is that people from all around the world look to us to set trends and create standards–I’d say unless we undergo some serious POSITIVE changes, they might want to look into finding a new role model…

  7. Fantastic post and website, Amy. Thanks for finding mine. I promise to update (after holiday panic passes along with the Exodus for Passover this weekend!).

  8. Hi Mia, great to hear from you…thanks for weighing in. (pardon the pun)

    I DO feel the USA is long past ‘role model’ status based on our heinous disregard for the emotional and physical health and well-being of our citizens. The fact that we’re exporting the drek to other countries is shameful at best, but don’t get me started on the cultural front…whew. There’s plenty…

    This past summer when I was honored to be a U.S. representative at the Women Leaders for the World summit ( I found out just how toxic our mind/body pollution was becoming…from indigenous foods altered in favor of ‘fast food franchises’ to Unilever’s beauty/bleaching agents for whiter skin in southeast Asia (yah, same folks as Dove Campaign for Real Beauty, go figure) it just makes me into even MORE of a devoted ‘passionista’ than I already am.

    An entire generation of kids is being damaged, as you rightfully say, and we’re starting to see some of that reverb in the appearance-based cues of their parents themselves…which is a younger gen. weaned on ad creep and surround sound body image/behavioral cues…sigh.

    Yep, I’m with ya, we need some serious counter-balance to turn this tanker around…that’s why we’re starting to embed within the industry itself to shift the distorted thinking and redirect the momentum to a healthier worldview for us all.

  9. Thanks for visiting my blog today Amy. I couldn’t help but comment on your post today.

    I couldn’t help myself– your post was certainly inspirational in a tummy-turning sick kind of way. Alarming. And yes, Sara, only in America; The Land of the Free and the Plastic. As you read, my concern lies with the transference of the thought that we NEED plastic surgery to be pretty. Little girls everywhere are bound to ask; well if Mommy needs it (and she’s so pretty already), I must need it too!

    Glad to be coming aboard!

    Dr. Robyn

  10. Excellent post, Amy. This is precisely the kind of discussion I was inspired to have when I first heard about the book. So the book was certainly valuable as a springboard for having body image conversations (and evaluating media and exposure and countless other things).

    After reading Teresa’s piece on it, though, the issue for me changed from “who (besides the author) thought this was a good idea?” to “why should we care what someone with an un-released self-published book think?”

    It may turn out that this book will have many many readers, and a ton of support. And it’s those people that need to be engaged in conversation. But as of right now they don’t exist, and Newsweek didn’t do anyone any favors by opening a conversation without anyone to talk to on the other side. The only reason for it (for setting someone up as a punching bag) is to work us so we’ll by the magazine. And I despise that.

    If you want me to buy the magazine just provide valuable content. It’s like filling a magazine with insults against someone’s mother, not because you think there should be a discussion, but because you know that person will buy it just to see who has the temerity to insult his mother so that he can get upset.

    Maybe the Germans have a word for “taking joy in the misfortune of yourself”. If they do, that’s the kind of attitude Newsweek was counting on with this one. And I don’t respect that at all.

  11. Thank you, Backpacking Dad,

    I have to agree. I’ve been thinking about this book today (a little too much, if you ask me) and I’m ready to put it on the way-back burner– or deep in a hole in the backyard (the neighbors might wonder).

    This guy is basing the “need” for this little book on his very appearance-conscious clients. These are the outliers, I hope, and most people in the right mind wouldn’t go out and buy this book so they can put it on their kid’s book shelf next to Sleeping Beauty and Clifford The Big Red Dog. At least I hope they wouldn’t. Oh goodness, would they?

    Newsweek is pushing the OMG factor. And look at us (me, very much included), falling right into the trap. I don’t want to be a lemming.

    I find when a reputable magazine like Newsweek puts this kind of thing in the magazine, they rely on people’s instincts to accept what’s in black and white. We’re all scrupulous analyzing types– so perhaps we can file this book under drivel and hope it’s all done with its 15 minutes of fame.

    Tomorrow is another day!

