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Horton Sees A Hooter
April 18, 2008 9:17 AM   Subscribe

My Beautiful Mommy is a children's book for children whose mothers suddenly come home from the doctor with giant hooters, or significant amounts of fat suddenly missing. A bold new market in childrens publishing awaits.
posted by jonson (66 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
More on the topic.
posted by jonson at 9:23 AM on April 18, 2008


A cautionary tale for sure. Those kids could grow up to be like these guys, singing songs with lines line "mama, mama, please, no more facelifts, I just don't know which one you is". The creepy bass player with the open shirt and the crotch-grinding moves says it all.
posted by grounded at 9:31 AM on April 18, 2008


Uh...NSFW on that last link.

But yeah, great book, it's not going to confuse any kids at all. "Sesame Street says that the way people looks isn't important, it's how they act. But My Beautiful Mommy is newer than Sesame Street, so I guess I better not have snack today. Gotta keep trim!"
posted by DU at 9:31 AM on April 18, 2008


Explaining this stuff to kids sounds like a very good idea. Treating elective surgery as a whispered-about taboo subject will likely mess them up more.
posted by rocket88 at 9:41 AM on April 18, 2008


Can this book be far behind?

(obligatory The Onion link)
posted by BozoBurgerBonanza at 9:42 AM on April 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


Explaining this stuff to kids sounds like a very good idea.

I agree, although having it be written by a plastic surgeon smacks a little much of marketing rather than education.

And if you can't honestly explain to a child how great it is, maybe you shouldn't be doing it.
posted by DU at 9:46 AM on April 18, 2008 [5 favorites]


When I was three years old, my mom came home from the hairdresser's one day with a perm. I didn't recognize her, and started bawling my eyes out and howling for my real mama to come back. God only knows what would've happened if she'd had liposuction or a boob job.
posted by xbonesgt at 9:47 AM on April 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


or significant amounts of fat suddenly missing

We call him "little brother".
posted by three blind mice at 9:47 AM on April 18, 2008 [4 favorites]


And Mommy was beautiful when she was as big as a house carrying him.
posted by three blind mice at 9:48 AM on April 18, 2008


related (video, NSFW)
posted by fleetmouse at 9:48 AM on April 18, 2008 [2 favorites]


The 23/6 stuff (My _____ Mommy) is really funny. Thanks jonson!
posted by Mister_A at 9:52 AM on April 18, 2008




I remember reading fark.com a couple years ago and some woman was arguing that buying her daughter clothing with the words "future porn starlet" on it was harmless. With that background, do you think the kid's going to become an engineer, or a hooker?
posted by bravelittletoaster at 9:53 AM on April 18, 2008


Thanks for posting this link. It made a huge impression (extremely negative, of course) on the Mommy blogger circuit a couple days back, so I didn't feel that I was removed enough from the subject to post on it, but I'm glad to see it being discussed here.
posted by misha at 9:55 AM on April 18, 2008


Actually, the "bold new market", where you get some sucker to pay to publish a book out of his own pocket ain't so new. Pretty bold, though, if he can convince Newsweek to advertise it for him. Your "this is marketing" instinct is right on, DU.

More on this book from Making Light.
posted by bonecrusher at 10:11 AM on April 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


Well if mom is going to have appearance-changing surgery (or any surgery or hospital stay) then yes, a book, preparing her kids for that is probably a good thing.

However judging from the appearance of the cover - where mom appears to have to turned into someone from the Jetsons but with a bit of Bewitched magic effects added in - this isn't really the book that I think will do the job
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 10:12 AM on April 18, 2008


I don't really see the value in normalizing a casual disdain for our natural bodies. Others who have mentioned that this smacks of advertising are right on. What better way to dismantle the stigma around your profession than getting in on the ground floor? It worked for McDonalds.
posted by zennoshinjou at 10:16 AM on April 18, 2008


This book is basically just a vanity book, btw, published and publicized by the same press under two different umbrellas.
It's not available at Amazon or anything like that.
posted by misha at 11:32 AM on April 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


Sorry, I didn't read far enough into the comments! Good job, DU and bonecrusher.
posted by misha at 11:33 AM on April 18, 2008


Gives new meaning to the term "vanity book."
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 11:36 AM on April 18, 2008 [6 favorites]


The surgery must not have gone as planned if Horton didn't see two hooters!
posted by Daddy-O at 11:53 AM on April 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


And here I was thinking the correct response to such a situation was to tell your pre-pubescent son not to stare at Mommy's tits.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 11:55 AM on April 18, 2008


Ohhh, can I do the lip injection installment in the series?

