Does the phrase "self-esteem" even mean anything anymore? I ponder this as I read Monica Hesse's description of Dr. Robert Rey's recent appearance at a Sears in suburban Maryland in the Washington Post. Rey is one of the stars of E!'s reality show about plastic surgery, Dr. 90210, which often depicts Rey enhancing the breasts of the nouveau riche and the vapid. But apparently Rey is not just gracing Silver Spring to hawk his new line of body shaping intimates, he's also hawking something much more ephemeral: "bold, fawning attention from a medical professional," says Hesse. You can just feel the slime sluicing off his words when he says to one of the women in attendance at this public appearance, "You are one hot, yummy mommy." Another woman who waited in line to see the good doctor said,"He knows exactly what women want…He makes you feel so good inside."

Maybe I'm being too dismissive; if Rey makes these women feel good about themselves, what's the harm in that? But the fact that they derive self-esteem from these sorts of interactions in the first place is troubling. Rey has made millions based on the idea that a woman's natural body is even more attractive when enhanced (his mission is to bring amazing "boobies and bellies" to the masses), despite his lip service to the idea that women are beautiful "just the way you are." Women of the world, Rey's verbal smoothies are empty self-esteem calories!! Resist his tawny chest hair, resist!

Plastic Surgeon In Aisle 2! [Washington Post]