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Mommy needs to get pretty

My Beautiful Mommy
Salzhauer
2007

A Twitter friend steered me to this title as a possibility for discussion. Our story is that Mommy picked unnamed child up from school. Girl goes with Mommy to visit Dr. Michael, a plastic surgeon that looks like he has been doing steroids. (Older brother Billy and Daddy were not invited evidently). Girl asks Mommy why she has to do this. Mommy evidently is getting a tummy tuck and a nose job. Unnamed girl is concerned Mommy will look different. No, Mommy will just be MORE beautiful. Anyway, everything is wonderful and no one has any complications.

I can’t believe that this is an under-served patron need (maybe in Beverly Hills).  My first instinct is to say this is a ridiculous book and a waste of collection budget. However, in the interest of open and thoughtful collection quality discussions, I will keep an open mind.

Looking for brain bleach,

Mary

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29 Responses to Mommy needs to get pretty

  • I would absolutely BUY this book. Also, if you look at the pictures above, what Mommy really needed was new shoes.

  • Sheesh, sounds like unnamed daughter has a better self-image than Mother.

  • The author is a plastic surgeon in Miami.

  • I would only give this to a child if I gave them a picture of late-stage Michael Jackson at the same time.

  • “…this is a ridiculous book and a waste of collection budget.”

    What a terrible book. If you have to blame the budget on why you don’t buy it, do so. I can’t imagine letting little girls read this, or reading it to them. I have a daughter who is 19 now, and I can hardly wait to show her this!

    Let someone else get into the issue of needing to be “prettier.” If mommy doesn’t feel good about herself, surgery won’t help. She will just find something else wrong with herself. And what will she tell her daughter when she (the daughter) doesn’t like her body?

    No, not “terrible,” I think it is disgusting.

  • Well, surgery of any kind is scary to kids and I imagine parents do need a safe way to explain plastic surgery to their kids. Though I think maybe they could’ve chosen a different way to explain it.

    As for plastic surgery itself, I have nothing against it long as people don’t 1: Get out of hand like the Cat Lady and 2: Don’t lie about it.

  • When I was in kindergarten, I came home from school one day to find what looked like The Mummy in my parents’ bed. I screamed and ran out crying. Turns out, my mother had her ears pinned back that day. Her head was wrapped in bandages leaving only space for her eyes, mouth and nose. I’m not sure if anyone had warned me about it beforehand, but I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have grasped the concept anyhow. Of course, I don’t think an entire book was necessary, but today’s feature did bring back the good times.

  • I remember when my mother got a nose job and she spent the next few days lying in bed bandaged up, her face all puffy, two black eyes, swearing like a sailor. I’d like to see a picture of that in this book.

  • If Mommy would stop wearing belly shirts and hip-huggers, she might feel better about her body! Yeesh. Also, cute-girl-with-bear: don’t let Mommy give you any “surprise” visits with Dr. Michael for your 16th, 18th, or 21st birthdays!

  • Maybe if Mommy bought a shirt that came down to the top of her pants she wouldn’t need the tummy tuck.

  • What an awful, awful message. Sorry, Mommy, surgery isn’t going to bring you happiness. And let’s consider the message you’re sending to your daughter.

    On another note…”As I got older, my body stretched and I couldn’t fit into my clothes anymore.” Apparently it stretched vertically, since your shirts are consistently inadequate for your midriff. You could just get some clothes that fit and enjoy your new-found height.

  • I agree – this is a disgusting waste of money. Too bad the little girl didn’t say to her mommy that she should get new clothes like she does when she (the little girl) grows out of hers.

  • This mommy is in need of counseling not surgery—–I got old and ugly???? Do not let any child think that being “less pretty” is a measure of one’s worth.
    Rarely do I say this: Shred it! Shred it! Shred it!!

  • Ugh. This is one of the worst books on this site!

  • I love that the mom is dreaming of being a beauty queen when she is telling her daughter that she will be “prettier”. I think the chances of her becoming Miss America may just be over. I also love the neighborhood and classy SUV in that photo, yet she is wearing socks with some dangerous looking feet. Remember the 2007s. *sigh*

  • Imagine the kids who come home asking, “Mommy, why don’t you ask the doctor to make you beautiful?”

  • The Amazon reviews are hilarious for this title: Amazon Reviews

    It is clear that it is written by a plastic surgeon hoping to brainwash America’s youth into thinking their bodies need to be changed and altered. I’m disappointed it was published by a legitimate publishing house for children.

  • I agree with Jami, that parents having surgery can be pretty traumatic for children. It’s unfortunate that this book used the “pretty” justification for plastic surgery, because there are plenty of reasons that people get plastic surgery that have nothing to do with wanting to look young and pretty. I’m willing to bet that most people wouldn’t be put off by the idea of reconstructive surgery after some trauma. Or a surgery like blepharoplasty (only look at the wikipedia article if you have a strong stomach) can be used to reduce vision impairment caused by too much tissue in the upper eyelid to properly open an eye.
    I have no idea how an author would successfully pull it off, though. Maybe something like Grandma’s Got a Black Eye?

