All my children are beautiful; they were born that way. Weren't yours? I cannot imagine a mother thinking otherwise! However, in our fast paced, plastic and airbrushed reality show world, the idea of what constitutes beauty, motherhood and decency are skewed quite seriously.
Plastic surgery can be a blessing. Consider those born with cleft lips and palates, disfiguring birthmarks, or those having experienced severe scarring or burns. Plastic surgery can give them a chance at feeling "normal," whatever we may determine that to be. No child should endure stares from even adults, or cruel jokes or just the feeling they don't look like anyone else and are ostracized.
That is a far cry from a spoiled teen who wants poutier lips, a set of D jugs or a big, round, fake butt. What happens when the next trend hits and it's small cabooses or average sized lips, or natural looking eyelashes? Frequently it seems the first critic in cases where girls desire extreme procedures for silly reasons is mommy dearest.
Her insecurity, total vanity and obsession with perfection and self have poisoned her poor children into thinking they must and need to change as well. Every child deserves to feel beautiful and loved just as they are, that at least in this one place (home) they are safe and cherished for who they are.
Some of the people on this list, whether it's the parents' or kids' ideas, have had some wild notions of what they should be doing to themselves or their kids to make them more "beautiful".
If your child had a unibrow, or exceptionally thick, unruly eyebrows, what would you consider doing about it? Chances are, probably nothing unless it began to bother your daughter. Which you can be pretty darn sure wouldn't happen before grade school or middle school. Yet here are the privileged offspring of reality stars with plucked, waxed, tweezed or Jedi-mind-tricked brows. One mama denies what seems to be easily observed in pics, that she had her toddler's brows done, while the other completely owns up to her brow wrangling on her daughter.
The first mom is none other than Kim Kardashian talking about baby Nori. The second mom is Farrah Abraham of Teen Mom (and porn) fame. I have never had this issue as of yet, and it doesn't seem likely to affect my youngest daughter, but I wouldn't want her bugging for a brow job anytime soon. And she's 10! Psychologists have stated it can be harmful for a child so young to be thinking about appearances and fitting in, and possibly not being "good enough," as they are at their tender ages.
First off; yes, same girl! That's Kylie Jenner from the somewhat functional Kardashian/Jenner clan. Two years ago after all kinds of speculation and social media buzz, the fam finally came clean and admitted then-17-year-old Kylie had her lips remade and super-plumped with some cosmetic fillers. While medically, it may be safe enough, (although any procedure has inherent risks), psychologically it's a trickier question. As experts point out, almost all teens have insecurity about their looks and over time, those feelings are likely to change. If someone begins doing all out altering of their appearance, they may never learn to love and accept who they are, or even know who they really are.
Surgery can change a person's perspective on self, and perfection may become that goal that is just one more surgery or procedure out of reach. What's actually wrong with the image of Kylie in the first photo? It's not the same thing as make up; you can wash that away and return to normal with a little soap and water. Permanently altering yourself is something that should require real concern and forethought.
13Botox For Tots
Some years ago, a San Francisco mom riled up the public with pics and a story of getting her 8-year-old daughter Botox injections for her beauty pageants. Mom Kerry Campbell also said she gave her daughter "virgin waxes," and glibly defended her choices. Except, after the child welfare agents swooped in, the story got rather shaky. Seems a British tabloid approached the mom, fed her the script and she was all too willing to play the part for a reported $200 bucks. However, her child was taken away from her custody temporarily, and the quickl shot of fame quickly soured.
The question remains though; are some moms resorting to such horrid procedures to secure an edge in the cutthroat world of kiddy pageants, or just to help their daughters stand apart from the crowd? The so-called Human Barbie, Sarah Burge, has gone on CNN and admitted to Botox for her teen daughter, sort of. She stated it was to help her with her sweaty forehead while dancing. She also allowed the press to photograph her 7-year-old daughter on a stripper pole, and gave a voucher for implants to her teen daughter.
It's been some time ago, but do you remember the hubbub over Britney Spears, the then -teen star fresh off the Mouseketeers getting her boobs done? It was denied, but quite apparent in all photos. Indeed, she most likely got them removed later, or at least downsized. But the idea that parents would allow their daughter to get a bigger set of ta-tas for sexy stardom while still underage made heads shake and tongues wag. Today, it would take all day to list off underage celebs and wanna-be's who have bumped up their bustlines in pursuit of headlines and photo shoots.
However, sometimes it works a bit differently. When young Jessica Simpson started out in Christian music, her bustline and beauty was a concern for Christian labels because she was too young to appear so sexy, natural or not. Guess it worked out for her anyway! But if you had a daughter who was in the public eye, would you bend to such measures to help your child find fame? I hope not!
