Imagine the scenario…you’re working hard as a cleaner and you have two young teenage daughters to look after. Your girls moan about not being happy with their looks, so what would you do? As mum of an 18 year old and 12 year old daughter, I’m used to the odd negative comment: ‘I hate my freckles, my bum looks big, I wish my boobs were bigger…’ These are normal, teenage dilemmas, surely? Well, in today’s issue of The Sun there’s a story about a Colombian cleaner who spent more than£10,000 on flying her 15 year old daughter to Colombia to have bum and boob implants and liposuction. The youngest daughter had a nose job at 14 and has now also had a buttock implant to give her the shape of her adored idol, ‘bootylicious’ Jennifer Lopez.
The fact that the mother of these girls is a cleaner and has spent thousands on cosmetic surgery for her teenager daughters is mind boggling enough – surely the money would be better off spent or saved for their education/future rather than lavished on their appearance? But what’s more disturbing than the amount of money spent, is the fact that this mother is actually feeding her children’s insecurities about their looks by allowing their bodies to be cut, nipped and tucked! Most doctors would agree that a woman’s body might not be fully developed until the late teens and early twenties and so cosmetic surgery before this age is definitely not recommended, and wouldn’t be allowed in Britain.
The reason this story made the papers is because, thankfully, this mum’s reaction to her children’s looks is so unusual and extreme – as are those of the fluff-for-brains mums who allow their teens to have botox or their toddlers to have spray tans and wear false eyelashes. Of course, as women, we are aware that the images of perfect, flawless women in films and magazines will have an effect on our girls, so it’s our duty to remind them that most of the glamorous pictures they see are airbrushed and not realistic. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t encourage my girls to make the most of their appearance – even if it’s just trying to prevent Little Angel from leaving the house with un brushed hair and holes in her tights (I don’t always succeed).
To me, it’s common sense that we should instil confidence in our children by telling them they are gorgeous just the way they are and letting them know that looks should come second to a lovely personality and being a good person. But while I’m on the subject of teenagers and their looks, if your daughter is experimenting with makeup and looking more Coco the Clown than Coco Chanel, you might want to invest in makeup guru Bobbi Brown’s Beauty Rules, £17.99. This easy to flick through book is described as ‘a fresh, energetic beauty bible for teenagers and young women’ and I love the way it promotes natural beauty and goes over the makeup basics, showing girls how to achieve a glowing, pretty look to boost their confidence rather than masking their complexion.