The Paradox of the Disney Princess

I stumbled upon an interesting web article discussing the unreality of media and its effect on young girls beginning at a young age. The article claims that from the time we are wee little ones, girls are bombarded with the images of skinny Disney princesses and Barbie dolls. By the time we reach our teenage years, the images are even more engrained via fashion magazines with size 0, airbrushed chicks done up to perfection. And girls accept these images as reality.

Hell, I never considered the Photoshopping aspect until well into my twenties. I really did think that if I bought this facial cleaner, my complexion would be airbrush-flawless, or that this shampoo would make my hair sparkly shiny if I dropped it in slow motion like the commercials. When I was in high school, I remember trying to impress this boy by bringing an apple to school for my lunch. An apple. I remember him rolling his eyes at me, telling me how he hates girls that diet. I threw my apple away and fed my starving self from the cafeteria lunch line after that.

What would happen if we had Barbies or Disney princesses that were a more realistic size? Would that really be so terribly wrong? I’m not looking to Disney to change things up anytime soon, I mean- look how long it took them to feature a black Disney princess? If anyone in a Disney movie is overweight, it’s usually some short, bustling, matriarchic mother-figure with an ample bosom and sage words of wisdom- and she’s always like a helper or a servant of some sort.

I was elated to see the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty. Dove stepped outside of the box and actually featured REAL WOMEN, short, tall, fat, skinny. The success of that campaign was remarkable. What if other companies followed suit? What if this became the new norm for our future generations? Do you think it could ever be a possibility, and how influential do you consider the media to be?

Plastic Surgery Channel Announces New Site

The Plastic Surgery Channel announced the launch of their new site,, a new video-based source of credible information about all aspects of cosmetic and reconstructive surgery from the world’s leading board-certified plastic surgeons. The new, first-of-its-kind resource offers direct access to reliable, timely information on a broad range of aesthetic surgical procedures involving the body, breast, face and skin.

Wait? There’s a Plastic Surgery Channel? I don’t get this on my tv. Maybe it’s one of those channels that come with a cable package of 500 additional channels, and according to the program information, was founded for those thinking about getting cosmetic surgery. It’s a go-to source for all things you would need to know about any given procedure, with information from credible medical sources.

The new site also provides access to breaking news via the PSC Media Wire and the PSC Pulse Survey, a series of questions on various topics designed to help people considering cosmetic or reconstructive surgery to prepare for their initial physician consultation. Visitors can also search for a qualified, board-certified physician in their area through The Plastic Surgery Channel’s surgeon database and pose questions to specialists across the nation via the “Ask our Doctors” feature.

If ever there was award given for “most like to screw up your kid”, Sarah Burge would be a strong contender. The woman notorious for building herself as a brand based on the ridiculous amount of plastic surgery she’s had (she’s known as “The Human Barbie”) is in the news yet again, this time for giving her daughter- her SEVEN YEAR-OLD daugher, vouchers for breast augmentation for her birthday. The little girl has also received pole-dancing lessons courtesy of Mommy Dearest. Looks like she’s all set.

I keep reading these stories online of women encouraging, and in some cases adminstering, plastic surgery for their young children. So right from the very start, these children’s self-images are being destroyed by the very people who are supposed to be nurturing such an imperative formation. What is wrong with these people? Why are they being allowed to project their own negative self-images onto their innocent kids? How about giving your daughter a chance to grow up first?

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Human Barbie Has a Party

The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) are not amused. The newest trend emerging in the UK centers around “plastic surgery parties” where the injectable-loving party guests pay 25 pounds each to attend events with prizes including botox and fillers, teeth whitening, semi-permanent makeup, and pole dancing lessons. The BAAPS feel that these events, hosted by Sarah Burge (aka  “The Human Barbie”) trivialize cosmetic procedures and the profession itself.

“We are now seeing a new level of insanity and depravity in the way certain cosmetic surgery providers market and promote their services: life-changing, serious surgical procedures being raffled in an alcohol-fuelled evening extravaganza,” the Daily Mail quoted Fazel Fatah, plastic surgeon and president of BAAPS as saying.

The top prize for the event, dubbed “My Big Fat Plastic Surgery Prize Draw” includes a top prize of 4,000 pounds worth of surgery.

Hey there girls! Want bigger boobs but without the hassle of having to pay for them youself? Are you tired of the endless hours spent scrimping and saving your hard earned money to pay for breast augmentation and getting NOWHERE? Dontcha just wish a fairy godfather would come in and take all your problems away?! At LAST! Relief is in SIGHT!