"That's not a prolapsed rectum, that's mommy's new mouth!"
posted by The Straightener at 11:57 AM on April 18, 2008


I don't really see the value in normalizing a casual disdain for our natural bodies.

Body modification is as old as humanity.
posted by rocket88 at 11:58 AM on April 18, 2008


I agree that something seems off with the conjunction of the vanity book and the Newsweek article. It seems like this is a type of specialized information pamphlet, just like your doctor would give you about a particular drug only dressed up as a kid's book. Which makes sense, since it's for kids. I'll bet the Dr. gives it to his patients, and maybe passes boxes of 'em around to his elective surgeon buddies. They all think it's a grand idea; just one more perk they can offer their customers. Meanwhile a patient's neighbor-lady and Newsweek columnist is over for drinks some 5 and sees it out. "What is that?"
posted by carsonb at 11:59 AM on April 18, 2008


But what if the surgery made her an uggo?
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 12:02 PM on April 18, 2008


And here I was thinking the correct response to such a situation was to tell your pre-pubescent son not to stare at Mommy's tits.

You laugh, but as a toddler, I was browbeaten enough on the "what are those?" question, that I learned never to ask another immodest question like that ever again. I probably have all kinds of unhealthy attitudes about practically everything as a result, but it addresses this issue at hand head on.

Otherwise, you could come up with a list of pat answers to "mommy, why does your chest look different?" Perhaps... "Because I decided to boldly take it upon myself to support our patriarchal overlords and reinforce shallow stereotypes of what women should look like, particularly as it relates to men who gawk at and catcall after me and whose names I will never know. I see myself as a role model in this regard."
posted by psmealey at 12:13 PM on April 18, 2008 [9 favorites]


When I was three years old, my mom came home from the hairdresser's one day with a perm.

When I was in high school, my dad was forced (by workplace safety regulations) to shave off the beard he'd had for over twenty years. He stopped by a barbershop on the way home from work without telling my mom, and when he stepped foot through the front door she screamed.
posted by The Card Cheat at 12:43 PM on April 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


So does the Superficial guy read Metafilter or does Metafilter read the Superficial?
posted by jimmythefish at 12:47 PM on April 18, 2008


Body modification is as old as humanity.

True. I don't get people's tut-tutting over it. It just seems to offend some people's morality. (Including my parents', though theirs is uneven; tattoos and ear piercing are okay but facelifts and breast enlargements aren't.)
posted by small_ruminant at 12:52 PM on April 18, 2008


Did anyone else notice that mommy's waist is now smaller than her daughter's in the illustration?

Also, from the Newsweek article: "The book doesn't explain exactly why the mother is redoing her nose post-pregnancy."
posted by revgeorge at 12:54 PM on April 18, 2008


To be more true to life, shouldn't the little kid's first glimpse of their new "beautiful mommy" include things like massive swelling, 2 black eyes, and gauze all over the place?

Or perhaps just howling in pain due to the implants stretching the skin?
posted by chimaera at 12:57 PM on April 18, 2008 [2 favorites]


I'm waiting for "My Tragically Disfigured Mommy"
posted by Pollomacho at 12:59 PM on April 18, 2008 [2 favorites]


Heh- yes, chimaera that would be a lot more useful, actually.
posted by small_ruminant at 1:00 PM on April 18, 2008


My Mommy's "Complication" Developed a "Complication"
posted by chimaera at 1:40 PM on April 18, 2008 [3 favorites]


"My Voluntarily-Mutilated Mommy" didn't sell as well, eh?
posted by blacklite at 1:43 PM on April 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


[digression]
A few years back, the Times-Picayune printed an article about a new fad where plastic surgeons were throwing Botox parties. Swanky, black-tie affairs where people would get botox injections. Best headline ever: "Chardonnay and a shot in the face." Sounds like a pulp novel.
[/digression]
posted by brundlefly at 1:48 PM on April 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


I'm working on a book for FLDS members called "Heather Has Five Mommies."

