This showed up as a press release in my inbox.
I am pleased to offer one of your lucky readers a chance to win the book “My Beautiful Mommy”: Ground-Breaking new children’s book on plastic surgery!"
I click on the site and my heart starts to race with anger. I am going to explode. A picture book written by a "world renowned" plastic surgeon for children to understand why their mommy isn't beautiful now, but will be once she goes through the expensive and painful process of reshaping her face or body.
How many ways is this wrong?
1. The most obvious one is perpetuating to children this horrible, insidious notion that their beloved mothers aren't beautiful enough because they don't conform to the unrealistic (and boring) standard of North America beauty. You know - big eyes, small nose, big lips, flat tummy, long skinny legs, perky ass, boobs that are big yet perfect.
2. The first image of the book referenced on the site is of an illustration of a plastic surgeon explaining to her mom and her little girl that mummy needs a nose job. What kind of lesson is this child learning? This, to me, is evil incarnate, planting the seeds of insecurity of a little girl. "Hmm, if mommy's nose isn't pretty, then mine isn't too." Bastard.
3. The doctor is CHARGING $19.95 for this book. So not only is he preying and perpetuating women's insecurities so he can get rich, he's charging them more money to indoctrinate the kids.
4.The cover jacket suggests to read this book to "learn how an entire family pitches in to help mommy achieve her beautiful looks." Repeat after me Dr. Michael Saltzhauer, Mommy is ALREADY beautiful.
Allow me to quote from the book's press release:
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. “Plastic surgery among women, especially mothers post-pregnancy, is very popular and becoming a common reality. Cosmetic surgery can be a difficult topic to understand for adults; and even more so for young children. I wanted to provide my patients and other parents with a tool that speaks to kids in a kid-friendly way.”
Does this make you want to weep? I did and continue to cry from this bombardment of negative and irresponsible content from greedy publishers and mass media.
Shame on Big Tent Books for publishing this book and helping to decimate the message of innner beauty, strength of character and true self esteem - everything a children's publisher should be about.