Children's Book About Plastic Surgery Raises Some Eyebrows - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

5/15/08- East Texas

Children's Book About Plastic Surgery Raises Some Eyebrows

Plastic surgery can make you look like a brand new person. But, in some cases that could be a problem. How do mothers explain their drastically changing appearance to their children? How about a children's book. It's called My Beautiful Mommy and was written by a plastic surgeon in Florida. KLTV 7's Courtney Lane found out why the book has raised some eyebrows and not in the way that plastic surgeons normally raise eyebrows.

The book depicts a young girl following her mom and asking questions about her plastic surgery. From a nose job, to a tummy tuck. You can see the before and the after.

"An excerpt from the book was saying, the child was saying "Mommy are you going to look different? And they said 'Yes but Mommy's just going to be prettier," said Brenda McBride, who specializes in child therapy at ETMC's Behavioral Health Center. 

While McBride believes communication is key, she said the book sends a dangerous message.

"The message we're sending to children is are you not good enough, instead of focusing on inner beauty," said McBride.

Leah Dickerson had a tummy tuck 5 years ago. Her youngest boy was 7  years old at the time and she said her kids not only understood, but were very supportive when she told them.

"I just told them what we were going to do and that I was going to be ok and it was just going to make mommy feel better," said Dickerson. 

Dickerson said if she would've had a more extensive surgery and if her kids had been younger, an illustrated book like this might be helpful.

"Obviously if you do something drastic like that and your kids friends see you and ask 'What did your mommy have done and she looks different,' then that would definitely be a good tool," said Dickerson. 

McBride agrees any information to help children understand these now popular procedures is good. She just worries the almost "Barbie-like" after shot pictures can create self-esteem issues at a young age.

"A young child is going to be scared if they see bandages and they see mommy's face bruised or if mommy can't pick them up," said McBride.  "It does need to be explained. I don't know if the explanation "don't worry I'll be prettier" is the right explanation."

We did try to talk to local plastic surgeons about the book, but they all declined to comment. Also, several big bookstores said My Beautiful Mommy was out of stock, though it can be ordered online through the book's publisher Big Tent Books.

Courtney Lane, Reporting  

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