Figured I might as well get the viral marketing started now.
posted by M.C. Lo-Carb! at 2:30 PM on April 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


Actually this is kind of interesting to me. I mean, if she's getting a nose job, face lift, breast augmentation, isn't this pre-emptively telling her children that the genes she passed down to them just aren't good enough and they should go through the same procedures if they want to be accepted as beautiful?

Mommy wasn't pretty enough on her own, and neither are you kid.
posted by Talanvor at 2:55 PM on April 18, 2008 [2 favorites]


Mommy wasn't pretty enough on her own, and neither are you kid.

That's what I was just thinking. How is Mom going to reassure her daughter about her looks when Mom has just gone out and had a surgeon hack her up?

"Mommy has gone out and had her nose cut up because her natural one was 'too big and ugly' and had her breasts stuffed with rubber balls because she had 'pathetic tiny boobs'.

Hang on. Everyone says I look just like Mommy. The old Mommy."
posted by pracowity at 3:29 PM on April 18, 2008 [2 favorites]


It just seems to offend some people's morality.

No, not really. Anything that causes unnecessary surgery and excessive pain in order to achieve some sort of "beauty ideal" is just sad.
posted by liquorice at 3:46 PM on April 18, 2008 [5 favorites]


if you can't honestly explain to a child how great it is, maybe you shouldn't be doing it.

Nail on the head, DU. Kids are smart and perceptive, and should never be underestimated.

But what if the surgery made her an uggo?

Luggo my uggo.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:10 PM on April 18, 2008 [3 favorites]


Bah, all mommies are beautiful and kids should be reminded of that. Surgery not necessary unless daddy has a problem in the pants. (Because she FEELS loved and beautiful, right?)


*hooks thumbs around suspender straps-remembers wife when she was sixt...uh, 18.*
posted by snsranch at 4:22 PM on April 18, 2008


I think the last chapter of the book should be called "Kanye's Mommy."
posted by SassHat at 4:50 PM on April 18, 2008 [2 favorites]


Hey jonson, just noticed your very chuckle-worthy post title. Good 'un!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:06 PM on April 18, 2008


"Inside," she said, "what does it do to them there. You alter them there, too. What kind of Jewish mother do they make, they are the kind who make a girl get a nose job even if she doesn't want one. How many generations have you worked on so far, how many have you played the dear old family doctor for."

"You are a nasty girl," said Schoenmaker, "and so pretty, too. Why yell at me, all I am is one plastic surgeon. Not a psychoanalyst. Maybe someday there will be special plastic surgeons who can do brain jobs too, make some young kid an Einstein, some girl an Eleanor Roosevelt. Or even make people act less nasty. Till then, how do I know what goes on inside. Inside has nothing to do with the chain."

"You set up another chain." She was trying not to yell. "Changing them inside sets up another chain which has nothing to do with germ plasm. You can transmit characteristics outside, too. You can pass along an attitude..."

posted by Bugg at 5:31 PM on April 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


My Dad had a moustache my entire infant life, until I was around 4, when he came home one day with it shaved off. I heard his voice, and ran to open the door. I ran away screaming because I thought a stranger was entering the house. The voice was his, but the face was not. Not only was I confused, but I was creeped the fuck out. I still vividly remember it to this very day. One of those flashbulb memories. Must have touched a deep, deep nerve.

