We all know that as parents, we have a huge influence on how our children view themselves and the world in which they live. Mothers in particular play a large part in shaping the way their daughters feel about themselves and their appearance. If a mom frets over her looks and worries aloud about her weight, hair, skin, etc., there's a good chance her daughter will learn to do the same.
While most of us try to set a healthy example of self-love and acceptance, there are those who seem incapable of that. If a daughter learns from her mother to accept and appreciate herself the way she's made, what happens to the child of a mother who is obsessed with her appearance and will do anything to achieve her idea of perfection? In the case of Margaret King, she raises a daughter who won't be happy until she herself is perfect.
King is a 49-year-old housewife who has spent about $90,000 upgrading her face and body. She's had two breast enlargements, a nose job, a mini-face lift and a tummy tuck. In addition, she's had regular Botox injections for past eleven years. Given all that, it is no surprise that her daughter, 18-year-old Jodie, has learned to be critical of her own appearance.
Summer's coming and your tween wants a nice glow for the pool. But a tanning bed isn't the way to get it -- tanning beds are a fast track to skin cancer. Hand her some self-tanner instead, preferably one with an SPF of 15 or higher, just to be on the safe side.
We all know that breast is best, but how long would you nurse to give your baby the best start? Six months? A year? How about eight years? Some moms do, but it's a controversial decision, to say the least.
Autism and Vaccines
After a decade of worry, it turns out that the doctor who linked autism and the MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) vaccine faked his data. This is a double whammy. We're no closer to knowing what causes autism, but some parts of the world, like Great Britain, are seeing reductions in vaccination rates and an increase in childhood illnesses.
Crying isn't Necessarily Cathartic
Think a good cry will make it all better? Maybe not, at least not in any measurable physiological way. The value of a crying jag is all in the social response of the people around you. If they're sympathetic, the crying helps. But if they're not, you won't feel any better.
Trying to keep your kids healthy? Take a look at their diet -- and their prescriptions. One mom cured her son's gastrointestinal issues by introducing a milk-like drink containing probiotics into his diet.
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Stress Makes Kids Fat
We blame junk food and television for kids' weight problems, but a new study has found that a stressful home life can double a child's chances of being fat. Kids whose families are going through stressful life events -- an illness or death, a divorce, or a financial crisis -- are at higher risk for obesity and it's related health concerns.
When Jodie began to complain that her forehead was too wrinkly, her friends assured her that it wasn't. But her mother didn't even try to convince her that she was beautiful the way she was -- she gifted her with Botox injections for her 18th birthday.
Since then, Botox injections have become a regular mother/daughter affair; the two of them regularly get shot up with ever-increasing amounts of the stuff. "So what if I'm a teenage Botox addict? I can't think of anything worse than looking old," says Jodie. "I'll always find a way to pay for Botox. Now I've started I can't stop."
Despite the fact that many experts don't recommend Botox for anyone under thirty, there is no law prohibiting it. But at least one cosmetic surgeon thinks King is leading her daughter down a perilous path. "It sounds like this young lady is on a dangerous spiral. She's obviously getting encouragement from her mother who sounds like she might be addicted to Botox as well," says Alex Karidis.
"It is very very unusual to have Botox at that age and 18-year-olds should only have it if there is a real facial deformity, not just normal lines when they frown. There is a real psychological danger. This is setting a precedent for using anti-aging procedures for many years to come. The mother needs to be taking responsibility if she is encouraging her daughter to have injections into her face."
Unfortunately, Karidis' prediction is already playing out. King has moved beyond enabling her daughter to have Botox; she has taken her for a breast enlargement consult and promised her a nose job for her 21st birthday.
Women getting plastic surgery is nothing new and ultimately nobody's business but their own. But I can't help but feel sad that this lovely young woman has been raised to believe that she needs medical intervention in order to feel good about herself. And anyone who believes that there is nothing worse than looking old desperately needs a reality check.
A Daughter Gives Her Mom a Botox InterventionDoes this mom look like she's "obsessed" with plastic surgery? While she might not carry the trademark trout pout or impossibly tight-faced visage of a plastic surgery addict, Susan Pike-Croop is headed down the scalpel-lain path of no return, says her daughter Analise.