Friday, May 09, 2008

Barbie Mommie

This is just weird on so many levels. Yeah, I know that you want to have some sort of assistance discussing things with your kids, but --a cartoon-ey, Barbie-esque mom explaining plastic surgery? Is this really necessary? Well, maybe it is. But I can't shake a feeling "eeeuuuuu" over this. Especially considering the perky illustrations.

"Being a doctor, I can't deal with the political or philosophical arguments" surrounding cosmetic surgery, Salzhauer said. "I have to deal with reality." The book, he said, gives parents "a vehicle to explain the plastic surgery process to their kids" who may be too young to understand why a parent is choosing to undergo an appearance-altering operation.

The bulk of his practice, Salzhauer said, consists of women between 20 and 40 undergoing what he calls "mommy makeovers": breast implants, breast lifts and tummy tucks.

And that's where you lost me. Oh, let's perpetuate this bizarre and false ideal of women's beauty, where bared midriffs at age 40 are normal and women well beyond their teenage years are wearing spandex pants and sporting perky breasts. When did it become so horrific to get older that attractive women in the prime of life have to have "adjustments" because they don't look like Barbie?

I don't know whether to laugh or cry," said Diana Zuckerman, president of the nonprofit National Research Center for Women and Families, after reading "My Beautiful Mommy."

"This is disturbing on so many levels," she added. "For one thing, it perpetuates a completely unrealistic ideal" of female beauty: the large-breasted, wasp-waisted, midriff-baring Barbie-doll look.

Is framing this to children as "beautiful mommy" just going to reinforce the idea that if you're not thin and beautiful that you should change? That you are not as good? I just don't like the message here. Of course, leaving forty behind me has probably biased my view just a wee bit!

(I haven't actually read the book, just clicked through the few illustrations offered.)

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