Opinion Brief

The 'crazy' Botox mom hoax: How low can she go?

A California mother says a British tabloid paid her $200 to lie about injecting her 8-year-old daughter with Botox. Is she too irresponsible to be a parent?

The mom who lost custody of her 8-year-old daughter after supposedly injecting the girl with Botox for beauty pageants now says the whole story was a hoax — and that she'd even fabricated a name for herself. Sheena Upton has signed a sworn declaration, obtained by TMZ, saying that British tabloid The Sun asked her to "play the role of Kerry Campbell" and even gave her a script to follow, in exchange for $200. (The Sun "strongly denies" Upton's allegations.) The mother and daughter also did interviews on Inside Edition and ABC's Good Morning America, which, according to TMZ, offered Upton $10,000. Upton's daughter has been returned to her, according to TMZ, "with the provision that a cousin would stay with her and the child for the time being." Is the truth worse than the lies?

This marks a new low for irresponsible parenting: We've "never been so happy to have fallen for a hoax," says Verena von Pfetten at Styleite, but Upton's behavior is "still reprehensible." Injecting an 8-year-old girl with Botox "is terrible," but having her lie, and "parading her out on national television for the sake of a few dollars might just be worse."
"BREAKING: Botox mom claims she made the whole thing up"

What a damning indictment of our culture: We were duped about the Botox because we live in an age when toddlers wear "caked-on makeup, wigs and false teeth," says Dodai Stewart at Jezebel. It was all too easy "to believe our country had hit rock bottom in the sick obsession with superficial beauty." But it turns out "we've hit rock bottom in the quest for the spotlight" instead. The lengths we'll go to "for just a moment of fame (and some cash)" are so, so sad.
"Botox mom confesses to hoax, did it for the money"

Be glad for this (relatively) happy ending: Lots of people "raised doubts about Botox Mom's veracity, even as Good Morning America gave her a fig leaf of credibility," says Maureen O'Connor at Gawker. Maybe this is the "best possible outcome": "The little girl isn't full of botulism, but the mom is still a crazy person we can judge." And we've all learned that "Botox is not for babies" and "The Sun's hoax machine is fifty times cheaper than Good Morning America's respectable journalism machine."
"Botox Mom confesses: It was all a hoax"

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