February 28, 2024

Selling the “mom job”

Despite protests from doctors and feminists, “mommy makeovers” — breast augmentation, tummy tucks, and liposuction — are becoming more and more popular in the US to help women regain an hourglass figure after child bearing. Last year more than 325,000 women between 20 and 39 had “mom jobs”, up 11% from 2005. Plastic surgeon William H. Huffaker told the New York Times that he operates on three or four mothers a week at a cost of between US$12,000 to $15,000.

According to the Times, advertising for mom jobs “seeks to pathologise the postpartum body, characterising pregnancy and childbirth as maladies with disfiguring after-effects that can be repaired with the help of scalpels and cannulae.”

Other factors are at work, too, which impel women to seek surgical help. There is more pressure to look young and sexy today, said one woman who had recently remarried. “I don’t think it was an issue for my mother; your husband loved you no matter what,” she said.