In another TODAY Moms post today, we wrote about the coming-of-age "aesthetic" milestones for tween girls, as part of a discussion of "When is it OK to..." do things like wear makeup, shave legs and get your ears pierced.
Now, we bring you "When is it NEVER OK to…"
For that, we go to this bizarre story that's all over the British press and originally came from the The Sun, which reports that 8-year-old Britney Campbell gets Botox treatments in her face from her 34-year-old mom, Kerry, a beautician. Britney also gets routine waxes of leg hair and a monthly "virgin wax." This is a bid, her mom says, to stop pubic hair from growing when she hits puberty.
(A caveat here: Since The Sun is a tabloid, we can't be 100 percent sure how much is fact or fiction; especially since it's by the same reporter who wrote "I'm so desperate for a baby I grab strangers for sex on nights when I am most fertile," and, "I have sex with other women's husbands to prove they are cheating.")
Described as a "beauty pageant-obsessed single mum," Kerry Campbell has a reason for putting her child through such painful procedures:
What I am doing for Britney now will help her become a star. I know one day she will be a model, actress or singer, and having these treatments now will ensure she stays looking younger and baby-faced for longer.
Shocked? But wait, there's more.
Campbell, who The Sun reports lives in San Francisco, administers the Botox treatments herself. She says she buys Botox and Restylane online and has a "home-assembled kit of needles." In the past year, her daughter has had parts of her face and lips injected four times.
Campbell claims that wrinkle-free remedies are par for the course in the American beauty pageant system.
When Britney takes part in pageants, parents talk about how they have given their daughter an extra jab to plump her lips or lose a wrinkle. Everyone is doing it and talking about it.
(We have seen the "Toddlers & Tiaras" episode where a 5-year-old gets waxed; so maybe this part is not all bunk.)
As for Britney, she's allegedly fine – even thankful – of her mom's efforts. "My friends think it's cool I have all the treatments and they want to be like me. I check every night for wrinkles, and when I see some I want more injections," the 8-year-old says.
This is one of those train-wreck tales that's so perplexing, you don't know where the outrage should begin. But we've got three places to start:
First, in the U.S., it's not even legal for a beautician to administer Botox. States have different laws, but in most states only doctors, dentists and some nurses and physicians assistants can administer it.
Second, regardless of whether it's legal for a child to receive Botox for cosmetic purposes, it's insane. It's poison being injected into a cherubic face.
Third, there are only two words to describe a mother who thinks it's OK to put their child through painful, potentially-harmful treatments, all in the quest for a wrinkle-free, hairless chance at stardom: Mommie Dearest.
Do you think it's OK for kids to get Botox treatments? (Eds note: And if so, may we have your name and address so we can alert the proper authorities?)