I … am … PISSED.

I was scanning some stories this morning at work, and I came across this one from Newsweek.

Mommy 2.0: A new picture book about plastic surgery aims to explain why mom is getting a flatter tummy and a ‘prettier’ nose.

Jesus. Tapdancing. Christ.

I found myself so angry about this, my face got hot. That’s how I know I’m real good and pissed.

Here’s the first paragraph:

When she was pregnant with her son Junior, who turns nine this month, Gabriela Acosta ballooned from 115 pounds to 196. Acosta lost the weight but wound up with stretched, saggy skin. Even her son noticed it. He told her that her stomach looked “pruney,” the result, he thought, of staying in the shower too long. So the 29-year-old stay-at-home mom scheduled a consultation with Dr. Michael Salzhauer, a board-certified plastic surgeon in Bal Harbour, Fla.

Let’s break this down, shall we?

1. No, I’m not jealous. So before anybody tries to play that card, put it away. I could afford to finance all of the plastic surgery I could ever want.

2. This woman gained EIGHTY-ONE POUNDS during pregnancy. Average, healthy weight gain during pregnancy is 25 to 30 pounds. Here’s a thought — should you choose to pollute the gene pool by getting pregnant again, how about you NOT eat for two with your gallons of Ben and Jerry’s. You gained a fucking eight-year-old during pregnancy. I can’t think of a single acceptable excuse as to why.

3. How about you teach your kid some manners? If your kid is old enough to use the word “pruney” in the proper context, he’s old enough to keep his trap shut.

4. Is your self-esteem that low that something your child says to you drives you to a plastic surgeon?

5. Don’t you have a husband at home (I mean, it says you’re a stay-at-home mom) who can make you feel better about yourself? God knows my figure’s FAR from perfect and I bear the scars of someone who used to be pretty morbidly obese, but I’m never, ever made to feel less than beautiful and perfect.

… Sigh. Moving on. Here’s an image from the book. Note that it says mommy’s new nose isn’t different, it’s just prettier(!!!).


Acosta says her son actually spoke up about it at a big party. “Did you see her new belly button? It’s so pretty!” he said of his mom. “I think he was proud,” she says.

Thanks, Mom. Thanks for putting another shallow, image-obsessed person out into the world. Well played, ma’am. ‘Cause God knows Mom was worthless before with her weird belly button. God. The shame.

Salzhauer got the idea for a book after noticing that women were coming into his office with their kids in tow. He says that mysterious doctor’s visits can be frightening for children.

I’ll take “Shitty Parenting” for $500, Alex. Really — if you can afford to go to the plastic surgeon, I’m sure you’ve got enough money to leave Snowflake with a sitter. Hell, you probably have a nanny.

“Parents generally tend to go into this denial thing. They just try to ignore the kids’ questions completely.” But, he adds, children “fill in the blanks in their imagination” and then feel worse when they see “mommy with bandages,” he says. “With the tummy tucks, [the mothers] can’t lift anything. They’re in bed. The kids have questions.”

That’s some good responsible parenting right there. You scare the living shit out of your kid for the sake of being able to wear your Chanel track suit without a muffin top. It’s also handy that you can’t lift anything. Better hope that’s not the day Snowflake decides to learn home pet surgery or how to juggle knives.

Child psychiatrist Elizabeth Berger, author of “Raising Kids With Character,” likes the idea of a book for kids. “If the mother is determined to pursue cosmetic surgery, I think it’s terribly important to discuss it with the child,” Berger says. But she says the book is incomplete. She wishes that the mom had just said something like, “This is silly, but I really want it anyway,” she says. “That is more honest and more helpful to the child.”

DING DING DING!! She wishes that the mom had just said “this is silly, but I want it anyway.” Yes. Just level with Snowflake. Make sure Snowflake knows how shallow you really are. Make sure Snowflake knows your life was miserable because you have scars from bringing him into this world.

After considering how their children might react, she says that “some mothers may realize that the total burden of the child’s anxiety might be a side effect of the procedure they hadn’t quite thought through and that might inspire them to postpone it until the child is older.”

