Liposuction and Children

Laurie says:

This is not going to be a thoughtful essay. This story about a 35-pound liposuction extraction performed on a 12-year-old child makes me want to kill someone (at least metaphorically).

When I wrote At the Debutante Party, I was trying to highlight the kinds of horrors that pressure women and girl children to the point where they feel more “comfortable” when they have sculpted themselves into perverse social standards. I am appalled by standards that reward people for damaging and abusing their bodies in the name of health and social approval.

When I think of the long term implications for these children’s health, I am totally horrified that I live in a world that encourages people to carve their bodies, and their children’s bodies, like marble sculptures.

Another topic we can all talk about on Tuesday, at 6pm West Coast Time, when you call in to Meet Body Impolitic on BlogTalkRadio. To get the details, use the button in the upper left-hand column or follow this link.

Grim appreciation to Lynn Kendall for the link.

liposuction, weight loss surgery, weight, fat, body image, size acceptance, children, BlogTalkRadio, Body Impolitic

12 thoughts on “Liposuction and Children

  1. FYI, the article says a 35-lb liposuction, not 53 lbs. Not that that lessens the horror of the story or the point your your post.

  2. I agree with Siobhan, however, the most enraging thing in our national insanity over outward appearance is that you’re more likely to see parents of fat children accused of being bad parents simply because the child is fat. So it’s not only the children on the playground that harass the fat child, it’s people in positions of authority that harass parents because their child does not fit the accepted image.

    You notice how the mother brings up the child’s blood pressure, as if mutilating her for appearance sake would lower it! Aiiiii!!!! America Eats Her Young.

  3. This is so godawful it is unspeakable. Our culture grows daily more insane. I too feel that these parents should have their child taken from them, but they will not, unlike some parents of fat children who have had them removed for no reason other than the size of their bodies. We need to find a way to save this generation of children, they are being led down the pathway to hell.

  4. Who should we prosecute for child abuse? The parents? That seems wrong, or inadequate, or somehow misdirected. The parents didn’t start the anti-fat pressure…they succumbed to anti-fat pressure. The article quotes a doctor who believes the child was dangerously overweight…I’m sure there’s a history of several doctors telling the family this child needs to lose weight, challenging her parents to Do Something about it if they want to save her life. I expect the child’s teachers, school counselors, parents of her classmates…all believed sincerely that she was dangerously fat and Needed To Do Something About It. Let’s not even go into the toxic soup of pressure from the media, and the attitudes of other adolescent girls.

    It doesn’t seem like much advantage to prosecute the parents for caving to the pressure and leave the child in place, surrounded by such pressure.

  5. Adrian,

    I agree. The answer is not to punish the parents -although regardless of societal pressures the responsibility is ultimately theirs.

    Actually, the parents who are more likely to be in danger of losing custody of their fat children (although rarely I hope) are the parents who resist the pressures to “do” something drastic about it.

    Someone may remember there was a case about this a few years ago. I don’t recall any of the details at the moment.

  6. You all are THE most selfish, self centered, narrow minded people I have ever heard of. I bet you are all thin, beautiful and have had cushy lives and were the cheerleaders of your classes. No??? Happy fat people? What gives? You seem to think that there is no such thing as a metabolic malfunction and that all fat children just sit around and eat and eat. You need some education that there are in fact children with metabolic weight problems that will NEVER lose weight no matter how much they exercise and diet! You would rather see them wait until they are 18 till they receive any help for their excess fat, live daily with humiliation, ridicule, rejection from children and adults and serious health problems. Other children are mercilessly cruel to fat kids (adults too) and you probably were one of them as a kid! Fat children suffer from serous self esteem issues and depression but you think that a parent who would like to alleviate the suffering is being abusive? You all suck!

  7. i agree with Christy. i will back her up every part of the way. i am one of those teenagers who gets hurt abused and much much more by other classmates. i know that they are all talking about me when i turn my head and even the ones that call me “friends”, they think i’m not looking and then they always have something to say about me. I’m sure you were one of the people to made fun of them, or us. do you really think that just because your older all the things that you said to the “fat” people then doesn’t affect them now?? please. you guys are the reasons why we do or did some of the things we did or do. You make us feel like were nothing and we don’t belong. If you are trying to look at who to blame here just look at a mirror. Every single person is guilty because they never knew the reason why some people were the weight they were, or are, but they always had something to say didn’t they.??

  8. Dear Kyla,

    I was one of the people who tried to protect kids who were bullied in high school and I was one of the kids who got bullied in grade school.

    No one should be bullied for how they look or who they are. I do remember how painful it was. This blog is about beauty in all sizes.

    I’m horrified by liposuction for kids because we have no idea of the effect it will have on young bodies and there’s a very good chance the effects will be bad.

    I’m sorry that your life is being so hard right now

  9. I’m sorry, but I completely agree with liposuction for kids.
    That is, at least, 12 years and older. Girls and boys suffer with their weight, not because of media and societal pressures, usually not because of others that tease, it’s how they feel about themselves. Nobody can be comfortable with six or seven fat rolls on their stomach, and even their backs. Kids are into cool clothes, and looking good, because they like to look good. It gives them self-confidence. They are uncomfortable with their weight because they’re just dying wear those cute shorts, not because some chick at school called you fat. Not because they saw Miley Cyrus wearing skimpy clothes so you feel like you have to. It’s all about how they look to themselves!

    P.S, I know this because I AM one of them. Not was, not will be. I am. I’m thirteen years old and about thirty pounds overweight. I can’t enjoy this summer because I feel I can’t wear a tank top without back rolls showing. I love liposuction and I would do anything to get it. Please don’t tell me i’m young and I need to pay attention to the things that matter most. Looking good to myself, I would consider a passion. This DOES matter most to me. Trust me, I know what i’m talking about on this one.

    1. Hi, Katie,

      I’m sorry you’re going through this, and I hope you get whatever help you need. I think that you need to pay attention to the things that matter TO YOU most, and if your weight is one of those things, that’s very important. Everyone knows what they’re talking about when they talk about themselves, very much including you.

      There are two reasons I don’t like the idea of liposuction for kids. First, I want everybody to feel like they’re cute in cute shorts, whether or not they have rolls of fat. That’s a really hard thing to imagine. You don’t have to believe me that it’s possible, you just have to believe that I mean what I say when we talk about it. I’ll trust you, and you trust me, okay?

      Second, I want you to be happy and healthy now, and next week, and next year, and when you’re grown up.

      You’re thirteen, and you’re old enough to make a lot of your own choices. I hope whichever ones you make work out well for you.

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