Momlogic's Vivian: Nobody's perfect. I'm certainly a far cry. I could think of a million ways I'd like to make myself more photogenic. And I think there are few people on earth who can't.
To feel this way is one thing, but to act on it to the extreme is another. Heidi Montag recently sat down with "Extra" reporter Terri Seymour to list her recent, extensive cosmetic surgeries. And the list was considerable: She had "a little bit of Botox" and an eyebrow lift (at the ripe old age of 23, mind you), her ears "tucked," her nose "realigned," fat injections put into her cheeks and lips, and her chin "shaved down."
The best part? She says she's done "for now," but would still like her triple-D boobs pumped up to an H, "for Heidi."
When Seymour asked Montag what kind of message these actions convey to young women, she replied that if they want this kind of surgery "they'd get it anyway."
We asked our clinical psychologist, Dr. Michelle Golland, for her take. What was Heidi thinking?!
"I see a young woman starving for attention and fame," says Dr. Golland. "The only value she believes she has is that of her looks and persona which, let's face it, is why she was on TV in the first place. This low self-esteem has caused her to believe that if she were to be 'perfect' physically, she would feel better about herself. But as we can see, in her case, the desire for more surgeries still exists. Clinically, this tells me she will continue this path until hopefully a doctor will refuse to treat her."
So what should we tell our "Hills"-obsessed tweens and teens who look up to her?
Dr. Golland says it's important to see this as an opportunity to discuss the importance of internal beauty. "Help teenagers evaluate what Heidi is doing and how she clearly only values the physical," says Dr. Golland. "Discuss how sad it is that this young woman has bought into this very limiting view of herself. Then call their attention to what other values other women have, and how unrelated to beauty those values are."
Is your daughter pondering a costly transformation of her own, à la Montag? You can help. Dr. Golland recommends these tips to help raise your daughter's self-esteem:
- Encourage positive self-talk
- Promote and praise their passions and achievements
- Promote a healthy positive family lifestyle
- Encourage an attentive connection with her father (if possible)
- Discuss how media plays a role in defining beauty, how things are airbrushed, and that most reality shows are not really real.
|Vivian Manning-Schaffel has written for Babble, Parenting, The Advocate, The New York Post, Business Week and a variety of other publications and lives and works in the heart of breeder Brooklyn with her husband and two kids. She authors two pop culture blogs: The Mad Mom and A Hag Supreme, and is on the web at vivianmanningschaffel.com.|