“Coco McAtee, I thank the stars everyday that we had that conversation and I decided to have you come and talk with my Girl Scouts. That is one of the best things I think I ever did for those girls..."

Coco McAtee LSCSW
Family Life Educator | Speaker | Facilitator


Telling the Truth About Bodies



May 20, 2013

Mom Gives Botox to 8-Year-Old Daughter:
How Young Is Too Young?

I was up early today and watching the weather. Storms. Between weather updates, there was the ad for Jimmy Kimmel’s new Bachelor Babies!!

You watch adorable children being scripted to talk about clothes, brides, “finding the one”. I thought how we rush kids all the time. In the 70’s, David Elkind wrote a book entitled The Hurried Child. The old link I share today is about the mother who made her 8 year old get Botox because she is in beauty pageants. I emphasize “Made” because as adults we wield the power over our kids whether we realize it or not. They are vulnerable, appropriately so. It is a characteristic of being a child, a developing child. This 8 year old may ‘morph’ into the young 20 something who hates her mom later for clearly showing she was not okay in all her eight-year-oldness. TED talks in the past have in fact featured a poet who expresses this very feeling since her mom routinely took her for plastic surgery as a child to “correct” her nose, and other features over time.

Oh that we not live through our kids. It is a struggle because we want them to experience success and happiness, perhaps things we missed growing up.  But as one grieved mom shared at the murder of her college-age son, “they are only on loan to us. They don’t belong to us.”

Let us treat one another like the one-time treasure that we all are. That includes loving ourselves as we are.