ModBlog News of the Week: March 25th, 2011

Well, it’s Friday Friday Friday and I’ve got my bowl of cereal all ready for today’s news post.  It’s a pretty light week for news but there are a few stories to get you through the afternoon/evening.

To start things off is a story out of England that may possibly make you sick, and at the least make you want to strangle this mother of the year candidate.

LIKE other eight-year-old girls, Britney Campbell loves dancing to Lady GaGa, is fond of fashion and enjoys putting on make-up.  Once every three months, Britney climbs on a beautician’s table and watches as mum Kerry prepares needles of Botox and fillers to be injected into her face.  Beautician Kerry, 34, from Birmingham, buys the substances online and injects them into her daughter’s forehead, lips and around her eyes.

The beauty-pageant obsessed single mum also takes her to have her body waxed, in a bizarre bid to stop her growing hair when she eventually hits puberty.

Britney says: “My friends think it’s cool I have all the treatments and they want to be like me. I check every night for wrinkles, when I see some I want more injections.  “They used to hurt, but now I don’t cry that much.  “I also want a boob and nose job soon, so that I can be a star.”

Kerry first injected Britney with Botox in May last year, as a present to celebrate her eighth birthday.  She says: “One day I had to keep her home from school as she had a slight headache, but apart from that she has had no reaction at all.  “She also has her virgin wax monthly, which gets rid of her fluffy leg hair and makes sure she wont develop pubic hair in the future.  “It will save her a fortune in waxing when she’s older.”

Little Britney says: “I feel like a supermodel and if I do ballet or go swimming I don’t have to worry about hairy legs. Although the pain makes me cry, I feel like a cool grown-up when it’s all over.” Kerry plans to get Britney’s eyebrows waxed this year.  She is also hoping to get them lightly tattooed to an arched shape and is also considering a light pink tattooed lip-liner.

When it comes to body modification, it’s an individual making the choice to alter their body in a way that they desire.  But at what age is it acceptable to start thinking about serious modifications?  There is no doubt that the mother is putting pressure on her child to achieve a desired physical transformation, but waxing the crotch of your 8 year old daughter just seems pretty excessive.  Not to mention injecting botulism into her face, and letting her think that wanting implants at her age is normal.  I try not to be too judgmental when it comes to non-celebrity stories, but this story really makes me want to slap the mom upside the head.

More to news to come…

If you recall, last year the 9th circuit court of appeals in the US made a ruling that tattoos are a form of free speech and therefore protected under the first amendment.  The reason that this case made it so high up the judicial ladder was because the city of Hermosa Beach in California was trying to prevent a tattoo studio from opening within city limits.  Well it seems that even with the law on their side, some studios are still having problems setting up shop in the city.

Six months after a federal appeals court struck down a Hermosa Beach ordinance outlawing tattoo studios, a fast-growing group of residents is trying to block their potential proliferation in town.  They’ve passed out fliers, organized on Facebook and relayed messages on Twitter. They’ve signed petitions and taken out newspaper ads. And this week, they took their fight to City Hall.

“This is going to be a playground for the element of people that live that style. We believe that will bring problems.”

I’m a little curious as to what style of life they think tattooed people live.  Any ideas?

How much do you love video games?  Or one game in particular?  Well a fan of Yakuza 3 went all out and won a contest that allowed him to get about $9000 worth of tattooing done for free.  The catch?  Get the same tattoo as one of the characters in the game.

Gaming tattoos are not a new phenomenon and we’ve seen plenty of examples ranging from small and cute to large and painful. But last year Sega ran a competition in Australia offering one gamer and dedicated Yakuza 3 fan the opportunity to win the tattoo main character Kazuma Kiryu has on his back.

In order to win you had to state in 25 words or less why you deserved the tattoo. The winner was 46-year-old Fari Salievski who has now had the tattoo applied with Sega releasing pictures of the finished tattoo and stages of Fari getting it done.

It looks like the artist did a good job copying it from the game, although the script on the left side is completely different, which may have been intentional.

In what I think is “celebrity” news, a woman who thought her relationship with her boyfriend was over had a tattoo of his name removed… and hour before he proposed to her.

It was a twist ending that could only happen in The Only Way is Essex, which saw Lauren Goodger lasering off her Mark Wright tattoo just moments before he proposed.  After thinking that their on/off relationship was finally over, Lauren made the decision to erase Mark from her life, and her skin.  So she headed to the skin clinic to have his name removed permanently from her crotch.

But as Mark heard the shocking news about his stamp being removed, he raced off to find his true love to quickly pop the question. Despite Lauren telling her sister Nicola that she was completely finished with her ex, it seems she still found it in her heart to give Mark yet another chance, and said yes to his proposal.

I’m assuming this is some “Hills”-like reality show.

Finally, Lada Gaga is back in the news (did she ever really leave it?) with an interview regarding the reasoning behind her tattoo placement.

