What do you get the seven-year-old girl who has everything? Well, if you’re Sarah Burge, self-proclaimed “Human Barbie,” and the girl in question is your daughter Poppy, you give her a voucher for breast implants for her birthday, and you follow it up with a Christmas voucher for liposuction. Happy Holidays!
The gift that keeps on giving (you a complex about your body).
In her defense, Burge claims that Poppy asked for the vouchers for her birthday and Christmas, and that it’s OK because she told Poppy she has to wait until she’s 16 to get the procedures done. “She asks for plastic surgery all the time,” says Burge. “Girls don’t want Snow White and Cinderella anymore.” False dichotomy aside (it’s Snow White or a boob job, young lady!), I think we can all agree that seven-year olds often want things that aren’t necessarily healthy, realistic, or appropriate (pretty sure that if I’d had my way when I was seven I’d be living in the penguin enclosure at the zoo right now)—that’s why adults are usually around to put the brakes on. Or not.
Burge is well known in the UK for her own plastic surgery (she’s spent more than £800,000—about $1 million US—on various Barbie-fications) which is likely where Poppy found her inspiration. However, it should go without saying that a 51-year old woman’s decisions about what to do with her body are different than those of a pre-tween. I’m not judging Burge for her decision to be (and make a fortune as) a “Human Barbie”—that’s none of my business—but encouraging her daughter, whose body and mind are still developing, to plan for a future filled with silicone breasts and liposuction, is not only limiting, it’s reckless and ridiculous. Who knows how Poppy might want to look as an adult? NO ONE, because she’s seven! How about letting her make her own decisions about her body when she’s able, instead of purchasing augmentation procedures for her before she’s old enough to see a PG-13 movie?!
I’m no parenting expert by any means, but to say that these vouchers are sending harmful messages from mother to daughter seems like an understatement. Poppy is already quoted in the Daily Mail as saying that she, “can’t wait to be like Mummy with big boobs.” Could it be that she feels pressure to conform to a standard of beauty so unrealistic that it can only be attained through surgery? And could it be that her own douchebag mother is the one applying the pressure, or at the very least cheering her on from the sidelines with a checkbook? I don’t know what Poppy will get for her eighth birthday, but unless Sarah Burge has a change of heart I can only guess that it will be another voucher to be cashed in for a future plastic surgery. Well Sarah Burge, this Douchebag Decree is effective immediately.