Athens mom Ryan Griffin was driving her 13- year old daughter to school when an advertisement for Parker Plastic Surgery came on the radio. The ad promoted a Mommy Makeover targeting moms in the Athens area who had lost confidence in their bodies after having children.
The commercial hit a nerve with Griffin. She became incensed by the "baby-like" female voice that suggested that plastic surgery could help build a mom's self esteem. "It targets all Mothers and publicly causes them to question their body concepts," she said. "It's specifically run at 8 in the mornings, such that women who are driving their children to school or to work hear the ad."
She paid a visit to Parker's website and was even more offended to discover that the most common procedures offered in the makeover were a Tummy Tuck, Breast Lift, Breast Augmentation, and Liposuction.
"Suggesting that Mothers cut up their bodies with unnecessary surgeries in order to conform to an unhealthy societal paradigm is very sickening to me." added Griffin. "Plastic surgery has many risks, including death, unconsciousness from anesthesia, disfigurement, permanent scarring, and unexpected, prolonged pain."
Her annoyance inspired her to take action against Dr. Parker's practice. She has threatened to picket his office with fellow parents who are offended by the ad. Their sole objective is to convince him to change the radio ad campaign to no longer target moms and to remove the Mommy Makeover page from his website. Many women have come forward to say that they, too, are offended by the campaign and would be willing to be shoulder-to-shoulder with Griffin in protest.
Parker Plastic Surgery stands behind the ad and argues that term “Mommy Makeover” is a very common plastic surgery term used to describe those surgeries that target the areas most affected by childbirth.
"The premise behind our current radio ad is to let mothers know that it’s okay to do something for themselves after they’ve done such a great job being a mom," said Derin Hill, Practice Manager for Dr. Parker's office.
The office posted a question on their Facebook page asking what procedure their fans would want the most and tailored the "Mommy Makover" to meet those requests. All procedures are not performed in the immediate post-partum period. Parker's patients are mothers of all ages who have children of all ages, Hill said.
This local controversy shines a light on the body image issues that many women face after giving birth and nursing children. Some moms feel pressure to meet society's standard of beauty and struggle to shed weight gained during pregnancy.
I've known women whose breasts were disfigured after breastfeeding. They elected to have a breast lift after they weaned their babies and felt better about themselves for having had it done. I've also known women who cherish the belly that carried their children and would never consider going under the knife to achieve a tight stomach.
Griffin is one of those women who loves her body the way that it is. "I have escaped from the societal campaign to make me want to cut up my body," she said. "I wish the same for every woman on this planet and wish we would all gather together outdoors and join hands to celebrate our womanhood!"
If you want to get involved with Griffin's cause, you can contact her directly by email.
Has your body image changed since giving birth? Would you ever consider cosmetic plastic surgery? Are you offended by the concept of the Mommy Makeover? Please share your thoughts and opinions in the comments.