Here's the perfect Mother's Day gift for your favorite surgically-enhanced breeder: My Beautiful Mommy, a picture book explaining plastic surgery to the under-8 set. Mommy is by Dr. Michael Salzhauer, a Florida plastic surgeon who tells Newsweek he was inspired to write the book when he saw parents coming into his office with their kids, who would become confused and upset when they saw their mothers in bandages. "Parents generally tend to go into this denial thing. They just try to ignore the kids' questions completely...With the tummy tucks, [the mothers] can't lift anything. They're in bed. The kids have questions." The hero of the book is named "Dr. Michael" and he looks like the dad in the Incredibles, all solid muscle and square jaw.

My Beautiful Mommy tells the story of a little girl whose mother gets a tummy tuck and breast implants (did you guys know that this combo is referred to as a "mommy makeover"?) along with a nose job for good measure. Before the woman goes into surgery, she explains to her daughter, "You see, as I got older, my body stretched and I couldn't fit into my clothes anymore. Dr. Michael is going to help fix that and make me feel better." It's unclear why the mother also chooses rhinoplasty, but she does tell her daughter that the nose will appear "different, my dear—prettier!" (Because that's an excellent message to send to your daughter: isn't she going to think that her nose is inadequate, too?)

Newsweek quotes one mother, Gabriela Acosta, who got a tummy tuck. She read the book to her son, Junior, and at a party shortly after Acosta's recovery, Junior went around asking people, "Did you see her new belly button? It's so pretty!" The article gives stats about plastic surgery, including the fact that, last year, 348,000 women had boob jobs and 148,000 had tummy tucks, but what I'm wondering is who are these people?

There are so many articles about plastic surgery — women dying from Botox, women getting boob jobs for their weddings — but I barely know anyone who's had surgery at all. Sure, a smattering of post-grad nose jobs have occurred, but it doesn't seem to be this all-out country-wide body reconstruction/ self-loathing that the sheer amount of press makes it seem like. Is it because celebrities get so much surgery that it makes it seem like the norm? Or do I live in a fantasy land where women spend their money on new books, not new breasts?


Mommy 2.0 [Newsweek]

My Beautiful Mommy [Big Tent Books]