Wish I woulda had a book like this to console me in my times of trouble.
posted by afx114 at 5:35 PM on April 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


Any such book should have Wooly Willy incorporated into the cover. That'd help. Or not.
posted by Bugg at 5:49 PM on April 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


Are these women sad and pathetic? What about her? Or her?
Why can't we respect other people's choices when it comes to their own bodies? If surgery makes them feel better about themselves, how can that not be a good thing?
Of course if being smug and judgmental makes you feel better about yourselves, then carry on.
posted by rocket88 at 7:44 PM on April 18, 2008


Hey rocket88, I think you might be barkin' up the wrong tree. There is a little bit of difference in body mods when you're talking about generations old tradition as opposed to "Heh, my nose looks funny.", or "I need bigger (fake and non-functional) boobs".
posted by snsranch at 8:39 PM on April 18, 2008


snsranch- I don't see any difference. There's some weird moral thing going on with it in these threads and I can't figure out what it is. If god wanted to you to look a certain way it's hubris to change it? Is it some sort of cheating? What am I missing? Why would anyone have any sort of judgement about how someone else wants to look? Why don't people get as upset over good makeup or well put together clothes? What about working out 3 hours a day? What about corsets? Girdles? Spanx?
posted by small_ruminant at 9:38 PM on April 18, 2008


There's eyeshadow, which is temporary and cheap, and whose major risk is making you look like a raccoon if you fall asleep in it, and then there's major surgery, which is permanent, painful, expensive, and has a fair chance of killing you. And in between, there are things like corsets, which people do get upset about, only not, of course, to the degree that they worry about kids wanting to pay a man to cut up their perfectly good bodies.

You see the difference.
posted by pracowity at 11:54 PM on April 18, 2008


If surgery makes them feel better about themselves, how can that not be a good thing?

Please don't use this argument to prove your point. All your saying is that so long as it makes them feel better it must be a good thing. Anorexics who starve themselves to look thinner feel better by doing so but I don't think anyone is advocating that that is a good thing.
posted by liquorice at 12:17 AM on April 19, 2008


Were I offered the opportunity to permanently transform myself to be able to live off planet and out in space (ala Man Plus et al), at the expense of ceasing to appear human, I'd do it in a heartbeat. It's my dream. Good-by earth, hello universe!

As for all who spend money in order to look more "human," well, that's darwinism in action.
posted by humannaire at 12:35 AM on April 19, 2008


Why would anyone have any sort of judgement about how someone else wants to look?

Because I know a bad toupee when I see one.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 1:31 AM on April 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


heh- but you usually don't know good plastic surgery when you see it because you don't see it.

pracowity, I do not see the difference, really. If I'm willing to take the risk and the pain, what's it to you? Maybe it's a California mindset, but people remaking themselves instead of settling for what they were saddled with is something I will always support.

I think we'll have to agree to disagree.
posted by small_ruminant at 8:46 AM on April 19, 2008


Personally, I don't understand in the slightest why anyone would want to cover themselves in ink, or put a metal bar through their brow, or stretch their earlobes with disks. I do understand why they would want a smaller nose, firmer breasts, fewer wrinkles, or a flatter gut. I just chalk it up to different beauty ideals for different subcultures, and don't see why either is worthy of scorn.
The level of self-righteous derision and judgment that pops up in every plastic-surgery thread is puzzling to me.
posted by rocket88 at 10:20 AM on April 19, 2008


Just a little amateur anthropological theorizing here, but I think the essential difference between body mods (tats, piercings, scarification, etc.) and plastic surgery is how they orient the individual with mainstream society. For the purposes of this discussion, let's limit it to the West.

In the case of the former, to generalize shamelessly, an individual will undergo body modification as either (1) an expression of individuality or personal aesthetic or (2) to bond him or herself to a particular outré subculture (punk rockers, goths, sailors, etc.). In the case of the latter (again, to overgeneralize), it's to alter the body to "correct" flaws or to push one's physical appearance closer to some external standard of beauty. So on the one hand, body mods are a means to deviate from the norm and plastic surgery is to conform to it. If more people were getting plastic surgery to change tiny, aquiline noses to look more like Jennifer Grey's old one, this would invalidate my theory.

Obviously, I've painted with an incredibly broad brush here, but I'm reasonably sure that this is where the derision comes from.

