Happy Birthday… Here’s Your Boob Job

free-boob-jobIn a world where our young girls seem to struggle with self-image more than ever before, what is the greatest thing we can do to boost their confidence?

How about the gift of cosmetic surgery for their 18th birthday?

“Happy birthday sweetie… let me fix that for you.”

That’s what Orange County cosmetic surgeon Dr. Michael Niccole did for his daughters when they were as young as age 10. He fixed his daughter Charm’s protruding belly button at 10, then gave Brittani new boobs at 18, followed by a new nose three years later. Now both sisters have had their breasts done by Dad (a little creepy, if ya think about it).

This kind of parenting seems especially peculiar considering all the research emerging about the incredible impact moms and dads have on their kids’ self esteem, and how a parent’s perspective on body image impacts kids’ perspective. Our girls have so much more to offer than just being sexy. Sadly, many young girls today are buying the lie, and are rapidly becoming what the American Psychological Association (APA) would define as sexualized.

Yes, I realize that cosmetic surgery isn’t a slam-dunk taboo. After all, most American parents wouldn’t hesitate to give our kids braces, right?

How about removing a birthmark?

Removing a bump on your nose?

Changing an A-cup to a D-cup?

Where’s the line? Is a boob job a leap towards “sexualization” as opposed to a nose job? Is either cosmetic fix sending our kids the right message?

Did plastic surgeon daddy take it too far? How prophetic was the 1964 Twilight Zone episode, Number 12 Looks Just Like You? (Sorry, the movie geek emerges out of me sometimes.) How far is too far?

What are we communicating to young people today with all these cosmetic fixes?

I’d love to hear your thoughts (jump in and comment).

About Jonathan McKee

president of The Source for Youth Ministry, is the author of over twenty books including the brand new The Teen’s Guide to Social Media & Mobile Devices, If I Had a Parenting Do Over, 52 Ways to Connect with Your Smartphone Obsessed Kid; and the Amazon Best Seller - The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket. He has over 20 years youth ministry experience and speaks to parents and leaders worldwide, all while providing free resources for youth workers and parents on his websites, TheSource4YM.com and TheSource4Parents.com. You can follow Jonathan on his blog, getting a regular dose of youth culture and parenting help. Jonathan, his wife Lori, and their three kids live in California.
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12 Responses to Happy Birthday… Here’s Your Boob Job

  1. Matthew says:

    It sounds like at least one of the daughters is getting regular procedures so that she doesn’t look old (even though she’s only 25) and she won’t sweat (which is just plain unhealthy). It sounds like they have totally bought into the lie of external beauty and physical “sexiness”.

    The mom even says that they always taught the daughter “beauty is within”, but I can’t help but wonder if that message was drowned out by a much bigger message they were sending with how they lived and what the dad does for a living.

    They make a statement how the daughter gained more confidence in herself once she got her “enhancement”, but I wish they knew that true confidence in who you are is found in your identity as a child of God, not in the size of your chest.

    PS: It is really creepy that a father would do this to his own daughters…

  2. Kevin Gustafson says:

    Good topic. Wow, cosmetic surgery on a teenager! I don’t view braces as a cosmetic fix, it is done for health reasons too. One could argue that some skin imperfections could be deemed health risks and removed as well, so I guess I’d be OK with that. But boob jobs are not helping anything, and possibly harming them when they become mothers (not sure about that???) Certainly getting that done is telling the girl that her body is not good enough.
    Sure you can say “Your beauty is on the inside” but when you then pay for her to have work done, your message is not lining up.
    As a youth pastor, when I talk about beauty, they seem to convey back to me “Well your supposed to tell me I’m beautiful the way God made me” and “our identity is found in Christ not what others think of me.”
    So its tough to get them to realize the truth when the world’s message of outer beauty is so prominent.

    Thanks for writing these blogs Jonathan! I read them a lot but never had commented. Your whole website is a great resource as well!

  3. I’m not a doctor or a philosopher so I hesitate to comment on what’s healthy cosmetic surgery and what’s too much cosmetic surgery. But as a dad and a pastor, I have plenty to say about the importance of self-image and the flawed ways we go about building it (and protecting it).