You want the Vegas odds on that? Nope. I’m guessing these women really don’t care about how their children feel. These women, likely in most matters, are champions in the world of “me first.”

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.

Money shot! DING!!

Salzhauer knows that not everyone will like his book. “There’s a good percentage of your readers who are dead set against plastic surgery, who see it as a sign of the decadence of Western civilization,” he says. “But when done by a properly trained board-certified plastic surgeon, it really does help make lives better.”

Note to my female readers: Your life got you down? New boobs. The answer is in new boobs.

I need to go smoke now. I don’t smoke. But this might be enough to get me to start. It’s smoke or break something. Smoking seems a more sensible option.


14 Responses to “I … am … PISSED.”

  1. 3 Carissa
    April 21, 2008 at 1:25 pm

    Did she really name the kid Junior. He’s definitely going to have issues.

    I could totally see one of my family members doing this, though.

  2. April 21, 2008 at 1:26 pm

    I know … Which takes me to Parental Issues No. 16: Don’t give your kid stupid names.

  3. 5 Shannon
    April 21, 2008 at 3:01 pm

    Here’s the problem I have with the book of what image does it send to women. To be considered beautiful you have to look like a model, be less than 120 pounds, and in fit condition all the time?

    We constantly are giving women, especially younger women a distorted view of reality and painting for them a picture of health and beauty that is just not appropriate. Beauty comes from within a person, not on the outside. We talk about this a lot, but I don’t think we ever discuss what this really means. It means treating ourselves with respect. Loving ourselves and what God has given us. And not to find pleasure and happiness in what the media gives us as the examples of beauty.

    If you are not beautiful on the inside, it doesn’t matter what you look like on the outside. And honestly, I don’t care if you’re big or skinny or even with a little bit of handles on the side. If you’re loving, caring, sensitive, kind, sweet, compassionate, and understanding those things bring out the inner beauty within a female, in my opinion.

    And honestly, I don’t want a stick figure female. Sorry, I don’t get excited over skin and bones. Give me some meat on the bones!

  4. 6 lifeisacookie
    April 21, 2008 at 4:12 pm

    It’s not just what the book says — the actual imagery of the book is offputting … but you know the demograhic they’re after …
    Note the SUV that looks very much like the BMW X5 or whatever it is and it’s sitting in a two-car driveway of what is either a California or Florida home — or perhaps Nevada (palm trees don’t grow well in Alabama or the Midwest …)
    Please tell me there is a chapter on low self-esteem and the benefits of psychotherapy???

    As always, provocative post — thanks for sharing!

  5. 7 Paige
    April 21, 2008 at 9:19 pm

    Then there’s the case of shallow grandmother and shallow mother approaching troubled teenage daughter and saying things like “well, your teeth look great now…once we get that nose of yours fixed, you’ll be fine.”


  6. April 22, 2008 at 7:51 pm

    And while Mommy’s getting her plastic surgery, she could be spending that money on gas, food, and the other essentials necessarily to raise a child. I agree. You shouldn’t care what your children think of you and fixing your body won’t make you a better mother.

  7. April 22, 2008 at 7:59 pm

    Oh, and the Pirates? The Pirates? I think they’re going on 13 straight losing seasons now.

    I would’ve sounded crazy saying this anytime before 2004, but become a Red Sox fan. It’s easier.

  8. April 23, 2008 at 10:07 am

    Thanks, everybody. 🙂 Great discussion. I think my head’s still ready to explode, but this was just the catalyst. This started the ball rolling. I’m gonna need to find me a happy place in the next few days. 🙂

  9. 12 Joe
    April 23, 2008 at 11:43 am

    This guy was on Today this morning. He looks like a slimeball.

    And GOW, don’t listen to Patty O, she’s just enjoying a temporary respite from the Curse.

  10. April 24, 2008 at 10:25 pm

    According to girlofwords’ quotes, Cookie, the woman in question went to a plastic surgeon in Bal Harbour, so once again Florida plays its part to top up the Shallow Pool…

  11. April 27, 2008 at 8:15 pm

    Joe sounds like a Yankees fan. And Patty O is not a ‘she’ thank you very much.

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