Pretty Perfect?

I’ve seen this story floating around twitter and facebook, and I feel the need to comment on it.

Sarah Burge also known as “Human Barbie” has given her 7-year-old daughter quite an interesting gift for Christmas.  A £7,000 voucher for liposuction.

Poppy, age 7, and her mom, “Human barbie” Sarah Burge

Of course this gift can’t be used until little Poppy Burge is a tad bit older, as 7-year-old can’t legally have cosmetic plastic surgery.  But Ms. Burge believes she is “Investing” in Poppy’s future.  Just like other parents save money for college. Sure, seems about the same to me.

This isn’t the first time Poppy has been given a gift like this.  Last year, for her birthday, she received a £6,000 breast enlargement voucher. So at 16, if she’s not a DD (at least?) she can have that taken care of and not be such a small breasted freak.

I’m so terrified by this. Poppy isn’t the only 7-year-old in the world who thinks her worth is measured by her weight, her looks and her cup size. I’ve seen “haul videos” on YouTube where 10-year-old girls are showing what make-up they bought and how they apply it. Asking for tips, or giving tips on how to look your “prettiest” how to look “Perfect”

As a 10-year-old I was playing outside, using my imagination to create amazing adventures in the back yard. Watching Saturday morning cartoons. Helping my grandmother bake cakes and cookies. I never asked to wear make-up. I never wanted to. It was for grown-ups who clearly needed it since they were sooooo old (Remember when you though a 35-year-old was OLD?) I remember if my friends or female family members got into their mom’s make-up they were told to go wash their faces immediately!    But now, they sell make-up sets for little kids.

We’re teaching our daughters, at such a young age, that they are not naturally pretty. They need make-up to look good. And they MUST look good at all times.  It scares me. I’m afraid that even if I tell Avery she is beautiful a million times a day, there will be little girls, her peers (ya know the ones whose opinions seem to have the biggest impact) telling her “You’re not pretty, you need make-up!”  Pointing out blemished and freckles that need to be covered.

Ms. Burge has shown her daughter (who is a VERY pretty little girl, NATURALLY) that natural is ugly, and you have to change yourself and fit a mold of perfection or you’re worthless.  A lot of the comments I’ve seen are saying that Ms. Burge doesn’t love her daughter. That she’s a terrible mother, and Poppy should be taken away.  I don’t really agree.  I’m not saying she’s great by any means.  She definitely spoils her daughter, giving her monetary gifts instead of what most people think of as love.  But I don’t think it’s because she doesn’t love her.

Clearly Ms. Burge suffers from Body Dismorphic Disorder. She has spent over £500,000 on plastic surgery for herself. But she seems to truly believe that what she is doing will help her daughter in the future. I don’t think she feels that her daughter is, or will be ugly. Just that plastic surgery is the only way to ensure that you always look perfect and have value.   It’s sad. It’s scary. I feel bad for Poppy, and I feel bad for Ms. Burge. She needs help.

This whole story makes me sad. Sad for the future of little girls. Sad for the parents who try and try but can’t get their daughters to believe that they are beautiful. Sad for the little girls who are bullied and for the girls who bully. Sad.



  1. Beth @ TheAngelForever says:

    Ugh, feel SO sad for this poor little girl that will never understand acceptance of your true self. Her role model is pushing her ways that are clearly thanks to doctors that will not see the disease that she has. DSM shows that this exists and it would be nice for professionals to think about this. Oh and thanks for the link. I now know what my hubby was Tweeting to Rene Syler earlier today. I was out and so confused.

    • Sarah says:

      It truly is awful. The mom is sick…and passing the disease on…

      Yes I saw Renee’s post, your husband’s and them it was coming across in other “mom” blogs I follow…..craziness!

  2. Barb says:

    Clearly you have nothing better to do with your time than pick on someone who is not as naturally beautiful as you. This post takes the cake! 😉

  3. Summer Flores says:

    I agree with you Sarah, the mother needs psychological counseling. All these shows that exist like the Housewives of any county or anything you read something regarding women obsessed with plastic surgery, doesn’t anyone ever say to them, “Look, maybe you should get some professional help?” Clearly these women need it and this is a classic example of how it hurts the self esteem of the children they have.

    This makes me very sad.

  4. Becky DiStefano says:

    I find this whole fad of “perfect” just so silly. When my daughter, 5, asked me if we need makeup to look pretty, I simply said “no, we’re beautiful as we are, makeup is for fun” and that was the end of that. We need to model for our daughters so I never say “oh no I can’t go out without makeup on!” or any such nonsense. My daughter has NEVER heard of plastic surgery and very rarely plays with Mommy’s makeup. She’s more concerned with making her dolls look good than herself…just the way it should be.

  5. jen senecal says:

    This is just beyond disgusting and disturbing. While she may “love” her daughter, how can she really know what love actually is if she obviously doesn’t love herself? It’s a disease that carries a very distorted view on self-love.. so how can she possibly truly love her daughter if she already thinks her child will need all this surgery to be a beautiful person? she doesn’t seem capable of such a thing b/c she needs HELP for herself first. it’s borderline abusive, in my opinion. This is a helpless child who will be made to think she’s worthless unless she follows in the footsteps of her mentally ill mother. It’s beyond haunting.

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