Botox Mom


A caring single mother in San Francisco is one upping the neighborhood soccer moms by injecting Botox into her 8-year-old-daughter to reduce her wrinkles (apparently, 8-year-olds get wrinkles). She is a trained beautician and from what I can tell, really wants her daughter to be a superstar.

Oh, she also waxes her daughter too to get rid of her body hair.

Personally, I was shocked at the mother’s action in the most negative way possible: What kind of values is she teaching her daughter? Everything she is doing just seems so…wrong.

But wait, nothing she is doing is technically against the law nor is it really “wrong.” The mother sincerely believes what she is doing is the best for her daughter, and judging from the article, the daughter seems to be perfectly okay with it too. Parents send children to learn instruments from the best of the best hoping that their kids can develop into world-class players, and what makes preparing her daughter well for a beauty pageant so different from that?

This reminded me of an iThink discussion we recently had on “designer babies.” Essentially, parents can choose what their kids can look like (or even go as far to select for traits like talent, intelligence, personality, and immunity) because they sincerely believe (many accurately) that this would give their children the best advantages in the world.

So what makes this particular mother’s action seem so…not right to me? The mother knows what she is doing since she is a trained beautician, and I would be lying if I say “attractiveness discrimination” doesn’t exist. All the mother is doing is trying her best to give her daughter an advantage over her competition, and don’t we all do that? I feel like this is a case of moral intuitionism where my intuition is telling me that it is wrong though I cannot seem to make a legitimate rational claim of why it is.

I still can’t help but feel bad for the little girl because I feel that she is missing out on some important things – like how looks aren’t everything and that being “waxed” doesn’t mean you are an adult. The mother, in my opinion, is reinforcing a kind of unhealthy body image that is unattainable. But what position am I in to tell her that she is educating her daughter incorrectly?

But really? Botox in 8-year-olds?