TYLER DURDEN: "Self-improvement is masturbation... Now self-destruction..."
posted by psmealey at 11:12 AM on April 19, 2008


ok, let's not start in on the pros and cons of masturbation...
posted by small_ruminant at 3:28 PM on April 19, 2008


There are cons?
posted by psmealey at 3:43 PM on April 19, 2008


Not that I've ever encountered.
posted by snsranch at 4:18 PM on April 19, 2008


Calluses?
posted by Locative at 3:32 AM on April 20, 2008


psmealey,

You may be on to something, but I think there's a problem with your distinctions. You theorized that people get body mods to, among other things, "to bond him or herself to a particular outré subculture (punk rockers, goths, sailors, etc.).", while people get plastic surgery to, among other things, "push one's physical appearance closer to some external standard of beauty".

Yet aren't these the same thing? Both involve the modification of the body to meet an external standard of beauty. You said, "So on the one hand, body mods are a means to deviate from the norm and plastic surgery is to conform to it." But, in both cases, the people are trying to conform to a norm, just different norms. The reason you'd get body mods to bond to a subculture is because that subculture has a standard you are trying to move towards. That standard might involve tattoos, piercings, and black leather instead of giant breasts and tiny waists, but how is the former any more legitimate than the latter? In all cases you are modifying yourself to meet a group standard of what you "should" look like.

pracowity,
Your answer was quite glib and didn't address the point at all. "There's eyeshadow, which is temporary and cheap, and whose major risk is making you look like a raccoon if you fall asleep in it, and then there's major surgery, which is permanent, painful, expensive, and has a fair chance of killing you." You left out the examples brought up of lip rings, neck rings, and other extreme body modifications that are painful and have a fair chance of causing serious, permanent harm. What separates those?

The people who get those things are also doing it to conform to their society's norms. They don't just individually come to the conclusion that neck rings rock; they're trying to meet a beauty standard. snsranch proposed that it's because the rings are ancient traditions, but is that what separates body modification from plastic surgery in our minds? That it's newer? Would people have less of a problem with it if plastic surgery had been around and practiced for a century?
posted by Sangermaine at 12:05 PM on April 20, 2008


I don't disagree that at the heart of the matter they may be the same thing or pretty damn near it, Sangermaine. I was just trying to describe why one group seems to draw more derision than others (at least on MeFI...in other venues it is likely quite the opposite).
posted by psmealey at 3:24 PM on April 20, 2008


psmealey
Ah, then I think there is just some miscommunication. I took your comment as going along with the general justification of the derision of plastic surgery over body modification, as opposed to explaining why there is greater derision here.

The reason, I think, is that MeFi seems to, generally, champion the sub/counter-culture over the mainstream culture, and conforming to the sub/counter-culture is seen as less of an offense as conforming to the general culture. The guy who gets tats and piercings so he can be/feel more "punk" is just as much a conformist as the lady who gets big implants, yet they would be looked at differently here.
posted by Sangermaine at 4:15 PM on April 20, 2008


To be fair, having a fair number of tattoos myself, I do notice when derision is targeted at people who have made similar choices ("all people with tattoos hate their parents LULZ"), so it's not like there's amnesty here. The last thing I am is someone desiring to conform to one subculture or another, my decision was purely on the level of just liking tattoos. But, I understand others desire to put people in easily categorizable buckets.

As to plastic surgery, my experience with it is this. Before we met, my wife got some very poor parental advice and was encouraged to get cosmetic surgery. It was something that, for reasons too numerous to go into here, she deeply regretted. We finally ponied up the dough last year to have some of it reversed (after 12 years), but as far as it goes, I have heard some pretty stark opinions about the whole thing over the years.

That said, I would not personally begrudge anyone for doing whatever they want to their bodies. Vive la différence, I say!
posted by psmealey at 4:29 AM on April 21, 2008


Hey, Sangermaine, I think when you see people talking crap about cosmetic/plastic surgery it's based on what people want to believe is a kind of sophisticated sense of aesthetics. It's difficult to explain, but I'll try.

When people get piercings and tatts, they're adding to what exists already. When people get bigger boobs and smaller noses it's an attempt to hide physical shortcomings. So, there is a sense of them having "copped out" or hiding something as opposed to celebrating their bodies.

Now, you could blow me out of the water by saying that bigger boobs are definitely ADDING to, and you'd be right, but it's still not the same.

(FTR-not judgmental-ist)
posted by snsranch at 3:40 PM on April 21, 2008


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