Saving the World One Teen at a Time - Column on Parenting Tweens and Teens

Heidi Montag and Haiti.

by Kristy Campbell


Is anyone else in the pop culture world disgusted at the ridiculous self-absorption by Heidi Montag especially when juxtaposed against the images of the orphans in Haiti? In case you missed it:


Tune into Extra and watch Billy Bush interview this gal who at age 23 just completed 10 plastic surgeries in one outing. She told him that she didn’t quite realize how rough it would be and was surprised at how black and blue she was following the procedure.


Flip to CNN. Watch the images of starving, dehydrated, orphaned children in Haiti.


Go back to Billy and continue to listen as the 23-year old lists each procedure: eye brow lift, botox, nose reshaping, jaw restructuring, fat injections in cheeks, boob implants to a DDD, back reshaping with bone/rib reduction, fat injections in other cheeks, and lipo on inner and outer thighs. (I think that was it. I got sidetracked listening to her say that she really wanted larger boobs. She said “H” for Heidi would have been nice.)


Flip to CNN. Watch the images of starving, dehydrated, orphaned children in Haiti.


Between my two girls (ages 9 and 17) and me, body image is definitely a subject in our house. Working as an actress, I’ve always been hyper-sensitive about my weight, my left-over-from-gymnastics thighs, the unevenness of my eyebrows, my pore-size, my B-cup, the errant gray hairs popping out of my head, …BUT, I have to be very careful how I complain about myself. If I say I’m fat or misshapen or lopsided, my girls hear and start looking in the mirror more closely at their bodies. I’ve noticed that when I’m critical about myself, they become critical about themselves. Hearing my skinny, long-legged 9-year old tell me she thinks she has a fat butt reinforced that I have to pluck in private and hide the scale.


Great post! My two very hormonal teen boys happened upon my People Magazine featuring Heidi's "do-over." After a few minutes of instense scrutiny, most likely over her chest, they both declared, "We liked her better before, when she looked natural." Ahhhh...proof they might actually listen while rolling their eyes when I talk about good girls vs. well, skanks! I don't think we need to hide anything from our kids. If you are comfortable talking with them about the people in their world--the Heidis and Snookies--and what your values are comparitively, then you've conquered the real beast.


Why is plastic surgery OK if you are older? How about women looking like they have had two kids and that being OK? Yes, Heidi is extreme, but risking your life for "putting your boobs back where they belong" is just plain silly too. As women we have to stop supporting that 40 year old women should look like they have 20 year old bodies. Men would never even have such a thought! We waste far too much time on this nonsense!


I hate to point out the obvious but maybe if we all stop talking, reading or caring about these people, they might just go away? They are famous for being nothing more than unintelligent pathetic talentless fools who contribute nothing to society, their commununity or country or even the industry which they claim as their employer. Their presence in the media serves only to dumbdown the audience. While I agree with everything said here - I'm diappointed to even see her mentioned on this website. She's not worth it.


I am so disgusted with pop culture. People like Heidi, Snooki, Lindsay, Paris, etc should NOT be popular or idolized by the media and young girls. Being dumb, slutty, and superficial is not the image we should be promoting to our children. We need to focus on education, high self esteem, helping others & setting high goals for young women.


I'd reconsidering your subscription to People magazine as this is all that they focus on.


I said this exact statement to colleagues at work two days ago! Haiti and Heidi.


I think this is a serious case of body dysmorphic disorder.

I have to say my 9 yr has never heard of plastic surgery and is oblivious to all this pressure but we live in Germany.


I, too, read the article in People and you summarized my thoughts exactly! Look forward to reading more of your Tales from the Mommy Track, Kristy!


Well said Kristy!

Bruce Sallan

Great blog Kristy. Boys also struggle with these issues though I think the girls suffer the worst. And, parents don't help out when they let their girls go to school like so many do - looking "skanky" to lift a word from my boys!