It’s all I can say.   And as I present you with what I’ve stumbled across, you may (or may not) say the same thing. It’s the highly controversial website, a “social networking” site for women to correspond with men (ahem…excuse me…benefactors) who donate money to an escrow account set up for the girl to pay for breast augmentation. Each correspondence with the girl costs $1.20, with one dollar going towards the girl and 20 cents going to the website. The site is filled with a malady of ridiculous, borderline soft-porn stock pictures of young women in hideous cheap lingerie clinging to smug-looking men (attractive, non-creepy looking twenty-something Prince Charmings- because- right- THAT’S who is on there!) who are there to, uhh, furnish the assets. The girls are encouraged to “interact” with men as often as possible, because the more you chat up Sugar Daddy, the quicker you’ll get the goods. But wait- that’s not ALL! Create an online blog to showcase your profile, even engage in online games like (wait for it)…CHECKERS!! Even plastic surgeons can join in the fun! With 100% of the money going straight to the doctor’s office from the site (to prevent the girls from using the money for something like…oh, I don’t know…food for their kids),  surgeons can market their services for this distinguished pre-arrangement.

Ok…yuck. The whole website is creepy, it’s concept born from a drunken Vegas bachelor party where the founder and a few of his buddies “auctioned” a girl’s surgery, raising enough money for her within hours. If that’s not skeevy enough for you, perhaps the idea of engaging creepy men with photos and videos (think: a LOT of before and A LOT of after shots) and endless exchanges of email will do it. What about the concept (mindset?) that the benefactor may develop a sense of entitlement or ownership towards a part of your body that he feels he bought (which, for all intents and purposes, he did). I feel like I was metaphorically shoved back into 1955 by The whole “helpless woman” being rescued by the deep pockets of a generous daddy benefactor thing was just gross. And the client testimony just perpetuates this sad mentality.

The media reviews are not good- but they’re cleverly edited on the site to make the newcomer feel like this is all the rage, supported everywhere one could possibly imagine. It’s unclear whether the girl has to pay to be a part of this network (but if I were a betting woman, I would think so). I didn’t sign up to get the additional info. No thanks.

American Airlines Holds Beauty Contest: Harmless or Offensive?American Airlines is under fire for hosting “beauty contests” to find the best looking flight attendants. Even as I write this sentence, I am shaking my head in disbelief at the absurdity that some employees have to endure for the sake of employment. Sadly, though, this is a true story. In a “movement” to have first-class hotties serving your drinks and showing you how to click a seatbelt, American Airlines asked its employees to vote for the flight attendants who looked best in their new uniforms, dubbed the Face of Your Base contest. “Winners” get to be featured in company promotional material.

Union bosses are blowing the whistle on this, saying it reverts back to the old days of female weigh-ins and girdles as part of the uniform. Laura Glading, president of the Association of Professional Flight Attendants, urged union members to boycott the competition, saying that it undermined their chief duty of ensuring safety onboard a flight. Thank you. Because the last thing I’m gonna be thinking while the plane is going down is, “man, she looks hot under pressure”.

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There’s good news for you if you’re over 65 years of age considering a facelift. Researchers from the Cleveland Clinic followed 216 women over the course of three years and found that they were at no greater risk for surgery complications than those under 65, provided, of course, that they are properly screened. Interestingly enough, over 12% of the US population is over 65, and lots of them are having plastic surgery every year.

Dr. James Zins, chairman of plastic surgery at the Cleveland Clinic, released a statement from the clinic saying that “Facelift surgery in the elderly has always been perceived to carry more post-operative risk. According to our study and pre-operative screenings, patients over 65 had no statistically significant increase in complications.”

The study was published online May 27 in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery where researchers analyzed how 148 women younger than 65 and 68 women older than 65 had fared during facelift surgery as well as any complications that resulted from the procedures. They found that complication rates were not statistically different between the two groups, suggesting that age is not an independent predictor of risk. The researchers pointed out, however, that the proper screening of older patients is essential.

“It should not be generalized from the study that elderly patients can undergo a facelift operation with the same low complication rate as seen in the younger age group,” Zins said. “Careful screening of the elderly patients, and excluding those with significant co-morbidities, led to the low complication rate.”