    Dr. Robyn

  12. Well, gang, on the flip side, like I said in this post, I DO think the whole topic IS a worthy conversation, (both body image AND plastic surgery) and it’s even ‘book-worthy’ with the proper framing…(e.g. I can already see how the raccoon write up could translate, maybe I’ll go head to head with this guy…;-)

    I strongly feel that opening conversations and impt. dialog about personal choices and feelings of self-worth is a HUGE issue that everyone wants to duck and cover and avoid, so I’m GLAD it’s being brought out into the open for parents to assess their own value systems and impart their own experiences…However, the fact that this book trots out every mind-numbing stereotype and caricature to plant the ‘never enough’ toxin into wee ones by parent proxy is soul-eroding and harmful.

    If we’re going to ‘role model’ in monkey see, monkey-do mode, I say we turn our sights toward positive pursuits and hope that it catches on faster than a viral video of porn stats (remember that one?) 😉 Tomorrow we’ll be at the environmental museum’s Earth Day events…now that’s a start…more on all that soon…

    p.s. To Robyn: I’ll post your feature tmrw., as K. detoured to the pediatrician for sudden swollen lymph glands…She complained more about ‘what it looked like’ on her neck, than the soreness…which was duly noted in my book…sigh. –Amy

  13. Looking forward to it, Amy. I imagine you mean Monday?

    Anyway, hope the swollen glands go down to their right size.

    Talk to you soon!

    Dr. Robyn

  14. “Dr.” Salzhauer has been demonized here:

  15. I am not ashamed to say that i had plastic surgery. “A mommy makeover” to be exact… I figured, after having 3 kids, breast-feeding them all (which most women don’t do because their boobs will sag) and trying everything to get rid of my belly, I deserved to look however I wanted to look.

    So, I had a boob job and a tummy tuck. I am not ashamed to say I like “prettier”. I have self confidence because only a blind person can not base self image on that mirror. I have a husband that no matter what will love me for who I am.. But realistically, I am almost 40 and I am happy with my health and body. And why shouldn’t I?

    My children are wonderful, my daughter was 5 when i went under the knife… What did i tell her when i came back from surgery?… I told her that mommy was going to be fine and that she chose to get surgery so she could feel better… Did she care? No… All she wanted to hear was that mommy was fine.

    In the meantime, I don’t care what anyone says about how America is so obsessed with image. It’s not just America… It’s the world. A cruel and sad reality: people are in denial and are nuts over looks.

    Next time… Research how many children are breast fed and why mothers refuse to do it. Personally, i’d rather have healthy children who are less likely to be abese, than pretend i don’t care about self image.

  16. Carmen, no one is judging your personal choices…I’ve tried to make that clear in my writing…It’s the way it’s positioned to kids that we’re addressing.

    As I said here, “what could have been a potentially insightful dialog about overall body image, self-perception, and personal agency” was twisted into a perpetuation of a beauty myth…

    We have research out the wazoo about “why some women won’t breast-feed” and I’ll add that the trend now is also for ‘hot mama’ vanity types to request “C-sections” vs. vaginal delivery by CHOICE from the get go…AND some OB-GYN offices are offering ‘tummy tucks’ in the process as part of the ‘package’…(not to mention the fact that our own nurse practitioner in our local hospital keeps me apprised in the delivery room that our of about 200 live births per month, with the 29 year old baseline demographic, about 75%-80% are ‘Brazilian waxed’ hairless types so again…This is what happens when societal appearance-based norms supersede common sense, and raise the bar beyond healthy practices to what pain women need to endure to ‘fit the beauty ideal’.

    Again, not arguing choice and agency…I AM conveying that we don’t need to pass along our self-image baggage onto tour young offspring from the get go, teaching them body shame and alteration as a ‘best practice’ to feel better…

    Nothing wrong with you making your own choice to feel better about yourself surgically, that’s YOUR biz…It’s the way it lands on kids with THIS book and sites like “Miss Bimbo” conveying the ‘prettier/better/new and improved’ body alteration that is the toxic cue we’re addressing here, as teen surgery becomes normative next…

  17. Amy,

    There are so many books out there for children that focus on self love and esteem. But somehow I think this book was meant to address that “Beautiful Mommy” will be OK after her surgery and that she won’t be able to do normal chores while recuperating.

