Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Another book the world doesn't need


Spring is here, and I've been feeling mellow. A new book deal is proceeding apace. Life is good. I was beginning to think I'd used up my quotient of outrage for the year.

And then Maggie sent me this.

"This" is a book written by a plastic surgeon, aimed at kids to explain their mothers' plastic surgery.

As you can see from the sample panel I've included, it's worthy of outrage on many counts, including lousy illustrations and self-serving, poorly written text. Amazingly (or not), it's gotten quite a bit of national press, much of it rather positive.

I'm giving it two thumbs down. I only wish I had more than two hands.

19 comments:

vesta44 said...

That particular panel makes me think Mommy is an idiot. She doesn't seem to know that pants come in more than just the size she wore before she got older and her body "stretched". Do they really think that kids won't see through that bullshit and figure out that Mommy thinks if she doesn't fit a certain size, then surgery is the answer? Therefore, if Mommy's body isn't good enough, neither is theirs. Way to pass on body hatred.

AnnieMcPhee said...

That panel? Oh FFS - I'm sorry, but it makes me laugh. It's so ridiculous - and you know what? Kids are NOT idiots. If I'd seen that as a kid, the first thing out of my mouth would have been "So get new clothes." Besides, how the hell long do people keep clothes? What, they don't wear out? You're supposed to fit into the same clothes the rest of your life, and wear them forever? Who does that? How much stupider could a reason be? I don't know a kid on earth who wouldn't see how stupid that was. "But Mommy you bought me new clothes when I got too big for the old ones and when that shirt ripped" etc etc.

However, I am VERY much against promoting plastic surgery, and what pisses me off even more is the post at fatshionista included the link to the nearly disfigured woman who'd had 50 surgeries in the last ten years, whose TWELVE YEAR OLD daughter wanted implants...and the mom is happy about it. She didn't know her daughter was "worried about her flat chest." That made me want to spit fire from here to the effing rafters. In fact I can't think about it without my blood pressure going up, but what a horrible horrible precedent. Now this book, to groom girls for future surgical solutions to their body "problems." Shysters. Oh, and the scumbag author is a homely (sorry but he is) plastic surgeon. He should be dismembered.

Twistie said...

Sheesh! When did we decide that it's our job to fit our clothes and not the clothes' job to fit us?

And just think how much money 'mommy' could have saved by buying a bitching new wardrobe to fit her 'stretched' body.

Passing on this sad view of the human body to her daughter is a truly terrifying legacy, too.

littlem said...

"Amazingly (or not), it's gotten quite a bit of national press, much of it rather positive."

Our nation's standard level of cognitive and critical analysis generally sucks.

However, I will refrain from further detailed analysis of the topic statement because I never come here to make you feel worse. :D

*waves*

yellowhammer said...

You know, if I were a braver woman, I would run around in a short-cut t-shirt that read, THIS IS MY BODY, AND I LIKE IT!! And I'd just let it all hang out, you know?

Anonymous said...

Way to pass on body hatred.

I think that's the whole point.

Harpy said...

Body Impolitic blog had a post recently about this. It's not even put out by a real publishing house, it's a vanity press item.

http://laurietobyedison.com/discuss/?p=523

Mercy said...

"I'm giving it two thumbs down. I only wish I had more than two hands."

Here, use mine...

Harriet said...

Yes, this is all about creating a new generation of women who think plastic surgery is an appropriate response to any feelings they might have about their bodies.

Can you say body dysmorphic disorder, children?

Yellowhammer, I think we should have T-shirts made up that say exactly that. I'm going to check cafepress, in fact. Maybe some genius has beat us to it.

Rachel said...

I think the book is shameless self-promotion, and find it appalling the way it is presented to children. I also posted a similar comment over at Body Impolitic on the subject.

I generally dislike the perpetuation and popularity of plastic surgery, too, but I had to admit that if I had the resources, I would probably get a tummy tuck or pannectomy. I lost a drastic amount of weight in a short period of time and my skin couldn't contract fast enough. I have loose skin on my thighs and arms, but the most problematic area is the excess skin on my abdomen. One of the reasons I wasn't officially diagnosed with anorexia is that I didn't meet the prerequisite body weight requirement. However, if you factor in the weight of the excess skin itself, I probably would have been borderline underweight or may have even qualified as underweight.

If tummy tucks are on the rise, it may be because more people are having WLS. My results are much the same as a person who has WLS. The loose skin is not only unsightly and makes finding pants difficult, it also can cause skin irritation, rashes, and even infection. Tummy tucks are usually considered cosmetic surgery, but some medical insurers will pay for part of the procedure if it poses a medical risk.

I used to work with a woman whom I did not know, who had WLS. She wanted a tummy tuck to get rid of her excess skin, but her insurance company wouldn't pay for it. It is common knowledge amongst WLS patients that if you have a hernia, medical insurance will pay for the operation and doctors usually throw in a tummy tuck, too. She deliberately tried to give herself a hernia by eating the wrong kinds of foods and too much of them and ended up dieing as the result of her efforts.

Erica said...

I'm surprised the mom doesn't go a bit further and really screw the little girl up by telling the real reason for her predicament:

"Honey, mommy has to have surgery because YOU STRETCHED MY STOMACH OUT when I was pregnant with you...now now, don't cry, the same thing will happen to you one day!"

Letter writing campaign, anyone?

ricki said...

I am appalled by this, but not too appalled to make a horrible joke:

"I'm giving it two thumbs down. I only wish I had more than two hands."

Well, Harriet, I'm sure you could find a plastic surgeon who's willing to fix that little "dysmorphism" of yours!


Seriously. This book makes me want to throw things. I can't even come up with a coherent argument against it other than what it promotes is Teh Suck.

tori_927 said...

Erica - I kid you not, that's actually what I thought I read when I first glanced at it!!! :-S

Anonymous said...

I've seen quite a few reviews, and actually all have them have been negative. This is an extremely ridiculous book. The disturbing thing is that the child's waist is actually bigger than "Mommy's". (Who, by the way, looks very thin before anyway.)

GirlGriot said...

Oh, I totally see this as the first in a series to help kids understand the grown-up world around them. I'm thinking next in line should be, "My Cool, DL Daddy."

propertask said...

Hey, I saw this article (below) and got very excited and thought of this blog.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/24295957/

You gotta love it--an article about our disordered, food-obsessed, eating culture framed by diet ads and good-food bad-food banners.

carrie said...

Harriet,

You can give the book two thumbs down, but I will give it two giant middle fingers flipped way up. :)

Rachel said...

The Canadian weekly Macleans also wrote an editorial on this book. Here's what writer Scott Feschuk suggested titles of sequels can be:


· My Beautiful Mommy's Sexy New Friend, Brandon, Who Sleeps Where Daddy Used To.

· My Beautiful Mommy's Horrible Post-Operative Complications.

· My Even More Beautiful Mommy, Except Now Her Face Is So Tight She Can't Blink.

Harriet said...

Ha ha! Those are very good. Thanks for sharing, Rachel.