Lady Gaga has revealed that the reason she only has tattoos on the left hand side of her body is because her father requested her to try to remain “normal” on one side. To this she added: “I think that he sees the right as like my Marilyn Monroe side and the left as my Iggy Pop side.”  While the singing superstar has admitted she is able to control herself in the name of her father t is her wild side that seems to be winning the fight.  Lady Gaga said: “I think, from a neurological standpoint, I’m creatively driven by my left side. But he’s asked that I don’t get any on the right side for whatever reason.”

And that’s all the news for this week.  Keep sending in those stories you find and enjoy the rest of your Friday, and then your Saturday, and afterward your Sunday.

55 thoughts on “ModBlog News of the Week: March 25th, 2011

  1. i am completely disgusted that any mother would willingly inject their 8 year old child with botox they got from the internet (because, yeah…that’s safe) how is that child still in her care?! surely this IS abuse?!

  2. that first story is fucking appalling and makes me really sad. i’d like to say someone needs to take that child away but foster care is hardly a better option.
    what a fucked up system we live in when children can’t be children. our ridiculous standard of beauty is fucking damaging and unrealistic.
    i think the most messed up part is that it’s totally normal for them. like injecting botulism into a kid’s face is no big deal.

  3. I have mixed feeling about that first story, at first I was appalled like I’m sure so many others will be, then I started thinking about some tribal and cultural customs that we, or at least most of us, accept. Is this any worse then circumcision on a male infant? Is it any worse then the tribes that do scarification to the entire bodies of boys when they reach manhood at age 11 or 12? Is it any worse then the tattooing of faces of girls at 14 for other tribal customs? Or the neck rings of the Padang women that they wear from an early age all in the name of beauty?
    I have a hard time including what that mother did in this category because she lives in and is part of a “modern society” unlike the tribes that still perform most of those tribal customs, but circumcision keeps coming back to mind. Circumcision is generally performed on infants, they are not even old enough to object, and yet statistics (of how many parents have it done) show most of western society don’t consider that to be appalling at all, how is it any different?

  4. Her daughter is going to be shallow and (already is) obsessed with her appearance. The things she’s doing doesn’t make her a “cool adult”, it’s making her shallow & vain. It’s sad that her mom is putting so much pressure on her, and is most likely ruining her life. She’s 8 – she should be busy being a KID, not worrying about wrinkles and getting botox.

    It’s pretty annoying to have to shave all the time, and if I had been waxed as a child, I wouldn’t have to worry about it now – but, I think it wouldn’t have been worth it. The psychological impact of having your body waxed as a child (ex. obsessing about appearance) isn’t worth the benefit. I’d rather have to shave all the time now.

  5. Good God, the woman in the first story makes me want to be physically sick. This is everything that’s wrong with society.

  6. wow , i wonder what that 8 year old is going to be like when she is older . that mom is f*cking ugly . i believe being healthy and happy is very attractive . i am just not attracted to plastic people . plastic is ugly .. that story reminded me of my sister . excuse me – i need to go shake the bad thoughts out of my brain .

  7. That is some fucked up shit the mother is doing to her daughter. No kid should be getting botox injections. Her body is still developing and who knows what kind of reaction the botox might have on her once she starts puberty. I personally view the actions of the mother as a form of child abuse and the child should be removed from her custody. When I was a child I was taught that we are all beautiful in our own way, not the way that magazines and pop culture tell us beauty is.

  8. i cant belive they would wax an 8 year old’s vaginal area!!! is’nt their some sort of law against that? and the botox!? really??????

  9. First off, let me say that what that woman is doing to her child is possibly one of the most offensive things I’ve ever heard of.
    @Lynx. I would however, not file it alongside circumcision. I’m against that as well, but for different reasons. The circumcision debate is of a very different character in the UK compared to the US; public opinion here tends to reflect the fact that the vast majority of British men aren’t circumcised at birth and those that are tend to have it performed due to a legitimate medical issue. In all honesty, I don’t see why it is so common in America. But that aside, what this woman is doing to her child is something far worse than circumcision. I would classify her with parents who home-school their children or raise them in religious cults. She’s engaging in a form of brainwashing that is frankly terrifying. The daughter is showing a high level of value transferance and it doesn’t bode well for her future. I have no doubt that the child truly wants to become famous, but this is not the way to go about that. My greatest concern is for when that child grows up, and faces what will undoubtedly be the reality that she will not be famous, and probably will not be beautiful. Botox from the age of eight will have seen to that. It is a shame, nay, a tragedy on an individual level that this is going on, but like I say, it’s no worse that the thousands of parents who home-school their children whether it be for religious reasons or because they want to raise some kind of athletic/academic/musical prodigy…it’s all wrong. We can’t as a society take this woman’s child away and leave all the others who are in equally destructive family enviroments. We just can’t. This is simply the price we must pay.

  10. I think the worst thing about the first story is the little girl being only 8 and looking for wrinkles, and wanting severe plastic surgery. No child should be thinking those things.