  • You know, as someone who wants plastic surgery badly – partly for self esteem reasons but 90% because my breasts are so flipping huge that I’m in pain ALL THE TIME from them – I get a little sick and tired of that “just get consoling” thing. I have to put up with that lecture about how I don’t need plastic surgery, I just need to see a shrink and jazzercise.

    Granted, I know that plastic surgery won’t make me go from 248 to 135, I’m not stupid, but maybe it would give me back some of my hope because I gave up on looking pretty a long time ago. Especially after one doctor told me repeatedly that because of my age and the fact I have Polycystic Ovary Syndrome I had “No hope of losing weight except by gastric bypass.” And if I had hope again I’d likely stick to a diet and exercise.

    But mostly it would mean no more freaking back, neck, and shoulder pain! (And no amount of jazzercise or seeing a shrink is going to help that!)

    Now granted, the book is awful in most senses. But if a woman is allowed to do whatever she wants with her body, why isn’t she allowed to have plastic surgery to make herself feel better physically and mentally?

  • If this book actually prepared kids for what plastic surgery looks like right afterwards (lots of bandages, bruising, and some blood), than it would have a use since people do get plastic surgery and it could seem scary to kids. But glossing over the scariest part isn’t doing anyone any favors.

  • It seems like there’s a niche for books to explain plastic surgery to kids, but this one has an amateurish feel and seems more like the doctor had it self-published to promote his business.

  • Note the difference in mom’s nose before and after surgery. Did she need to have rhinoplasty to fit into her clothes again? Did mom’s nose stretch as she got older – like Pinocchio?

    Who cares – as long as mom feels pretty.

  • Jami asks, “… if a woman is allowed to do whatever she wants with her body, why isn’t she allowed to have plastic surgery to make herself feel better physically and mentally?”

    I agree. BUT, the way the mom in the book handled it is probably not the right way. She wants to be “prettier.” OK, fine, don’t we all? My concern is the casual attitude of getting prettier, of visualizing herself as a beauty queen, making it sound like a simple thing. Mostly my concern would be for the daughter. Little girls are often told, “You look just like your mother.” A natural response for the girl to have would be, “I do? Then I guess I am not pretty enough either.”

  • YES> There are legitmate reasons for plastic surgery, and they are many and varied. The mother is built like Barbie; and it shows the mother struggling to fit into her bluejeans—well, having children will do that! It is normal. Needing to control one’s 10-pound weight gain is not quite in the same category as controlling weight because of an issue regarding health. This book belittles all the good reasons people need surgery. This book is an abomination.

  • @Jami, and tell me why pretty bras in pretty colors are only made in the “normal” range of sizes? Wear a “D” or so, and your choices are white, beige, and black…AND $$ more for the boredom! Go for it, girl!

  • Oh, Angel, you are looking in the wrong places for pretty bras in larger sizes! Try some of the catalogs, like womanwithin.com, and take a look at the sexy colorful bras! Or, JCPenny has a lot, and their saleswoman told me that Fredrick’s of Hollywood had lots of pretty plus size bras.
    They obviously can’t be as skimpy…
    (Yes, I do wear larger than a D!)

  • “Mommy, looks like your cocoon fell off!” “That would have been my nose, dear!”

  • Oh my …. and after reading this the child should be given Scott Westerfeld’s books … Uglies, Pretties and Specials

  • Jami, I too have ridiculous breasts and might have less pain from my spinal disorder with smaller ones. But unless she had a structural problem like a deviated septum (and if this were the case, the explanation might have been something like “Mommy can only breathe out of one side of her nose a lot of the time, honey”), I find it hard to believe that Mommy’s pre-surgery nose was giving her constant pain — much less a little extra skin in the tummy-tuck region. Yes, there are legit reasons for plastic surgery; it’s just that none of them are discussed here. If Mommy can afford a tummy tuck (and the time off work to recover, and the risks of surgical anesthesia, including DEATH), then Mommy can damn sure afford some nice new jeans that fit comfortably instead.

    Also, try figleaves.com — I’ve found some bras on there in my cup size that are both supportive and surprisingly pretty. I’ll never darken the doorstep of a Victoria’s Secret again.

    Also also? Your doctor sounds like a complete jackass. I mean, complete. Whatever happened to treating your body with TLC and eating healthy foods or taking walks someplace nice just because you deserve to feel good? It sounds like he’s trying to sell you the surgery, more than anything — but wouldn’t breast reduction be the more logical surgery? I would float the whole idea past some PCOS support forums before taking any irreversible steps in any direction. I think there is much more hope out there than this one doctor is willing to give you. I think you deserve to have hope and feel good. /soapbox