My Mother’s Gift

In my 4th grade school portrait, you’ll find a 10 year-old girl with blue, plastic-framed glasses, snaggled teeth, and a forthright side ponytail. This was a staple style of mine back in my elementary days, and anywhere that I had to be that required VIP status, you could count on my “high-side” to be right there with me. The “high-side,” as my mother so affectionately dubbed it, was my signature (hey…don’t judge. I was a child of the 80’s. Try finding a cooler hairstyle back then).

One day, I got tired of my long hair and demanded that my mother cut it all off. Overnight, my mom became a cosmetologist. No, she didn’t go to hair school. She just declared herself “stylist to the stars, mistress of the mane.” And when I said “short and choppy,” she gave me a hairstyle that resembled a bowl on top of my head with my brown hair trimmed all around. But I loved it. I didn’t know better.

My mother supported me through each phase I went through. In junior high, when it was cool to dress like a cowgirl (hey, I grew up in Texas) , she combed the stores for the best deals on teal and mauve colored Wrangler jeans that would go great with my pink cowboy boots. In 10th grade when “grunge” was all the rage, she helped me select the perfect auburn shade to dye my hair, just as long as it wasn’t too purple. And in college, she was with me through every stage of my brunette to blonde process, which, if you’ve ever been through, can be an arduous, costly, and time-consuming process of trial and error.

My mom gave me this amazing gift: my sense of self. Even if it was completely opposite of what she had envisioned for me at the time, she allowed me to be myself, whoever I was at the time. And even if that changed 1000 times in one year, she was with me for every step, as long as it didn’t border on a Jerry Springer episode (i.e. no facial tattoos, ect.).

If I can pass on one thing to my daughter, it will be the confidence and freedom to be myself as my mother gave me. And for all of you mothers out there with your awesome daughters, may I suggest you do the same?

Considering breast augmentation? There’s an app for that. New Orleans plastic surgeon Dr. Elizabeth Kinsley has developed an iPhone app that simulates what you’ll look like after a boob job. Using a variety of implant sizes, Kinsley uses 3D imaging technology to visualize what you’ll look like with an increased bust size.

The app is called iAugment, and it allows a user to choose from a range of 17 different implant sizes from 210cc to 690cc.

For best results, the app recommends you start with a picture of yourself wearing a bra, swimsuit, or similar clothing. You then mark out the breasts using an onscreen cursor and a slider to adjust the size.

Dr. Kinsley said, “Breast augmentation can be a complicated procedure with women asking questions like ‘What will they look like?’ or ‘What size is right for me?’,” according to the Daily Mail UK.

“This is designed to give them the best idea possible of how they might look after surgery. You can show your friends, your boyfriend or your husband and say ‘What do you think?’”

Just be careful….there’s a button that posts your results to Facebook. Unless you want the opinion (and judgment) of 578 of your closet friends, make sure to avoid this feature.

(This one looks hideously fake)

I was lounging by the pool with my friend the other day when she suddenly turned to share her news with me. Before her summer vacation (scheduled for July), she plans to have her breasts augmented.

“Oh?” I replied, lowering my sunglasses. “Congratulations! What size are you planning to go to?”

Without hesitation, she responded, “At least double what they are now. If I’m getting surgery done, I want it to be noticeable, you know?”  And yes, I did know. Before my own surgery, I felt the same exact way.  It was my plastic surgeon that advised me otherwise, and any good surgeon will do the same. Ladies…proportionality is KEY! If you have a small frame, huge boobs are probably not going to look good. Take Victoria Beckham for instance. She got her huge implants removed and replaced with a smaller, more natural looking implant (see below).

If you have a larger frame, bigger implants can look great. But for you smaller sisters….I know it’s tempting to want a noticeable décolletage, but I give you fair warning: you run the risk of looking disproportional and possibly having a “rippled” look on the underside of the breast caused thin tissue covering.

After dispensing this little pearl of wisdom to her, I was able to set her straight on a few other misconceptions she had regarding surgery.

#1. You do not need a psych evaluation before you undergo breast augmentation surgery. I say this liberally, but I’ve only heard of this in cases where the surgeon believes that a patient may be addicted to plastic surgery or suspect Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD), both of which can be related.

#2. Depending on your doctor’s schedule, you shouldn’t have to wait too long for your breast aug surgery. It’s a pretty common and routine procedure, and in many cases, the surgery can be performed within the same month as your consult.

#3. Most patients recuperate from breast augmentation after about two weeks. Taking two months or longer (like my friend’s aunt) is not a typical recovery time.

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