  11. This is the stuff I’m talkin about, it’s gold jerry!

    Anyway, why not let her be pubescent before you let her think her chest will never grow, most doctors won’t give teenagers implants, or even reductions until they’re fully done growing. Also the botox is disgusting, especially since it’s bought online, the waxing is sick, I think over sexualizing this child by caring if she has hair or not is a major disservice, I think the fact she cries over waxing and face numbing needles, isn’t like when a child cries at the orthodonist…there is no practical health benefit to this, and it’s purely aesthetic, if it were a rite of passage I’d maybe turn a blind eye, but when I was 10 I had pubes, and got over it. Also when celebrities get work done you can tell when their face falls, goldie hawn who’s beautiful was on oprah and her mouth was so tight and her eyes were so pulled back, yes she looks good for 65 or whatever she is, better than most 45 yr olds but she has had work done and it shows, a child should be able to live a natural happy existence, instead of worrying when she’s 20 she’ll look like a bag lady, this isn’t like when you see an awkward 6 yr old with the unibrow either, this is beyond any reasonable vanity. Boob job and nose job so she can be a star…why not be like a normal obsessive parent and try to create a talent you can bank off of, go make her sing and dance and learn piano and different languages until she has something for you to autotune and sell to disney, instead of assuming looks alone can do it, acting school, something… It’s sick.

    As for the tattoo shop opening, I would hope that they would make sure all pornshops, stripclubs, bikerbars, smokeshops, and rent by the hour motels are also closed within proximity, if its a matter of preventing moral decay… I hope they’re able to open their shop without too much of a problem, I would argue having a proper shop in the neighbourhood would stop it from happening in the garages and kitchens of idiots who shouldn’t have access to tattoo equiptment, safer and smarter.

    The videogame tattoo is fairly well done and pretty close to the original, I’m glad sega made good on their contest and that even though I don’t find myself gravitating to eastern inspired tattoos, I think it’s clean looking, and vibrant…The character from the game is a little more tan and toned, but that’s neither here nor there.

    Ha, someone got a name tattooed to them and it was a mistake, I guess to reverse the kiss of death get it removed and they’ll come running back? I don’t do names, I do associative symbols.

    I had most of my tattoos on my right side, and felt very naked and unbalanced, I had a 4×7 inch leg piece and a start of a quarter sleeve and had to tell my artist to start on a 2nd quarter sleeve or I would feel lopsided and unsymetrical…But gaga is strange and so I have no problem or question with her idea of keeping one side vanilla or marilyn or whatever.

    Ugh I just scrolled up and can’t stop looking at how sad that kid is, couldn’tve done something silly to get a laugh from her and fool us all into thinking what a happy kid she is…she’s looks sad [my brother looks sad in all pictures because he didn't like cameras, so he'd be on santa screaming his face off] I think the mother is trying to overcompensate for the things she lacks…Poll the audience and most people would say she’s cuter than I am, but she really isn’t anything spectacular herself.

  12. reading the full article- the mother was married to an 83 yr old…I guess she has all the money from his death she wants to spend on such ridiculous things as Botox for an 8 yr old!!!
    the girls face already looks really odd!
    I just can’t comprehend what would be going in the mothers mind to wax her daughters hair from her pubic area at 8!!! if someone had have tried to do that to me at 8 I’m quite sure I’d have offed myself o_O

  13. When I was pregnant with my son I had to battle with his father and that side of his family because they were adamant about circumcision and I refused to have it done. At his pediatricians office I saw numerous children under the age of 5 with ear piercings-even boys. I feel like my son can make decisions as to modifying his body in any way when he is old enough to have a handle on procedure and aftercare, and be mature enough to do so.

    I cannot believe this woman is doing these things to her daughter. She is teaching this little girl to hate her body at a very young age. I can’t imagine what Jr high and high school are going to be like for this kid and how is her body going to develop and grow properly with constant injections and who knows what else they will do to this kid by the time she’s 10. If she doesn’t want her daughter to have body hair wtf is she going to do when she starts menstruating and going through PMS? She’s setting this child up for years of therapy later on down the road.

  14. The story about the little girl makes me so sad. “Although the pain makes me cry, I feel like a cool grown-up when it’s all over.” Childhood goes so quickly, she should be encouraged to spend it being a child. I wonder what the effect her mother’s obsession with appearance will have on her later in life. How could you do that to your child, aren’t your children already the most beautiful thing to you?
    Let kids be kids, for goodness sake…

  15. Honestly, that first story disgusts me. No offense, but if she really wanted to set a good example for her daughter she’d lose some weight. What is that kid going to do when she reaches high school and gets teased because she’s overweight, cos teenagers don’t care if you get waxed and have botox, they care about the really obvious things, like if you’re overweight. And what about when she gets into the real world and discovers that the percentage of people who actually get famous out of all the people who are trying to be famous is actually quite small? What a horrible mother, she’s setting her daughter up for a lifetime of dissappointment and psychological disorders (like, perhaps, anorexia because she’s taught her daughter that people only care about what’s on the outside).

