Would you inject your child with Botox?

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

I normally keep my really strong opinions when it comes to parenting to myself, but I can't do it in this case.



I think the straw that broke the camel's back was a story this morning on Good Morning America.  It was about a mother injecting her 8 year old daughter with Botox to remove her "worry lines" and give her an advantage at beauty pageants.



This  pageant mom  also waxes her little girl's legs. Have you, as a grown woman, endured leg waxing? It hurts! I am a big cry baby about that sort of thing. Waxing hurts. Now imagine doing this to your child.



The mother claims that her little girl is the one who asked her mother to do Botox on her. Sure. Stick to that story.... How did that conversation go? "Mommy, I am concerned about the lines on my face. I think I look old--like I am 9 or 10. Please give me painful shots in my face so I can look 8 again!"



I have an almost 8 year old. Kids are definitely more mature now in terms of what society exposes them to, but an 8 year old doesn't know that they can be injected with  Botulinum Toxin A to lessen the effects of laugh lines or frown lines. By the way, HERE is a list of side effects and info from the Allergan (makers of Botox) website.  It also CLEARLY says that it is not recommended for those under age 18. By the way, being an aesthetician (as this girl's mom is on a part-time basis) does not make you qualified to administer Botox. The website says that it is given by a DOCTOR, not a beauty school grad with 600 hours of training (in NY it is 600 hours, at least).



An 8 year old is still a little kid, in my eyes. She is in second or third grade. Perhaps she is old enough to suggest getting her ears pierced, but she surely is not MATURE enough to have thought out the dos and don'ts of getting Botox.



This is child abuse. It is. Do you know what I did when I was 8? I went to Fluff N Stuff at EastView Mall to buy stuffed animals and Lisa Frank stickers.  I wore pigtails in my hair and played with Strawberry Shortcake dolls. My mom had the common sense (and good parenting skills) to use the word NO and to keep my best interests at heart. That is a mother's job.



Suppose Nick came to me and said, "Mommy, I would like to get an R2D2 tattoo." According to this mother's logic, it'd be OK for me to have this done to him.



When I started maturing and growing hair on my legs, my mother bought a bottle of Nair and had me use it.  I remember the stench and I remember that I removed the hair on my legs the same day my brother was headed off to his junior prom. I can remember my mom worrying that Kelsey (the date) would be able to smell it.



I am not advocating the use of Nair on a child. Have you SEEN those ingredients? What I am saying is that putting your 8 year old through a leg waxing for the sake of vanity at the age of 8 is unacceptable.





Even worse,  INJECTING YOUR CHILD with Botox at AGE EIGHT is crazy. It is wrong. Mothers--parents--are supposed to love and protect our children. We are supposed to teach them that life isn't about winning competitions at age 8 because of wearing makeup, suggestive clothing, and having toxins injected by your daughter's eyes. An 8 year old should be allowed to play. To be a kid. Being a mother isn't about trying to improve your child's appearance....isn't it about instilling values, respect, and self-confidence?





On what planet is this OK?





What is going to happen to this little girl later in life? Her mother is telling her that she is not good enough and not pretty enough already at AGE 8. Maybe she's not telling her with her words, but her actions speak volumes to a perceptive child.



I understand that this girl is not my child.  She is not yours either.  Does that mean that we should not be outraged by this mother's actions? I do not care if your little boy wants to polish his toe nails and wear glitter or if your little girl wants to eat mud pies and play baseball. What your child WANTS and NEEDS is acceptance and love for who he or she is. We should love our babies for who they already are and not try to mold them (or INJECT into them) into something they are not.
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