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Dr Manny's Notes

Mother Gives 7-Year-Old the Gift of Plastic Surgery

Where do I even start with the most ridiculous news article of the new year?

I’m reacting to an obscene story reported by the Daily Mail, which alleges that 51-year-old plastic surgery addict Sarah Burge, also known as the Human Barbie, gave her daughter a $9,000 gift voucher for liposuction for Christmas.  Burge said she is merely “investing” in her child’s future.

What I have failed to mention so far is that this child is only 7 years old – and it was only last year that she received a similar gift for her birthday: a voucher for breast implants.

What a mother.

First of all, plastic surgery addiction is a reality – and one Burge could feasibly pass on to her own daughter.  

As with most addictions, excessive reconstructive surgery comes with serious physical risks like wound breakdown, nerve damage, abnormal scar formation and chronic pain.  I believe that plastic surgery should only be considered on patients that truly need it and have had an informed conversation with their physician, who should be fully accredited to receive these procedures.

Also, I am not one to interfere with parenting – God knows it’s a hard job – but has the world gone mad? Shouldn’t we be trying to instill our children with values like dignity, respect, self-esteem and good moral conduct?  Isn’t that part of parenting too?

This is the beginning of a new year, and it is important for parents to recognize that we have to do a better job in implementing family values.  

I don’t think this story only applies to plastic surgery either.  We talk, for instance, about childhood obesity rates, which increase every year. As I speak with more people who know more about this issue than I do, they say how important it is to eat dinner at home more often, or sit down for meals at regular times and make meals last by talking about daily activities.  

I believe we need to make a return to those traditional values if we want to make a dent in the obesity rate and all the chronic health problems that accompany it, like type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

I don’t know if Burge is looking for publicity, but she needs to understand that what she is doing could permanently damage her child.  Not only because this child could become another plastic surgery addict like her mother, but because one day, as an adult, she might go online and see exactly what her mother was doing to her at the age of seven and realize that her life and her future were not being protected.

Dr. Manny Alvarez serves as Fox News Channel's Senior Managing Editor for Health News. Prior to this position, Alvarez was a FNC medical contributor. Click here more information on Dr. Manny's work with Hackensack University Medical Center.
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