    Also, agree with Kendall, I guess getting a name tattoo removed is like the reverse kiss of death?

  16. There is a vast difference between tribal rites of passage and what this woman is doing to her 8-year-old. The whole point of said tribal rites are not just for beauty, but also define adult status among men and woman which holds great significance among the community as a whole. The mods clearly state that the individual who bears them has endured the rites in order to pass into adulthood.

    None of this can be translated into waxing or botox, which in my opinion is pure vanity. It’s like the parents who want their babies to be cute, so they have their ears pierced at the mall or whatever. Shameful, disgusting and yet still perfectly legal. Meanwhile, as evidence by the story about the tattoo shop, those who wish to practice modifications ‘by the book’ so to speak are faced with vast amounts of stupidity. Also, I agree with kendall that there are far worse things than a tattoo shop that operate in many communities, and perhaps people should be more concerned about the ‘style’ that those people live.

  17. Wow, I really can’t put to words how messed up the 1st story is! Completely with Delia_was_ill on this, it should be left for the child to decide when they’re old enough to understand it all, not pushed on them at a young age. That poor kid is going to lose her childhood.

  18. Thankfully, the first story is from the Sun, which is the least-reputable of the British newspapers. They’re known to completely fabricate stories, twist words and generally pander to people who want shocking news – Regardless of the truth of the matter. See their recent “exclusive” about Tokyo being a “Ghost town”, for a good example.

    We can only hope that this is another of their epic getting-the-wrong-end-of-the-stick moments.

  19. @Lynx: The biggest difference I can think of between what this mother is doing to her child and the customs and rites in some (“tribal”) communities, is that what the kid is going through is not something that’s considered normal within her society. (Or, reading the whole article, maybe it is amongst the parents who take their kids to beauty contests.) It is not something that everyone reaching some age or development state goes through. So basically I thinks that the rites of passage that include modifications are done to make the kids normal and to give them a place in their society; whereas what this mother is doing is making her kid abnormal. If what this mother was doing was more common I’d compare it with female genital mutilation, but it doesn’t have the same meaning in our society though the motives are maybe a bit alike: making her daughter more “beautiful” and fitting into some norms. Only those norms actually, at the moment, mostly are about adult women and, in my opinion, are quite twisted anyway.

    I’m against circumcision as well. But I live in Finland, and it’s pretty uncommon here. A couple of year ago it was actually legalized, giving doctors the possibility to circumsise an infant if his parents want it for religious reasons. I don’t understand why this decision was made, and I think that such procedures should not be done on kids and without any medical reason.

    Anyway, I wonder if the mother in question actually has any idea about what Botox is? Or that you can’t test if something is “safe” by injecting it in your own face. How is that going to effect the child’s growth, does the mother have any idea that the amounts that are considered safe on adults can still have major effects on children? And besides all these harmfull medical etc. practises, she’s letting the kid believe that she’ll be famous because, what, she’s training to dance and play and besides, hey, she gets Botox injections? The mother seems delusional, and I can’t really even bear to think how that little kid’s mind and self-esteem are going to be in a few years…

  20. That kid will probably be dead cause of all that shit in her face by the time we’ll have to worry about another shallow meat-eating, SUV-driving, technology-ever-buying consumer ruining our planet…

  21. @xanthox

    wow nice statement you just made there. Maybe you could throw in a couple more stereotypes while you’re at it.

  22. Consider the children born with ambiguous genitalia who are operated on for the sake of fitting in to the gender binary of our society. There are plenty of cases of the children being assigned a gender in infancy only to realize years later that it’s not what they truly are.

  23. I think that the child should be at least get help to let her know that at that age radical change can lead to horrible later side effects.
    Whether it be from surgeries she would like to have or the inability to show emotion who knows if she over time the muscles in her face cease to work i may be unfounded in what little info i have on botox but anyone can see its wrong.
    I’m not sure how botox can help a kid with skin better than any model everybody knows you have better skin as the more you age the more weathered sun damaged etc.
    The big question is if your close friend or family member was to do this or offer it to your children what would be your reaction and in 99.5% of cases you would be appalled.
    Then begin steps to eradicate the problem.

  24. I have 20 piercings, and had my ears pierced as a baby…it didn’t detur me any, it probably was unsafe, I don’t believe in piercing guns, but in the 80′s it seemed like a logical choice for my mother, who wasn’t told any better and made for a wonderful argument later on when I filled my ears stating: “you pierced my ears without my consent when I was an infant who couldn’t protest, and you did it in a way that makes rips in the skin and is impossible to properly sterilize at least the way I do it, I’m not going to get hepatitus” And it was to not make me look “cute” but to look “female” so I understand the comments about being ambiguous and the gender binary, I’m a pre-op transman

  25. I see no difference between botoxing your kids and circumcising them, although I don’t think she’s old enough for them to have any real benefit (her muscles will change anyway).
    The waxing thing is something I wish I had done as a child though, it’s just downright convenient.

