Sarah Burge has made a minor name for herself by turning herself, via plastic surgery, into the "Real Life Barbie." Yet Burge has seemingly tired of "improving" her own image, and has now moved on to her 16-year-old daughter, Hannah.
Burge claims that her daughter asked about using Botox, and that she approved, citing Hannah's use of the computer and the potential wrinkles it might cause. Note that Hannah doesn't actually have any wrinkles; Burge just wants to stop them from appearing by using Botox not as a wrinkle-solution, but as a preventative measure. "I'm not saying she has wrinkles now," she tells the Daily Mail "but if we can prevent them in the future, what's the problem?"
The problem, naturally, is that shooting botulism into a teenage girl's face in order to prevent the possible wrinkles that might appear years later is completely asinine; not only is Burge performing unnecessary cosmetic procedures on her daughter, but she's also reaffirming the societal notion that aging is something to be feared, and that healthier preventative measures for young women, such as wearing sunscreen and eating well, for example, should be tossed aside in favor of a quick fix. This is not a matter of an adult choosing Botox to erase already-existing wrinkles, but of a mother passing down her own skewed standards of beauty to wipe away wrinkles that aren't even there.
Burge's interview with the Daily Mail is fairly depressing: she appears to base her entire self-worth around her looks, noting that her surgery "makes me happy, and a fun person to be around. Can you imagine what I'd be like if I was fat and ugly and never wanted to have sex with my husband? That's the reality for a lot of women." She also claims that most of her critics are, of course, jealous: "The majority of those who criticise me are women, and they are bitter people who, given the money and the opportunity, would go out and have something done themselves. The only ones who sit in judgment of me are the big, fat, ugly ones anyway. It's jealousy, pure and simple.'
But I don't really give a shit what Sarah Burge does to her body: those are her choices, and she's happy with them, and as far as I'm concerned, that's her business, not mine. What does concern me, however, is that Burge doesn't seem to see the harm in subjecting her underage daughters to the same standards, or in encouraging injections over behavioral changes. As the "real life Barbie," she seems to have forgotten that her daughters are young, impressionable human beings, not dolls who need to be kept in their boxes, so to speak. Burge notes that in a world where sex, drugs, and drinking dominate teen culture, her daughter being Botoxed is the least of her concerns. But she fails to recognize that the messages she's sending her daughter; notably that aging is absolutely unacceptable and must be prevented before it even begins, show that she hasn't really considered that there's a lot more to growing up than the changes that appear—and can be hidden—on the surface.
[Image via Real Life Barbie.]