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Old 04-17-2008, 02:31 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Kids' book explains mommy's plastic surgery

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Kids' book explains mommy's plastic surgery

NEW YORK (AP) Divorce. Bullies. Foster care. There are books for children on just about every tough subject these days. But mommy's plastic surgery?
A Florida plastic surgeon has written about just that in My Beautiful Mommy, a picture book due out April 28 that tries to calm the fears of kids with parents getting tummy tucks, breast enhancement procedures and nose jobs.

Dr. Michael Salzhauer said so many moms brought kids to their appointments that he was motivated to stock up on lollipops in his Bal Harbour, Florida office. In My Beautiful Mommy, he explains mommy's recuperation, changing look and desire for plastic surgery.


PLASTIC SURGERY:Better Life blog probes MRSA vs. aging gracefully
"Many parents don't explain to their kids what's going on," said the father of four, with his fifth child on the way. "Children are very perceptive. You can't hide a major surgery from them. When mom goes down for two weeks after a tummy tuck it affects them."

Illustrations show a crook-nosed mom with loose tummy skin under her half shirt picking up her young daughter early from school one day and taking her to a strapping and handsome "Dr. Michael."

Mom explains she is going to have operations on her nose and tummy and may have to take it easy for a week or so. The girl asks if the operations will hurt, and mom replies, "Maybe a little," warning she will look different after the bandages come off.

The girl asks: "Why are you going to look different?"

Mom responds: "Not just different, my dear prettier!"

Big Tent Books in Savannah, Georgia is racing the book out after the Internet lit up Wednesday with word of its upcoming release. The initial 4,400 copies will be available for purchase only through the website of the company, which provides editorial and publishing services to picture book authors for fees.

Salzhauer acknowledges the subject matter may seem distasteful to some.

"There are people who are going to read this and say 'You're indoctrinating kids and idealizing beauty.' That's not the intention of the book at all," he said. "The intention is to allow parents who are going through this process anyway to have a vehicle to explain it to their kids."

Diane Kuplack understands.

At 37, Kuplack has six biological children under the age of 12, including 5-year-old twins, along with two older stepchildren from her husband Matt's first marriage. She said it was "nerve-wracking" trying to decide what, if anything, to tell her children about the breast implant surgery she scheduled for Friday.

Kuplack, who lives in Weston, Florida, and is a patient of Salzhauer's, read the book to her children.

"The older ones loved it," she said. "We were nervous that if we didn't say anything at all that they would notice I look different when I came home. It really helped them understand because it explains everything so well. They didn't have any questions after that."

The book, told from the perspective of the school-age daughter, has the groggy mommy home from the hospital the day after her double surgery, sitting up in bed sipping chicken soup with grandma helping out. Soon mommy is out of bed but still not able to do any heavy lifting, so the girl and her big brother pitch in around the house.

At the breakfast table, the girl tells mommy how she is learning about butterflies at school and mommy laughs that her bandages make her feel like a cocoon.

Then the big day arrives mommy's bandages are gone and illustrator Victor Guiza lights up the new and improved mommy with a sparkly princess pink background.

"Mommy, your eyes are sparkling like diamonds," the girl exclaims. "You're the most beautiful butterfly in the whole world."

Jerry Seltzer, general manager of Big Tent's parent company, Whimsical LLC, sees the obvious niche for My Beautiful Mommy in plastic surgeons' offices and among moms undergoing cosmetic procedures. He admits he initially wondered about the content.

"I thought, 'Gee, mommy looked awfully good before the surgery.' But I felt confident because it was appropriate for the market," he said. "Women are out there getting the surgery."

Salzhauer said he performs about 200 tummy tucks and breast procedures a year, the bulk on mothers. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons, representing most of the nation's board-certified surgeons in the specialty, reported nearly 348,000 breast augmentation procedures and 143,000 tummy tucks on women in 2007.

"My patients do worry about their children when they're going through this," Salzhauer said. "The book just goes toward trying to make the process as understandable as possible for the kids, so they can feel included and don't have to make things up in their minds on what's going on."
I'm trying to think about what kind of event that could occur that I'd be unequipped to explain to my child. On the surface it would seem that this would be something that children would have questions about. But how can one make a decision to have such a surgery and not be able to explain it to their kids?

I can see books that would help explain HIV, cancer or other difficult life situations. These are obviously unforeseen traumatic situations that can leave one lacking the words to explain. Plastic surgery is on the other hand something that would have been planned out before hand. Part of that planning I would assume would be how it is going to be explained to others, including your children.

I see this type of book being another crutch of sorts that we have gravitated to leaning on to deal with life's issues. Of course I could be wrong. Who sees a need for this and what is this need? I understand that not all elective cosmetic surgery is only for appearance sake. But still there should an ability to honestly explain this to our children.
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Old 04-17-2008, 03:19 PM   #2 (permalink)
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LAME.

Feel uncomfortable talking to your child about something? Read this pamphlet, watch this segment on News11, buy this book.

People don't even want to parent anymore or parent even less and less.
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Old 04-17-2008, 04:25 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Last edited by flat5; 05-03-2008 at 12:46 AM..
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Old 04-17-2008, 04:33 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I've never understood not being able to talk to your child. When I had my breast reduction a year and a half ago I explained the entire procedure to Amanda, exactly what they would do, how the recovery would be and just exactly why I was doing it.