  26. @Matt W:

    Really? Choosing to homeschool your children is abusive?

    You do know that the anti-homeschooling pogrom in Europe primarily dates to the time of the Nazis, who outlawed homeschooling (and those Nazi-era laws are still on the books, and enforced, in Germany.

    Way to be a bigot…

  27. Completely agree with Matt W (10). And Flint (33): Nazis had quite some other reasons to prevent homeschooling (brain washing in an dictatorship works very well in common schools). But in democracies the way it works is opposite – home schooling is a good method to brain-wash, and avoid “silly” thougts of democratic rights, it is a well suited method to get verynarrow minded childs knowing nothing else from the world…
    Your stupid comparison is like: “Highways are bad, Nazis constructed them (worldwide first in a dense net), to maneuver tanks fast and easy from front to front…”

  28. @Flint:
    If you examine the reasons given for most parents to home-school their children, you will see a seriously fucked up set of justifications. They are parents who do not wish (for whatever reason) to have their children grow up as part of society. Within that, there are two main motivations: firstly moral/religious; and secondly educational. The children produced by home-schooling are always going to be some kind of fucked up, whichever way you slice it. And yes, I do believe that to be an insidious form of child abuse and don’t call me a fucking Nazi for thinking it. I’m not saying that State education is not open to horrific abuses. We need only consider our own school curricula. It terrifies me that in American schools for example, imperialism is referred to as “expansionism”. But at the same time, I would rather my child go to school with other children and be exposed to that in addition to how I choose as a parent to educate my child that take them out of school and have them only hear my view. But then again I’m a reasonable person. You’ll find that reasonable people, people who probably would do a reasonable job teaching their kids, don’t homeschool their kids. It’s the people who, if you had the opportunity, you would never allow near the business end of a classroom who are teaching their own kids at home. That’s abuse. They should be prevented from doing it.

  29. also, thanks to Flint, we have just witnessed an occurrance of Godwin’s Law, so thanks for that too. Made my day.

  30. And on the third gay god created the remmington bolt action rifle to protect man from the dinosaurs and homosexuals

  31. @Stormchaser: According to courts in the US and Germany (among other places, I’m sure, but I’ve read those particular decisions), the purpose of restricting homeschooling is /still/ to make sure that the children are instilled with proper “civic virtue” (aka, blind obedience).

    “Your stupid comparison is like: “Highways are bad, Nazis constructed them (worldwide first in a dense net), to maneuver tanks fast and easy from front to front…” ”

    Hardly. I guess you were public-schooled, if you think that’s actually a direct analogy, eh? The modern public school system was developed in Prussia, with the express purpose of being a way to indoctrinate good, obedient factory workers. (this is openly-researchable history, not conspiracy theory) It is inherently suited primarily to indoctrination, first, and education, second. Highways were developed for transportation of people, first, and only sever to transport military equipment and soldiers, separate.

    @Matt W:
    “If you examine the reasons given for most parents to home-school their children, you will see a seriously fucked up set of justifications. They are parents who do not wish (for whatever reason) to have their children grow up as part of society. Within that, there are two main motivations: firstly moral/religious; and secondly educational. The children produced by home-schooling are always going to be some kind of fucked up, whichever way you slice it.”

    Funny, but I’ve never met these mythological “fucked up” homeschooled kids. I’m sure they must exist, somewhere, just like those mythological Black men who want nothing more than to run around raping White women, but to say that homeschooled kids are all “fucked up” is no less bigoted than saying that all Black men dream of raping White women.

    “And yes, I do believe that to be an insidious form of child abuse and don’t call me a fucking Nazi for thinking it.”

    Anyone who accuses me of abusing my children should count himself lucky, if all I call him is a Nazi.

    “I’m not saying that State education is not open to horrific abuses. We need only consider our own school curricula.”

    No, it’s not a matter of curricula. It’s the inherent nature of that system. Everything revolves around conformity and obedience. That system is what produced an eight-year-old who is getting botox and wax jobs, and is being cheered by her friends for conforming to the ideal better than they are able to.

    “But at the same time, I would rather my child go to school with other children and be exposed to that in addition to how I choose as a parent to educate my child that take them out of school and have them only hear my view.”

    Oddly enough, my children have friends and neighbors. It’s a crazy notion, I know…

    “But then again I’m a reasonable person.”

    No, you’re a bigot. Bigotry and reasonableness are pretty much opposite ends of the spectrum.

    Reasonable: “The modern public school is inherently flawed, for the following reasons…”

    Unreasonable: “Any parent who sends their child to a public school is a child abuser, and all public school students belong to cliques and bully each other!”

    See the difference?

