Christian Living

Family Matters 05/19/11

The Problem with Kids Getting Botox

Those of you who regularly read my blog know how upset I become when retailers market push up bras to 8 year-olds and moms take their young children to spas for bikini and leg waxing. Well last week took the cake and I can’t ignore the story because it speaks to a sick cultural obsession – beauty at any cost.

Mom Kerry Campbell and her 8 year-old daughter Britney appeared on Good Morning America (May 12, 2011) to talk about giving her daughter Botox injections for aesthetic reasons. The mom was unapologetic about doing this procedure on her child. Britney participates in the kiddy pageant world. In order to get a heads up on the other contestants, mom decided that she could eliminate facial "wrinkles" by injecting Botox in her daughter's face.  The "wrinkles" appear to be the smile lines of her face. And mom claimed that she is not the only mother doing this to her pageant daughter.

How does her 8-old-daughter react? In the GMA interview, Britney said, "It hurts", but "I get used to it". Apparently this is a small price to pay to score a win in the pageant world.

According to newjerseynewsroom.com, it was the 8 year old's idea to try the Botox treatments after discussing it with her mom! Her mom, a part-time aesthetician, usually gave her five Botox shots in three different locations on her face. And Botox is not the only treatment this 8 year-old has tried. Little Britney had her legs waxed as well. But because it hurt so much and she gave her mom such a hard time about it, mom decided to drop the waxing.

Thankfully, San Francisco Child Welfare Services are now involved and investigating the case. Britney has been taken away from her mother while the investigation is on-going. During the GMA interview, mom was asked where she gets the Botox but would not reveal her source. 

Aside from the fact that I am horrified by this story, Botox is not FDA approved for cosmetics purposes for children.* Only doctors and registered nurses are allowed to inject Botox as there is the potential for a person to stop breathing, have swallowing problems and a host of possible side effects. Physicians tell us that repeated injections of Botox to the face may actually change the shape of the face.

Psychologically, what is the message? You are not good enough, do whatever you can to improve your looks because you are imperfect and don’t measure up? A cultural standard of beauty should be sought at any cost? Your worth is determined by how beautiful you are? And what will this do to this mother-daughter relationship-her acceptance is based on how she looks?

What is wrong with a mother who not only sanctions and performs a cosmetic procedure but does not see the harm involved? She needs help understanding the harm here. And has our culture so influenced our thinking that our own sensibilities are gone? We need to get a grip on this relentless pursuit of beauty at any cost. And we need moms to stop living their dreams and fantasies through their young children, especially when they present physical and emotional danger to children.

*Good Morning America: Botox for Children: Side Effects?

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