The Botoxed 8-year-old

Kiddie beauty pageants are bad enough: those primped and painted little girls, mincing in high heels and inappropriate outfits are enough to make any normal parent gag.

But a recent story in The Sun newspaper about a Botoxed 8-year-old is sheer insanity. In a nutshell, mother Kerry Campbell injects her daughter Britney’s face with Botox every three months. She also waxes her daughter’s legs and pubic area as a precautionary measure. Next year’s plan is eyebrow tattooing.

‘She is a lucky little girl and is going to be famous because of the benefits I am giving her so early,’ the newspaper quotes Kerry as saying.

And not surprisingly, the mother says her daughter participates in pageants and is by no means the only one who is undergoing these ‘beauty treatments’.

No doubt this mother has good intentions, believing she’s giving her daughter advantages she never had herself.

What has gone wrong in this home, in this world, that a mother would think it’s okay to inject a substance into her young daughter to prevent wrinkles?

How is it possible that society doesn’t value natural childhood beauty above the artificial plasticity of miniature adults? It’s up to us as a society to correct the imbalances that make this sort of thing possible.

Or is there a thin possibility that this is all fine? Perhaps, just as I encourage my children to read and practise their maths, this mom is maximising her child’s success.

My BMI’s smaller than yours

It seems to fit neatly into the expectations of a world where Michelle Obama analyses her preteen daughters’ BMI (body mass index) levels to make sure they don’t edge towards obesity. This is part of the American first lady’s efforts to curb childhood obesity in that country.

Yes, clearly there is something wrong with the obesity levels in the Western world (20% of South African children are overweight or obese, according to a recent report quoted on News24.) But surely our aim should be to normalise their lifestyles, rather than encouraging them to be concerned about specific numbers?

Personally I would prefer to give the Obama sisters Malia, 12, and Sasha, 9 the opportunity to make healthy food choices, get lots of exercise on the White House lawns and spend less time in front of the television or computer. And not broadcast their ‘creeping’ BMI levels to the entire world.

It’s all too easy for children to develop body issues if undue emphasis is placed on their weight rather than on healthy lifestyle choices. And those issues can last a lifetime.

I would also prefer to let little Britney Campbell enjoy her life without worrying every time she sees the beginning of a new wrinkle.

Please, let children be children.

How far is too far when it comes to children’s looks?

Disclaimer: The views of columnists published on Parent24 are their own and therefore do not necessarily represent the views of Parent24.

Read more by Adele Hamilton
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