    I used to read to my kids a lot and any parent that has read books to their children knows that “prettier” is a word used often in books. I doubt any 4-7 year old will even catch that.. Their main focus is always the end of the story. What will happen to mommy? Will she be OK? Will little red riding hood be eaten by the wolf? Ohh wait, was color was her cape again?. So if anything I’d be more concerned with the ending verbiage of the book.

    As far as the latest trends go… Don’t they shave you before giving birth anyways? And while women opt for “C- Sections” I believe that is more of an OB-GYN’s fault because they looove to collect that extra insurance money for less hours of labor (literally). No wonder they offer packages.

    Fitting the “beautiful ideal” and passing down self image baggage to out children happens the day we make them get braces because they don’t have a perfect smile and the day we let them watch TV rather than take them to the park.

  18. Hi Carmen, yep, you’re right on that one for sure…(and btw, that braces bit is a total article in itself…it’s one thing to correct a bite and add aesthetic appeal, but braces do such a good job right now that it’s amazing to see when they get them off the orthodontists STILL try to ‘sell up’ the next phase of the teeny-tiniest image flaw…amazing!)

    And yes, I LOVE that analogy as you’re absolutely correct…much like I said here EVERYthing is subjective from putting on mascara to piercing ears (noses, mouth, lips, whatever) it’s all ‘tribal art forms’ of beauty perceptions on an anthropological global scale…

    As for the shaving bit, no, they stopped that 20 years ago on the birth front; and the C-section thing is definitely a concern from a remuneration/financial factor…I’m more concerned with the spoon-feeding of ‘not good enough’ imagery to kids vs. the ‘mom will be fine’ educational aspects of ANY surgery.

    As I mentioned above, they could’ve gotten a hallpass on this one altogether if they’d focused the lens in a different direction than a buffed up cartoon consultation doc giving advice to a mom who wants her body back to be ‘even better’ and ‘more beautiful’ and taken an empowerment/free agency approach vs. a morphing into societal ideals one, even.

    As the PR folks would say, it’s all in the ‘spin’…and this one is dizzying in its amplification of the appearance-based cues over the healthy mind and body ones…and yes, the end of the book definitely disturbs. (but for me, so does the title, and the way they’ve handled the whole issue)

  19. After reading all this blogging, I am actually going to get this book. I am VERY curious to see what the verbiage at the end is. i will keep you posted as I don not like to judge a book for it’s cover.


    My next post will be braces

  20. C., Where do you blog?

    p.s. no big surprise at the end, it’s all the same ‘fix it to be prettier’ message throughout…you can find the bulk of it online, no need to waste your $$ 😉

  21. Ah, silly me…I should’ve KNOWN better, why of course, you blog for the CLIENT of the book, who is your BOSS!!! Just found you here, “Carmen” –aka “Paola G. Chacon”

    Next time you’d like to seed content for your boss’ endeavor, you might not want to be so easy to trace!!! This is a media literacy lesson in itself…which should be blogged about.

    Remember…digital footprints are easy to track with media savvy folks…doesn’t take much 😉

  22. Paola G. Chacon appears to have posted comments on my blog too.

    I think he/she may have some manner of mental illness.

    …or no soul.

  23. TOYS


    I hope you all enjoyed.

  24. This book is not FOR ALL PARENTS TO READ. Gosh, I wish people would actually know what they post at times.

  25. Carmen, (aka Paola Chacon) Dr. Robyn’s comment above is a trackback…If you visit her site, you’ll see that she is speaking about ‘mixed messages to kids’ in context, and her quote appears to be referencing the weed/plant website re: being for “all parents to read” —Hope that helps clarify?

  26. Heheh I wasn’t talking about that. But speaking of teens on drugs. This whole Teen Screen Program is driving me nuts.

    Lets not drug our children =)

  27. Paola, I have no idea what you’re talking about re: ‘teen screen program’ or drugs?

  28. Hallo,

    It’s a program. Literally testing our children and then prescribing them drugs.


    Very sad.

    Happy Monday

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