Wednesday, April 16, 2008

You've Come a Long Way, Baby... But Mommy's Still Not Pretty Enough

I was a bit horrified to read this story on the Newsweek site today about a new picture book for children about why mommy gets plastic surgery... because it makes her prettier!


The argument for this book was made by its author, a plastic surgeon, who sees increasing numbers of clients bringing children into his office. At first thought, it seems like a great idea to explain plastic surgery to children since the prevalence of people, especially women, getting plastic surgery is increasing every year. However, this book does not talk about why mommy doesn't feel pretty (increasing demands from society and the media) or why her only option is surgery. Instead, it explains that plastic surgery makes mommy have a better tummy, a prettier nose, and (without explanation) much larger, perkier breasts.

I am not a mom, so I can't say that I wouldn't ever want to or actually get plastic surgery. I can say, though, that I think its troublesome that our society makes women feel that their post-baby bodies are unacceptable and less-pretty when compared to their pre-pregnancy counterparts. I think that if we live in a society where we skirt around explaining body image and self esteem to children and instead justify capitalistic remedies like plastic surgery that we have a lot of problems.

To sum it up: I'm really angry that our society sets out to make pretty much everyone, especially women-identified folks, feel insecure about their bodies and the natural changes that our bodies can make.

Read that article. How do you feel about it?


Ledena said...

WTF?! But I'm not really surprised that this book exists. Every time I drive my car down MLK I see that billboard from Columbia about plastic surgery (something about not calling it a facelift but a remodel). I am really opposed to cosmetic surgery (unless it's medically neccessary), and I like what I heard Francis Mcdermot(sp?) say once in an interview, that as an actor she was going to actively resist getting plastic surgery so that she could corner the market for the roles of older women who would actually look their age.

Linda said...

We've been posting about this on some mothering forums that I participate in. How do I feel about it?

Outraged and helpless, basically. Mothers and mothering has becoming so strange and twisted up in the past 10 years, with all of this media attention on celebrities having babies and "bouncing back".

It makes me sad. There is a great website where mothers post pictures of their post-partum bellies. It's called The Shape of a Mother.

And honestly, until I looked at it, I thought I was the only one whose belly looked like mine does after having a child. I guess I can thank the media for that.

Ledena said...

Right on Linda. I love what Eve Ensler says about getting up in the morning and just really loving on your body---your belly, your body hair and anything else society tries to tell us we need to "bounce back" from, wax off or get knifed, sucked out, or implanted. Hmph. As one of our favorite advocates who will go unnamed has said love your "thigh beard"!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!