Another trend is having young girls at the salon getting their nails done, among other spa treatments. Is this a problem? Depends on the age, who you ask and the attitude behind it all. I have had a total of 3 manicures in my life. Life! I realize I'm in the minority here. I'm neither a scrubbed fresh face natural tomboy, nor a prissy princess type. My daughter has been with me when I've taken my mom to get her nails done and to keep Jilah busy, they let her get a little mani of sorts. She had fun, wasn't bored and it didn't impact her worldview at all. She still bites her nails most days, so the working material for manicures is severely limited.
Now if it's cutesy, little girl fun stuff and the little girl still has a young, innocent mentality, where's the harm? However, if she is beginning to act precocious, precious and pretentious, time to cut that crap quickly. I have preached from day one that what's really important is who you are not how you look. I have to back that up with the choices I make for both myself and my girls.
10Hair Raising Values
OK, so this won't hurt baby's health. I mean, actually it can mess up her natural hair, especially if it's continued for such a long time as lay ahead of her. After all, in this pic North West, progeny of Kim K and Kanye West, was only 2 with long extensions. But the message is the concerning part, as part of an overall lifestyle. It's fun to play dress up as a little girl, and doll oneself up in play make up, and frilly outfits and play heels. But increasingly this clan has erred on the side of not caring about being far too old too soon, and far too fake.
What it tells a child is you need to be perfect, and you aren't perfect the way you are. This generation will be a weird one. How many women will still have factory versions, and how many will be aftermarket parts--to use car terms? A man may have a child with a woman, and the kid will come out looking like a stranger, to which mama may say, "Oh, no! That's what I looked like before..."
9A Little Bite To It
The world of kid beauty pageants is a bizarro world to most of us, and a smile is a key component of a beauty queen; so much fuss is made of those pearly whites. One solution beauty pag moms use is so-called flipper teeth, or mouth pieces with shiny, perfect teeth that slip over their own. Others resort to harsh bleaching procedures to brighten and whiten that grin to perfection. Flipper teeth have a downside, as they weren't developed for such petty uses. They were meant to be used as temp teeth while a more permanent solution is found, and typically not to cover every single tooth.
For kids, the hygiene is a big factor. You cannot easily eat with them in, and they don't allow normal salivation to occur with the real teeth, leading to a greatly increased risk of tooth decay and gum disease. Bleaching is another concern. Experts recommend children under 15 should not routinely have bleaching procedures performed, and those older with real concerns should have a dental professional involved. Extreme sensitivity, toxicity and various unknown risks are involved.
Satellite dishes. Radar. Handles. Whatever teasing a child with prominent ears may incur, it's worth noting a 2015 study found kids with big ears to be cuter. And it didn't seem to hurt Will Smith, Channing Tatum or President Obama. But for some kids the teasing is intense, early and harmful. Parents actually have an opportunity near birth to correct ears that seem out of sync with the face without surgery. If this isn't done that early, then it's recommended to do it as close to age 6 as possible, when enough growth has happened and negative impact of teasing has yet to settle in.
The procedure is different depending on what the ear issue is. Do they stick out too far? Are they too large? Are they angled oddly? Neil Patrick Harris admits having his ears pinned surgically. So did Patricia Heaton, of Everybody Loves Raymond fame. What would you do? It's a toughie; we'd do anything to protect our kids from hurtful comments, especially if it could reshape their whole self image.
7A Little Nosey
Some of Hollywood's greatest beauties needed a little nip or tuck here or there, it seems, to look how they do now. How does that affect girls growing up today, who see perfection and expect it in their mirror? Truth and beauty are two elements that may not always have a lot in common, for one thing. Another thing to remember: a nose is not adult size and fully grown until a teen has reached age 15 or 16. And a rhinoplasty is one of the more involved cosmetic procedures that a person can receive; it can truly transform a face, for better or worse.
Remember the hell Jennifer Grey faced after her nose job, post Dirty Dancing? She didn't look the same and people cheered or jeered, depending. To indulge a child in something that may be unnecessary and she or he may change their minds about later is at least foolhardy. Now if a child has endured tortuous teasing throughout school and resembles a pelican more than papa, maybe there's a solid point to be made for cosmetic surgery in the late teens.
6Tattoos For Toddlers
Who hasn't gotten their kid some cute temp tattoo from a sticker pack or a vending machine for a quarter or something? Some have even signed off for their older teens to be inked (which is at least a questionable decision). Tattoos are permanent and what decision can a teen make that is permanent? Think back: "I love him, Mom! I'll never love anyone else again!" Yeah, right. But this is a big step beyond the questionable teen tattoo dilemma.
