Botox for 8-Year-Old Reminds Us of Beauty Messages Moms Send Their Daughters
Filed under: Opinions
My beloved grandmother Mary was a model in her youth, even doing a stint as the Lucky Strikes girl, appearing on the back cover of Life magazines in the '40s. She was, and, now in her 90s, still is, gorgeous and the epitome of a Southern belle. God forbid you go to the grocery store without makeup on and your toenails done.
I often wonder how my 5-year-old daughter will view her own beauty. She sees me putting my makeup on, and has asked me several times to wear it herself. I realize this is because she wants to be close to me, to do what I do, but I feel both anxiety and dread when she asks to put on lipstick or wear eyeshadow.
Are you kidding, child?! Not a chance!
I usually give her a brush with nothing on it and pretend I'm putting it on her, and I've told her again and again that she is gorgeous and smart and wonderful just as she is, and she doesn't need makeup. Do as I say and not as I do, I suppose.
Today, on the radio, I heard the story of a mother who has been giving her 8-year-old daughter Botox injections. If I could have, I would have fallen out of the front seat of my car. Both the mom, Kerry Campbell, and her daughter, Britney, recently appeared on "Good Morning America," where Kerry explained, "I knew she was complaining about her face, having wrinkles, and things like that. When I brought it up to Britney she was all for it."
Brought it up? BROUGHT IT UP?! Who brings up the idea of giving her 8-year-old Botox? I realize -- or at least, I hope -- this isn't a common occurrence. I honestly cannot come up with any reason, other than ignorance, why a mother would think giving her elementary-school daughter Botox and waxing her legs would be a good idea.
Is Kerry trying to get attention through her daughter by using desperate measures to help Britney win a beauty pageant, no matter the cost to the girl's health or self-esteem?
This story made me think of the special series Own Your Beauty at BlogHer.com. The Own Your Beauty pledge reads in part:
Let's collaborate on a definition of beauty that celebrates what makes each of us unique, inside and out.Want to get the latest ParentDish news and advice? Sign up for our newsletter!
Instead of measuring ourselves against some airbrushed, Photoshopped ideal, let's tailor the standard of beauty to suit ourselves.
Instead of feeding our insecurities about our appearance, let's nourish our sense of self.
Instead of focusing on what we believe to be flaws, let's look at our reflection and smile with satisfaction.
Let's recognize the beauty of our strength, our dignity, our ambition, our curiosity, our quirky humor, our compassion and our passion.
Let's take all the energy we've spent on endless loops of negative feedback about everything from the way we live our lives to our butts, our hips, our boobs and, for Pete's sake, even our ankles - and use it instead to power something positive and meaningful.
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.