I didn't make this up, but it is genius

Fixing Mommy: A Book Explains Plastic Surgery to Children

Stephanie Kaster said her body is a temple -- one that needs to be redecorated every so often: In recent years, the 39-year-old mother of three has undergone liposuction and a breast reduction. "I tell my kids, 'Bob the Builder fixes buildings, and there is a doctor that fixes parts of mommy,'" Ms. Kaster said, referring in a single breath to an animated character of children's television and to her Upper East Side plastic surgeon.

But the next time she fields a question from her 6-year-old daughter about surgical scars or the like, Ms. Kaster, who lives in Midtown, need only open a book: A Bal Harbour, Fla., plastic surgeon has written "My Beautiful Mommy" (Big Tent Books, $19.95), which explains cosmetic surgery to school-age children. The story focuses on a teddy bear-clutching little girl whose mother is about to go in for a nose job and a tummy tuck. In the book, the mother tells her child: "You see, as I got older, my body stretched and I couldn't fit into my clothes anymore. Dr. Michael is going to fix that and make me feel better."

Dr. Michael is the book's author, Michael Salzhauer, a plastic surgeon who said the majority of his patients are young mothers coming in for a series of procedures -- a tummy tuck and a breast lift, among them -- that he calls "the mommy makeover." He said the book isn't meant to glamorize plastic surgery, but to allay children's fears about their parent's hospitalization and postoperative recovery. "Kids tend to associate a doctor's visit with being sick," Dr. Salzhauer, a father of four, said. "They come in with this puzzled look on their face and ask questions like, 'Is mommy dying?'"

A Park Avenue plastic surgeon, Paul Lorenc, said his patients today are much younger than they were when he started his practice 19 years ago. Early on, most of them were in their mid-to-late 60s; these days, they tend to be in their 30s and 40s, he said.
Of the 11.7 million people (mostly women) who went in for a cosmetic procedures last year, about 70% percent were under 50, according to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. As a result of the demographics, Dr. Lorenc said he sees a lot of mothers who want to know how to discuss plastic surgery with their children. Dr. Lorenc encourages parents to talk about how the operations will impact their appearance immediately after the operation and long-term -- giving more specifics to older children and fewer details to younger ones. "If the child is 14, 15, or 16, you can give a very rational answer," he said. "If they're 3, 4, or 5, it's unhealthy to say, 'Mommy has excess skin because I delivered you and your brother and sister, and now I need a tummy tuck.'"

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