A few years ago a video launched on YouTube that had viewers spitting mad, and in tears, watching a child who appears to be approximately 3-years-old, being held down by his mother while he receives an actual tattoo on his arm. His mom seems chill about the whole thing, like she's restraining him to get a flu vaccine. It's believed to have taken place in Havana, Cuba. It's sounds out of this world, child-abuse charges, weird, doesn't it?
Piercings. So when I was in 3rd grade I got my ears pierced. My daughters both had their ears pierced in elementary school. My older daughter has the smallest gauge size in her ears now, and a petite nose piercing. She is also 22 and didn't ask my approval or opinion at this point! I would have said no! But she is lovely, not a tatted up, antisocial mess or anything. But...again, I would have said no because what you love at 20 or 16, you will likely find ridiculous or in poor taste at 40.
Those tramp stamps will turn into gramma stamps at some point. Those piercings will be holes or scars, more than likely, and a reminder of, "Yes, you were right. I should have listened to you, Mom." But some parents are more into being the cool parent than the guardian of a child's better interests. It's time we stop trying to be cool. If they decide later that's what they want, then that'll happen on their own watch...not ours!
It's technically called, Asian Blepharoplasty. Also known as double eyelid surgery, and it's probably the only cosmetic surgical procedure targeted at only one racial group: Asians. The reasoning behind the surgery is where people quibble. Some say they are doing it to make it easier to apply make up. But perhaps a more candid reason is that a wide eye is considered a more lovely feature in many Asian countries, such as Korea. But even some plastic surgeons in Asia admit the main reason is to obtain a more American, or Western look which is considered more attractive.
This has created a backlash among some young Asian Americans who don't want to feel pressured to change their natural looks to fit another group's ideal of beauty. Not having a horse in this race, as they say, I don't feel qualified to offer my opinions on this. Every parent has to weigh their child's wishes with reality, and try and make sure the child knows the real source of true beauty, which is who we are.
Natural and beauty seem to be two words that just don't go together anymore! Hence the eyelashes on steroids that have become so accepted that no longer are just celebs touting tarantula level lashes, but all kinds of regular, vain folks as well! Of course, we all love a full eyelash line, but at what cost? Apparently, there are some true risks. Applying and reapplying false lashes or extensions creates the possibility for a type of alopecia or baldness of the eyelids/lashes.
That means once you start these little procedures you may have no choice but to continue. Or there is also the risk of infection or allergic reaction. Actress Kristin Chenoweth developed such an allergy and showed up on Dave Letterman's talk show referring to what looked like lips on her eyelids. If we choose to take such chances that's one thing, but allowing our children to mess with their future beauty for some over-the-top results seems...irresponsible.
Tanning should be over. We all know by know that sun causes the greatest aging effects to our skin, that skin cancer in the US has reached epidemic proportions and the sun or UV rays has much to do with that statistic. So why in the world then is this also a statistic: 24 percent of non-Hispanic white teens age 13 to 19 years of age have used a tanning salon. For those under 18, that required a parent's consent!
For spray tanners, the news isn't that dire. It is a chemical process that allows the skin to darken without UV rays, but as far as regular use on a child, there's not enough hard data for a parent to feel completely safe in indulging in the practice. The sunless tanners contain no sunscreen protection, and so that must be religiously applied whether the season be summer or winter and the weather be warm or not.
1Lips To Lust Over
The pressure to be sexy at an earlier and earlier age is something that has been attributed to stripper culture, a waning of values and a "cool, hip" new parenting mentality. One sure sign that things are getting out of balance is the increasing incidence of teen labial surgery. Girls want genital cosmetic procedures and surgeries to have more attractive vaginas and labias. Yes, that's right. More attractive labial tissue. Enough porn is out there that girls are measuring their down there's to others' down-there's and worrying their own is too big, too bumpy or the wrong color.
It's enough of an issue for AAP to issue standards on what are solid reasons for cosmetic procedures for abnormal tissues in the genital region and what are illegal reasons to do so. This is horrifying as a mom to a sweet 10-year-old. I'd pass out if she asked to have a little nip and tuck down there! What people seem to miss is that porn has some highly altered images, or highly altered people in them. Chances are the equipment you were born with is perfectly normal, and plenty attractive. For when that should finally matter, young lady!
Sources: ACOG.org, NationWideChildrens.org, HealthyChildren.org, ConsumerReports.org, CNN.com, OCRegister.com, DailyMail.co.uk, LiveScience.com, DentalCareMatters.com, AAPD.org, RadarOnline.com, KidsHealth.org, CeleBitchy.com
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