I was on a message board for breast reduction (and other ps procedures, but I stayed in the section specifically for BR) It was totally amazing to me the number of women AFRAID to tell their children what they were doing, they were making up all kinds of stories to tell their kids, no matter what age they were.

Keep in mind, a BR is MAJOR surgery, its not like an augmentation, I was under the knife for 4 hours and my recovery took MONTHS. These women were telling their kids things like they were having surgery because they were SICK....how cant that not be more traumatizing than explaining what you're really doing. Heck these women were even lying to their bosses.....I'm sorry but when you take yourself from a double F cup to a C, people are gonna know you had "work" done.

People need to be honest with their kids, how better to teach them how to be better adults?

/sorry for the rant....this kind of stuff REALLY gets to me
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Old 04-17-2008, 04:46 PM   #5 (permalink)
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A lot of people just phone it in when it comes to their kids. They'll buy this book because it allows them to think they're doing the right thing for their children, so they can divert their attention back to more interesting things.
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Old 04-17-2008, 06:10 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cynthetiq
People don't even want to parent anymore or parent even less and less.
I often think that, and often it is true. What bothers me about this and other books of its type is that I think some people want to parent, but they've been conditioned to think they can't, due to too many books like this. That is what I think bothers me more than the book itself.
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Old 04-17-2008, 06:21 PM   #7 (permalink)
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This really comes down to:
1)Whether or not you approve of plastic surgery
2) What kind of surgery it is (elective or necessary)

I'd totally support the book that talked about why mommy is getting an implant after having breast cancer or why dad is getting a new cheek after being in a car accident. I think that book could end up being important in order to explain that even though mommy or daddy was terribly hurt that didn't mean there wasn't hope for a normal life. It'd actually be quite nice.

If it's a book about mommy getting new double Ds? That's a bit more touchy. While I'm not totally against plastic surgery of that nature, I do realize that it communicates to a child a somewhat shallow message. I wouldn't get it for my offspring, but I wouldn't fight it being available.
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Old 04-17-2008, 06:47 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Mommies New Knockers

Don't you want a pretty mommy?

Daddy has the itch, Mommy needs a stitch.

Mommy's instant diet!

Everybody Droops.
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Old 04-17-2008, 07:24 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShaniFaye
I've never understood not being able to talk to your child. When I had my breast reduction a year and a half ago I explained the entire procedure to Amanda, exactly what they would do, how the recovery would be and just exactly why I was doing it.

I was on a message board for breast reduction (and other ps procedures, but I stayed in the section specifically for BR) It was totally amazing to me the number of women AFRAID to tell their children what they were doing, they were making up all kinds of stories to tell their kids, no matter what age they were.

Keep in mind, a BR is MAJOR surgery, its not like an augmentation, I was under the knife for 4 hours and my recovery took MONTHS. These women were telling their kids things like they were having surgery because they were SICK....how cant that not be more traumatizing than explaining what you're really doing. Heck these women were even lying to their bosses.....I'm sorry but when you take yourself from a double F cup to a C, people are gonna know you had "work" done.

People need to be honest with their kids, how better to teach them how to be better adults?

/sorry for the rant....this kind of stuff REALLY gets to me
While my mother never had plastic surgery, she did have a number of procedures done when I was growing up. When I was 8 or 9 my mother had to have a hysterectomy, and was in the hospital over Thanksgiving Day, no less. I can't imagine what it would have been like to have no clue as to what was going on. I'm sure in the end it was easier on both of my parents because I did know exactly what was going on and why Mom was in the hospital.

Like Shani said, we need to be honest with children--children learn from modeled behavior, and if you model to them that it's not okay to talk about these topics, and we need to be secretive about it, or not communicate clearly about the topic, then that's the idea they're going to walk away with, and take into adulthood.

Whatever happened to grown-ups being adults?
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Old 04-17-2008, 09:45 PM   #10 (permalink)
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This is pathetic in my opinion. The parents I have worked with do not do a damn thing anymore to teach there children, especially when they are young. It is sad to watch parents not do anything with their kids.
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Old 04-17-2008, 09:57 PM   #11 (permalink)
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The issue isn't with the books themselves. The books can be a great starting point to a discussion.

The problem is when parents use only the book and don't follow up with an in-depth conversation.
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Old 04-18-2008, 09:29 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ustwo
Titles:

Mommies New Knockers

Don't you want a pretty mommy?

Daddy has the itch, Mommy needs a stitch.

Mommy's instant diet!

Everybody Droops.

These are good, perhaps they could be the names of chapters in the book.
I think they if you are too afraid to talk to your children about getting plastic surgery then perhaps you should not be doing it.
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Old 04-18-2008, 09:47 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ustwo
Everybody Droops.
+1 for all the beautiful, unique snowflakes
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Old 04-18-2008, 10:31 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlatan
The issue isn't with the books themselves. The books can be a great starting point to a discussion.

The problem is when parents use only the book and don't follow up with an in-depth conversation.
Ditto.

I doubt that many parents are buying this book and handing it to their kids without another word.

I do think the psychological discomfort that parents may feel about relating their reasons for plastic surgery to their children is quite telling, though...
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