Fat Puppets and Surgical Photo-ops

Perhaps you've seen the heart-breaking and disgusting story about a 13-year old girl, Brooke Bates in Texas who has gotten Weight Loss Surgery after 10 years of diets AND liposuction and a tummy tuck. It's all over the news right now.

Was in November, too.

See, it wasn't a story about Lap-Band back then. It was a story about the success of the lipo which ended up being so unsuccessful that she was carted off the Mexico for lap-band.

Complete with an extended photo essay, even.

Its bad enough that this young girl was used as media puppet once, but now again? In the first story, the parents insist that they were initially uncomfortable, but realized if they didn't get their not even that fat daughter lipo she'd end up weighing 400 LBS! Oh, and they also ruled out WLS. See, they know someone who died from it and simply couldn't risk their daughter's life. They had a hard time finding a surgeon, too. But finally they found someone willing to do it after he found out that her dad had terminal cancer. "I want my dad to see me looking slim and pretty in a dress before he dies," she told the surgeon.

But, obviously, it didn't work and she was back up to still not really that fat again. So suddenly her parent's caution about WLS having seen a friend died didn't matter any more. See, their Brooke is a compulsive eater, though she wasn't in November the last time they heralded her success. But she is now.

Her CNN caption says so.

I'm sure her surgeons wanted to make sure that this was stressed, so her mom was eager to declare her sudden onset of a lifetime of compulsive eating. She also moaned about the "red-tape" she had to go through. It just costs so much to get her psychological testing and coming up with flimsy medical justification for a procedure she doesn't even meet the flimsy medical justification for. Why, they already put down $25,000 for her first media tour/surgery.

The young girl, of course, is positioned as the instigator of all this. And she could well be. Being a fat kid can really suck. You get teased a lot and you want anything to be normal. I've no doubt that she honestly wanted all of this and honestly doesn't care about the risks involved with these repeat surgeries. She probably doesn't care if she dies. She just wants to be thin. There are plenty of adults who feel the same way.

Brooke isn't an adult, though. She's a 13-year old girl. She has parents who are supposed to care if she dies. Who are supposed to protect her and support her. Not support her in whatever she wants, but by doing what's in her best interest. Instead, they march her through repeated surgeries and show her off for the cameras the whole way. It just makes me sick and angry.

Being fat isn't easy and Brooke was probably never going to get support for just being who she is, but she didn't have to have this done to her. She's just a child. The people responsible for her well-being have done an awful job. I sympathize with parents who think their children need to lose weight, but there is a point when they need to be held responsible, too. I think that point clearly comes after multiple surgeries all filmed for the benefit of the news media. They've turned their daughter into a prop for surgeons. It just horrific.

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