    “It’s the people who, if you had the opportunity, you would never allow near the business end of a classroom who are teaching their own kids at home. That’s abuse. They should be prevented from doing it.”

    Nope. Sending your children to a hell-hole where they will be bullied to the point that they kill themselves is abuse! Right? I bet I can invent some more unreasonable statements to make. Only thing is, I’m doing it for rhetorical effect. You actually believe your own bigotry.

    “also, thanks to Flint, we have just witnessed an occurrance of Godwin’s Law, so thanks for that too. Made my day.”

    Amusingly, no, citing a historical example that’s exactly relevant to the discussion does not fall under Godwin’s Law. For example, if we were discussing Jews with numbers tattooed on their arms, it would not fall under Godwin’s Law – it’s simple history. Furthermore, as with most uniformed folks, you clearly don’t grasp what Godwin’s Law is actually about. It doesn’t refer to Nazi references as illegitimate, but rather comments that, because they are used as a universal example of evil, they are likely to occur. If I used George Bush as an example of evil, a lot of folks would agree with me, and a lot of folks would rant about how he was the greatest president in history, and there would be a 30-page debate on that subject. If I use the Nazis, almost no one will stand up and say how he thinks Hitler was a great guy, so we avoid the silly side-debate.

  32. I honestly can’t believe people are equating what this sick mother is doing to her daughter and homeschooling. I homeschool my children, but they have active social lives and our kids are the ones that other parents encourage their kids to play with. They are not being brainwashed and are not freaks or outcasts. In fact, my children are capable of interacting with people of all ages and are encouraged to think for themselves. Yes, there are some people that homeschool as a way to control their children and to shelter them from the world, but in my experience (which I doubt those that are making the ignorant comments have) those people are in the minority when it comes to the overall homeschooling community.
    Some of the comments here are very ignorant and narrow minded. It really saddens me. :(

  33. @Flint
    I must say I very much enjoyed your detailed riposte.
    I gather from what you write that you home-school your kids. I wonder, are you qualified to do so? But that’s besides the point since you don’t need qualifications to home-school your kids, only to teach in a school. Likewise you don’t have to go through careful screening to home-school your kids, nor is their educational environment in any way checked, monitored or evaluated. But again, I digress.
    I stand by my evocation of Godwin’s law although on that I guess we’ll just have to agree to disagree.

    “Everything revolves around conformity and obedience”

    Couldn’t agree more. How we deal with conformity and obedience is a central issue in how we organise society and work to reproduce certain values and behaviours at the same time as halt the reproduction of other, less helpful values and behaviours. Surely however, what a school might teach your child can be balanced against what you teach it yourself. You don’t need to home-school in order to educate a child.

    “Sending your children to a hell-hole where they will be bullied to the point that they kill themselves is abuse!”

    You take a very dim view of public schools; I can see that. What I’m saying is that a public school education, supplemented by what a parent can provide at home, is a balance. It takes the best and worst of both worlds. Two environments that offer separate and distinct educational and social stimuli for a child are surely better than only one.
    I must say, though, that I am struggling to make out your motivation. You obviously fear the ‘system’ but I doubt that fear is what has driven you to home-schooling. I would guess control. Of course your children have neighbours and friends, but how many do you not know? The need to control must come from somewhere. My guess would be that you went to public school and maybe you didn’t have such a good time. The kind of rhetoric that you espouse is usually rooted in personal experience. Or maybe you just read too much of the wrong thing.

    As an aside, I wonder, do you hope for your kids to go to college? To get a job? There’s that conformity again. Home-schooling doesn’t look good on college admissions.

    But again, I digress.

    You realise, I’m sure, that your children are not growing up free of the burdens of conformity and obedience. They’re conforming to you. They’re obedient to you. How do you deal with all the responsibility? You know how with great power comes great responsibility don’t you? How do you divide the teacher from the parent? The school-master from the councellor? I take my hat off to you if you can indeed play all the roles and play them well. I know that I can teach history. I do teach history at a university. But I couldn’t teach literature or the sciences. I probably couldn’t even teach a huge amount of ancient history, I’m too specialised. And the arts? I know very little. If I passed on my weak conversational German, it would be an insult to the teacher’s craft. I can’t even imagine an individual who is not only knowledgeable to a high school level in every subject, but as I say, if that’s you then I take my hat off. But if that’s not you, if you’re not providing an adequate educational environment for your children, if you’re conceit to try to be master of all things is damaging their chances of succeeding in the world that you seem to be rejecting, then how could one but conclude than to call that abuse? Abuse of your position as a parent to inflict damage on the psychological and social development of your children.

