"My Beautiful Mommy" is aimed at kids ages four to seven and features a plastic surgeon named Dr. Michael (a musclebound superhero type) and a girl whose mother gets a tummy tuck, a nose job and breast implants. Before her surgery the mom explains that she is getting a smaller tummy: "You see, as I got older, my body stretched and I couldn't fit into my clothes anymore. Dr. Michael is going to help fix that and make me feel better." Mom comes home looking like a slightly bruised Barbie doll with demure bandages on her nose and around her waist.
The text doesn't mention the breast augmentation, but the illustrations intentionally show Mom's breasts to be fuller and higher. "I tried to skirt that issue in the text itself," says Salzhauer. "The tummy lends itself to an easy explanation to the children: extra skin and can't fit into your clothes. The breasts might be a stretch for a six-year-old."
The book doesn't explain exactly why the mother is redoing her nose post-pregnancy. Nonetheless, Mom reassures her little girl that the new nose won't just look "different, my dear—prettier!"
Now, let me say first off, and strenuously, THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH LOOKING GOOD. If there were, let me tell you, Id be in Attica doing 15-25 right now. But if you are going to look so different that you are afraid your child wont recognize you, you may be going a bit too far. My walk from the subway to class 3 days a week takes me past 2 botox clinics and a plastic surgeons office, and that's only a 1 avenue walk. Technology is amazing, and plastic surgery has produced some of my favorite movie and music stars of the last decade, so what I really want to know is, why has it taken the industry this long to get a book like this out there? When I was 5 I had my tonsils taken out, and I remember my parents prepping me before the surgery with a delightful cartoon book about how my tonsils were evil and Captain Tonsilectomy was there to save the day. And it worked, until I woke up and couldn't talk for a week. Children are so gullible.
All that being said, I would bet it could be jarring for a 6 year old to come home from school and see Mommy laying in bed with bandages everywhere, looking like Daddy had fallen off the wagon again. Another mini-BH memory to illuminate my point: I remember when I was very young, my Mom had really long hair until she cut it one day and then came to pick me up after day-care or after school or some such activity and I wouldn't get in the car with her because I didn't believe it was her. My sister had to walk me to the car and promise me that was our mother. Truthfully, I'm still not sure.... But I digress. This is a solid step forward in getting the next generation to accept plastic surgery as a natural fact of life. So, plastic surgeons, lets get going on writing the book for pre-teens that convinces them they need to get boob-jobs and ass implants. Here's to a better looking future!