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06/09/2011

How Young Is Too Young for Plastic Surgery?

A British mother who is a self-proclaimed “plastic surgery addict” has given her pre-teen daughter a “voucher” for future breast augmentation. Seven-year-old Poppy now has the pending promise of going under the knife thanks to her mother who has spend on the order of $800,000 on her own cosmetic enhancements.

According to news reports, the $10,000 voucher is for redemption when Poppy turns 16.

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Teenage cosmetic enhancements is a well-established practice, for teenagers whose parents consent. More recently, news has spread about the gift of breast augmentation or rhinoplasty as a sweet 16 gift or graduation present. Still, it is all together different when the child in question initiates the conversation and offering the enhancement would improve their self-esteem. But pushing the idea of plastic surgery as necessary or a presumed kind of intervention promoted by parents seems to cross a line of parental responsibility and even potentially child abuse. Foisting one’s own addictive and maladaptive behaviors onto one’s children and helping to perpetuate them into another generation would seem inappropriate at the most basic level.

But then again, let’s not take this all too seriously. This is the same mother who last year, news reports stated, taught her 6-year-old how to pole dance.

Summer Johnson McGee, PhD

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