    “That system is what produced an eight-year-old who is getting botox and wax jobs”

    The eight-year old is not getting botox and wax jobs. The eight-year old is having botox and wax jobs given to her by an abusive parent. That is the power and reponsibility of a parent: to know where the line is between controlling your child, protecting your child, providing for your child’s future, and allowing them the freedom and the opportunity to experience the world themselves. The mother in the article has seen that line and crossed it. She, through her delusion, believes that she is helping to prepare her daughter for a future of fame and fortune. Know any true-believers to like to partake of a bit of home-schooling? You know what a true-believer is right? The system has nothing to do with what is happening to that child and the mere fact that you would suggest that highlights further your mistrust of society and a need for control.

    Also, just so you know, I have met bigots. I am not a bigot. My belief that home-schooling is a form of child abuse is a perfectly reasonable argument to make in the face of the evidence. But I don’t expect you to agree.

  34. @xanthox: wtf? i’m a bit offended… eating meat does not make a person shallow… and i’m sure there are plenty of shallow non-meat-eaters as well (your post as an example). get off the high horse, will you?

    in response to the 8-year-old & hermosa beach: WHAT? idonoteven…

    as for Lady Gaga: i think that’s pretty cool of her to respect her father’s wishes. i feel like a lot of people (mostly under about 25s) don’t really respect their parents too much when it comes to mods (myself included, but i’ve always at least asked/told them).

  35. I knew some who was home-schooled and he (and his family) seemed like perfectly reasonably decent human beings.

    I think the idea was that so many state schools are mediocre in the UK, and they could not afford (or want to support) elitist ‘public’ schools (which is what we call Private schools in the UK) that they took the informed decision to home school instead.

    Sure, some folks might home school for strange reasons, bit don’t try and tar them all with the same brush.

  36. re: 38 Matt W… motherfuckin’ snap! that was one kingshit of a kinghit. i don’t disagree with all the points that Flint made, but bravo to you, Sir, for responding in such a reasoned manner. I’ve come to learn through years of forum posting that an axiom on forum-posting is “A prejudiced poster will out themselves” and I do believe that many of Flint’s prejudices were subtly exposed in his own post.

    Both of the posts, Flint’s and Matt W’s, were very enlightening and THIS is the reason I persist in checking the posts on Modblog articles, for the educated and reasoned, knowledgeable folks who have the ability to convey such delicious concepts. Bravo.

  37. I think what that mother is doing is absolutely ridiculous.
    On home-schooling. I was almost home-schooled because I was bullied so much through elementary school. Yes, it got that bad. But I stayed in school.
    And ffs, bringing up Nazis.. you just lost the argument.

  38. @Inka
    I completely agree with what you’re saying. It isn’t right to tar everyone who home-schools their children with the same brush. Since the new home-school movement started in America in the 1960s there have been various pieces of research attempted, many of which have been largely unsuccessful in terms of determining any kind of representative general statement about these such parents.
    What we do know is that, as you correctly point out, there are a variety of reasons why a parent may wish to take a child out of public school, including special needs requirements or extreme bullying, that are perfectly reasonable. The costs associated with sending a child with special educational needs to a private school often make that option unfeasible for a lot of families and likewise, if bullying has made a school environment impossible for your child then in many ways your hand has been forced.
    The surveys that have attempted to quantify home-schooling, as well as those that have sought to gain an in-depth qualitative assessment of not just the parents’ motivations but also of the children’s experiences have revealled that those reasons tend to be among those expressed. They tend to be combined with a belief that the environment that they can provide is in some way superior to that of a school.
    The studies have generally failed to gather data on parents who home-school their children for moral or religious reasons. It has been speculated that a general mistrust of the academic and fear of allowing an outsider to view and report on their family situation may lie behind their failure to answer the various calls for participants.

    The main issue that I have with home-schooling in cases where it is not necessitated by a child’s developmentat or special educational needs, is that while the scope for abuse is in several crucial ways far greater than for children exposed to state or private education. If a teacher is abusing their position of power, they will be caught and they will face the due process of law. That is the position they are in. If a parent abuses their position of power, it is far less likely that they would be brought to justice if their children were not to come into contact with outside agencies who may pick up on that abuse. The more isolated a child is from the possible protection of State welfare, the greater the risk that parental abuse goes unreported.

    There are many shades of child abuse. The mother in the article is engaged in a profoundly manipulative form of abuse that in addition to the physical element is also highly psychologically damaging for her child, who exhibits signs of dependence, value transferance and a variety of other nascent psychoses. Obviously home-schooling a child is nowhere near that bad, but if you make a conscious decision not to educate your child then you are inhibiting its development and hurting its chances of being successful in later life and that is a form of abuse.

  39. First off, in most places homeschooling is monitored. Second, all of the homeschooling families I know do not isolate their children. In fact, they do everything possible to make sure their children have active social lives and participate in activites such as sports, volunteering, etc. Third, I agree that parents who homeschool but make no effort to educate their kids are doing their children a great disservice, the same way that public schools that fail to educate their students do. There are pros and cons to both types of schooling and all you can do as a parent is make the best choices for your kids and their situations.
    But I have a feeling that no matter what any of us say you will hold strong to your opinion, so whatever. I’m bowing out now and I know for the future to steer clear of reading the comments here.

