Read this story yesterday on yahoo, about the 'Human Barbie' mother over in Britain, who gave her 7-year old daughter a voucher for her Christmas present. I usually have no problem giving vouchers, or gift certificates, or gift cards to stores as gifts. In this case though, the voucher wasn't to something like Toys-R-Us, or che target, or even McDonalds...it was a voucher for 7000 pounds sterling worth of liposuction, should she need it some day.
My head, and my belly, have been rumbling ever since reading it...and I have formed an Opinion.
I don't, don't, don't, don',t don't, don't, don't, DO NOT like this. One little bit.
This kind of makes me the way I feel when stumble onto an episode of 'Toddlers and Tiaras' on TV...but 49 times worse.
I feel so strongly about this, I almost nominated this lady for Worst Parent EVER...because to me there isn't a whole lot of difference between convincing your 7-year old daughter she is going to need lipo(and a boob job) at some point and locking them in room, or keeping them in a cage. But...there is a slight difference...and the fact that this lady obviously loves her daughter in her own sick way saves her than nomination.
I'm still not okay with this though.
I pride myself on having a pragmatic and realistic view of the world, even if I do occasionally have bouts of idealism. As an adult male, I look around the world, and have formed a certain opinion about beauty...and that opinion is, that right or wrong...looks DO matter. Turn on the TV, and go to the weather channel. Not one of their female on air personalities is lacking in the aesthetic appeal department. Heck...just a few weeks ago, I was extolling the appeal of Robin Meade.
There is nothing about predicting the weather, or reporting the news, that requires one to be fit and attractive...but, an overwhelming majority of the people who succeed in doing this on TV fall into that category. I'm sure the men folk filling this job catch a woman's eye, just the female's catch my eye. TV might not be the REAL world, but it does reflect our reality.
That being said...I also want to make it clear that in my world, there is clear line between succeeding because you are clean, fit, attractive and package yourself well, and trying trade on your sexuality.
One of those will get you a job on the Weather Channel, the other will get you a job at a Gentleman's Club, or working as a bikini barista. I almost targeted Hooters Waitresses, but as someone who enjoyed me some wings quite often when I was younger man, I can't go there. Most Hooters waitress I knew were nice young ladies who would have LOVED to find a job letting them wear more than orange shorts and tank top that paid that much.
So...as a parent of two young girls, whose ages bracket that of this 7-year old...I find myself often at a loss of how to convey my view of reality to my girls, without breaking them in the process. To this point, this has pretty much involved me keeping my mouth shut about daddy's view of the real world. My wife convinced me early on, that if I do nothing else as a positive male role model for my girls, I have to tell them every day that they are beautiful.
And so, I do that every day...and it helps that my daughters are beautiful. Daddy would hate to be a liar. Over the last summer, with the increase in sunshine from living on the East side of the mountains, my older daughter really freckled up...and she was heart broken. DEVASTATED. My wife and I had to compliment her freckles constantly for two weeks before she kind of got over it.
The only thing I worry about in the least about my girls is their weight, and that is only because for most of their lives, my wife and I haven't been setting the best example for them on weight. Luckily, my wife decided to get motivated so I didn't have to. We keep an eye things subtly. The only time either of them get on a scale is at the doctors...we just try to limit overly sweet snacks and treats. If you are having chocolate milk with a meal, then after that, it's water. Both of them are going to be short, and just like there mom, 5 pounds is going to make a difference in how they look...it already does on my older one. She will go through a week or two period where she is getting the barest hint of a belly, and then a week or two later she will shoot up an inch or two, and it disappears. We never mention this to her, because there is no reason to. I couldn't imagine giving her a certificate for liposuction, just in case she can never get rid of that 'stubborn belly fat'.
Sigh...I've gone somewhat far off course. I was simply trying to get across that as a parent, I understand that at some point, we have to get them ready for the real world, and an honest discussion about the importance of taking care of yourself, and presenting yourself pleasently to the world should be part of that discussion.
$25,000 dollars worth of vouchers for plastic surgery, because you won't be complete without it, should not be part of that discussion.