“Did you get a nose job?”
said one of my 12 year-old female clients. After I got over the shock of the question, I explained that, no, this is my real nose, and ‘why do you ask?—Does it look fake!!??” “No,” she countered, “everyone gets surgery, so I just assumed you had.”
It is true that many adults and parents are getting plastic and cosmetic surgery. I am not going to pass judgment on whether this is right or wrong, whether it sets a good or bad example, but I am going to talk about how parents and adults can approach the subject with kids. This is whether they themselves have had surgery or have someone in the child’s life who’s appearance has suddenly changed.
I also think that this subject needs to be talked about at a relatively early age because it is all over the media and the web. If parents do not talk to their kids about the pros and cons, dangers and benefits, ideas and conflicts surrounding plastic surgery, kids will be confused, have misconceptions and talk about it with peers who also are in the dark.
1) Go Over the Facts
Explain what plastic surgery and cosmetic surgery is. No opinion—yet. Just go over the facts, how people can or cannot alter themselves and that some people choose to make these choices.
2) Avoid Gossip and Specifics Examples
This is just my personal opinion, but I think bringing up specific celebrity examples or friends who have had cosmetic surgery is not a good idea. It encourages gossip and focuses their attention on the people and the body parts and not the real issue.
3) Ask Them What They Think
Before you give them your opinion talk out the issues with them. Ask them what they would do. What if they accidently broke their nose in a car accident, then what? Just let them ruminate with you so you can talk to them about the issues.
Many of you also might be thinking of the new book that came out called: My Beautiful Mommy, here is an article by Newsweek. This is a children’s book about plastic surgery–a hot bed of controversy.
Overall, please make sure to emphasize, no matter what your position on plastic surgery, that inner beauty and confidence is the most attractive thing about a person.