  40. I would be pissed because sometimes I want to wear pubes and sometimes I don’t. She won’t have that option. But that’s culturally relative right? circumcised boys don’t get an option re: the foreskin and that’s just the breaks.

  41. heh… not to be an asshole, but she feels like she is “neurologically” driven by her left side… “creatively.” awesome.

  42. @Matt W:
    “I gather from what you write that you home-school your kids. I wonder, are you qualified to do so? But that’s besides the point since you don’t need qualifications to home-school your kids, only to teach in a school. Likewise you don’t have to go through careful screening to home-school your kids, nor is their educational environment in any way checked, monitored or evaluated. But again, I digress.”

    Homeschoolers are held to far higher standards than public-school teachers. We are required to submit to yearly progress evaluations, and if the kids don’t meet standards, we are no longer allowed to homeschool. If a public school teacher’s students don’t meet standards, guess what happens to the teacher? They “only” get the mandatory raise, not an extra bonus (of course, the mandatory raise is already higher than inflation).

    “I stand by my evocation of Godwin’s law although on that I guess we’ll just have to agree to disagree. ”

    “Agree to disagree” applies to matters of opinion. Godwin, himself, has written about what his “law” means. Go do some research…

    “Couldn’t agree more. How we deal with conformity and obedience is a central issue in how we organise society and work to reproduce certain values and behaviours at the same time as halt the reproduction of other, less helpful values and behaviours. Surely however, what a school might teach your child can be balanced against what you teach it yourself. You don’t need to home-school in order to educate a child.”

    Except that schools can and will go out of their way to ruin a child’s life, for refusing to conform.

    “You take a very dim view of public schools; I can see that. What I’m saying is that a public school education, supplemented by what a parent can provide at home, is a balance. It takes the best and worst of both worlds. Two environments that offer separate and distinct educational and social stimuli for a child are surely better than only one.”

    Not of one of those two environments is negative. Then, only having the one, would be far better.

    “I must say, though, that I am struggling to make out your motivation. You obviously fear the ’system’ but I doubt that fear is what has driven you to home-schooling. I would guess control. Of course your children have neighbours and friends, but how many do you not know? The need to control must come from somewhere. My guess would be that you went to public school and maybe you didn’t have such a good time. The kind of rhetoric that you espouse is usually rooted in personal experience. Or maybe you just read too much of the wrong thing.”

    Hardly. Our children are raised to question and think for themselves. Control is about the furthest thing from what they experience. Realistically, unless it involves safety/health, there are no “rules” they need to worry about. Public education is about control.

    “As an aside, I wonder, do you hope for your kids to go to college? To get a job? There’s that conformity again. Home-schooling doesn’t look good on college admissions. ”

    Hardly. I’ve never met any kid who was homeschooled, and had trouble getting into college. The fact that homeschoolers typically score substantially higher than their peers, tends to mean they have an easier time.

    “You realise, I’m sure, that your children are not growing up free of the burdens of conformity and obedience. They’re conforming to you. They’re obedient to you. How do you deal with all the responsibility?”

    Just fine, thanks. I’d be responsible for raising them, regardless of where they went to school. You can’t pass off responsibility for your children to someone else.

    And no, they don’t conform or obey, beyond the minimum necessary for their safety and health. Heck, our middle daughter, the daughter of two engineers, is a stereotypical “girly-girl,” who loves dolls and pink frilly dresses and such. No one knows where she came up with that, but it’s clearly what makes her happy, so we support her decisions.

    “You know how with great power comes great responsibility don’t you? How do you divide the teacher from the parent? The school-master from the councellor? I take my hat off to you if you can indeed play all the roles and play them well.”

    Almost anyone can. It’s not like teaching is a demanding field.

    “I can’t even imagine an individual who is not only knowledgeable to a high school level in every subject…”

    That’s quite sad, since that’s describing basic competence, not anything in excess. If we add in trading among my friends and neighbors for particular fields of study, I expect we could actually provide a university-level education to each other’s kids.

    “The eight-year old is not getting botox and wax jobs. The eight-year old is having botox and wax jobs given to her by an abusive parent.”

    Who, herself, was produced by that system. Thanks for playing…

    “Also, just so you know, I have met bigots. I am not a bigot. My belief that home-schooling is a form of child abuse is a perfectly reasonable argument to make in the face of the evidence.”

    Bigots always consider their bigotry to be reasonable, and supported by “evidence,” which always turns out to be things that they “just know,” absent any scientific basis.

  43. O.
    Someone needs to take her fucking daughter away from her. Get her a set of Barbies she can play with. That’s just mutilation.
    :(

  44. I think the most chilling part of the whole article is when the girl’s mother says-

    “I’d rather she be perfect and have a little frozen face. Some people say her eyebrows look a little pulled already but they look striking.”

    I want to shoot this woman, I really, really do.

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