    Our son is blond-haired and blue-eyed, tall and strong, with a great sense of humor. He’s got all his fingers and toes and teeth…but he also has insecurities. When my wife and I engage him on what he thinks to be flaws in his appearance, our solution has never been “let’s get some work done.” That’s because we don’t want our son to build his self-image (and certainly not his self-worth) on something as shallow as a the “perfect” nose or chin.

    But my son is, well…a boy. And this conversation just isn’t the same when you cross the gender line.

    As a pastor, my reflections about young ladies and their constant pursuit of physical perfection is saddening. Far too many times, I’ve seen young women exhaust themselves on trying to achieve the perfect face, body, or image because they are never satisfied. (After all, it’s hard to compare actual humanity to the prowess of a professional graphics artist equipped with Photoshop.)

    Unfortunately, so many of these young ladies tend to be unfulfilled as they approach image nirvana. They’ve built their entire self-worth on a constantly-deteriorating body, and it takes its toll in the form of broken relationships, low self-esteem, destructive coping mechanisms, and so on.

    We all bear the Imago Dei, regardless of our noses, our chins, or our waistlines. The path to personal fulfillment (and peace) doesn’t run through countless out-patient surgery centers; it is found by discovering our inner beauty and then surrendering that to God. (1 Peter 3:3-4)

  4. Michelle says:

    Wow! Being a pediatrician, a wave of nostalgia came over me as I recalled my days in the OR as a resident participating in surgical procedures….layered with the memory of a dear friend who asked me years ago, “What do you think about me getting a boob job?” As time unfolded, an unhealthy relationship with her husband has surfaced and I believe she was looking to enhance her physical appearance to allure her husband back to her as conflict and distance in their relationship was growing. I think your report of the surgeon and his daughters points to low God-esteem and a deficit in the knowledge that we are all fearfully and wonderfully made. I pray that more young women don’t fall victim to the “band-aid” of surgical procedures as a quick fix for a deeper problem. It’s not their breasts that are too small; it’s their knowledge and love of God that is too small!

  5. Patricia says:

    I am torn about this – I can argue both sides (though not a father and not a teenage boob job). “Number 12 Looks Just Like You” had a big impact on me when I was growing up (remember the end where they adjusted the personality too?) I can usually think of other things to spend money on than cosmetic surgery. That being said, I have had a boob job (past being a teenager) mostly because I was tired of being disproportionate and wanted to easily buy clothes. Also, I recommended to a friend whose son had a birth defect that she have plastic surgery done to correct his inability to close his mouth. She was reluctant because she didn’t want him to feel like she didn’t love him like he was. After much consideration, the surgery was performed. He was much more comfortable, happier, and people didn’t categorize him so readily. I would certainly recommend it for anything that needs correcting, say cleft palate. Personally, if I or one of my children had a receding chin, I would get it fixed (“fixed” right there says something because I don’t know of any medical reasons to change it). People spend time and money on other aspects of how they look, hair, makeup, clothes. It would be a lovely world if what was inside was what counted, but it is not that world, so how do we cope? For myself, I have an easy answer, I really don’t care what people think about how I look or what I wear, I base my decisions on what makes me happy. For my children, I would help them fit in as much as they wanted to and was reasonable (no designer tennis shoes or boob jobs) at the same time trying to teach them that who they are is more important than how they look.

  6. Joëlle says:

    It’s not hard to comment on a dad who fixes his daughters to his own likings using his scalple. But which parent (or teacher, or youthworker) is not (I mean: never) guilty of trying to force or manipulate a child to be (or at least behave) as it “should”, by using his tongue (or even a gesture) as a scalple? I certainly am 🙁

  7. Nick says:

    Boob jobs and plastic surgery? I am torn on this, here is why after reading the article and the reply’s from other I could not help but think about how God made and formed us and how He is the potter and we are the clay. And He made us this way, at the same time I have a disability that I have lived with my whole life and will have to live with it until the day I die, no surgery could fix it but if there was a surgery that could fix it I would go today. The loneliness I felt growing up and even at time now as an adult I face is painful.

    The question you have to ask is why are you doing this?

    Are you doing it to improve your life?

    Are you doing it to selfishly improve your life?

    There are some adjustments that will improve your life people can see you had surgery and not question it.

    Then there are those adjustments that people can see that you had surgery and make comments about it.