This week I read a disturbing news story about a human “Barbie doll” who gave her 7 year old daughter a gift certificate for breast enhancement for her birthday. That is on top of giving this little girl a certificate for liposuction in her Christmas Stocking! And this mother insists that her daughter asks- no, BEGS- for these body altering enhancements. What normal 7 year old asks for surgery to enhance her not yet existent bust line? I can tell you that my 7 year old begs for things like lizards and trips to Italy, she looks at photos of lions and and dinosaurs, and thinks about beating her sister at monopoly. She does not have a doubt in her mind that she is AWESOME just the way she is.
My heart aches for this other little girl in the UK who thinks that her worth lies in overly plumped lips, EE breasts, and cellulite-free thighs. It breaks for all the girls in the world who pour over magazines comparing themselves to the air brushed models. And yes, I feel for this woman who thinks so little of herself that she has spent $800,000 in cosmetic surgery to look like a child’s play toy.
This is what it takes to look so pretty:
I have no problem with this woman altering herself to her heart’s content. She is an adult and it is her choice. I do, however, have a huge problem with her imposing she warped ideas of beauty and self-worth on her impressionable daughter. To make her daughter feel like she is not worth as much because she isn’t picture perfect. Girls have a hard enough time with self esteem , eating disorders, unattainable beauty standards, without mothers encouraging and funding surgery.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not against surgery to fix things like crooked noses due to hockey fights or breast implants for women who had breast cancer. I am against gross exaggerations of the human form that perpetuates the sexualization of little girls. Your lips should not look like they were stung by a colony of bees! Your face should show some expression when you are surprised! And the chances that your breast can double as a floatation device when you are only 110lbs is highly unlikely!
I know that I have written about my own girls and their self esteem. I hope that I am setting the example that I want the girls to look up to. To show that makeup is fun and helps us show our best self but at the end of the day, when the makeup is off, it is what is left that matters. That skinny doesn’t necessary mean healthy and that curvy isn’t a bad thing. I try to show that even though I am an inch away from Munchkinland, being short has some distinct advantages. (Like buying cropped pants at the end of season for super cheap because on me they are just the right length!) I would hope that this little girls has someone in her life that she can look up to that is not on a quest for becoming 99% synthetic…. but, if not maybe all this publicity will prompt authorities to step in and do something?
Sigh, so that was what was on my mind tonight as I painted AJ’s nails and talked to Gabby about playing sports this spring… how thankful I am that they are enjoying their childhood and how innocent they are to all these pressures and troubles. Maybe though, if more people talk about it and realize what is going on something will change…. maybe. (This is a great article about how to protect your girl against sexualization!)