You Have Your Mother’s Botox: California Mother Loses Custody After Doing ABC Interview on Giving 8-Year-Old Daughter Botox Injections For Beauty Contest

A California mother, Kerry Campbell, has lost custody of her 8-year-old daughter after she injecting Britany with botox to improve her appearance in a beauty pageant. Notably, Campbell triggered the investigation by admitting on ABC “Good Morning America” that she used the botox. The San Francisco Human Services Agency saw the show and launched an investigation.

Britney is shown on the program saying “I just, like, don’t, like, think wrinkles are nice on little girls.” While saying it hurt, she said that it was something that she had gotten used to as the price for beauty.

Campbell is a part-time aesthetician and uses botox herself.

Many of us remember our unease with the pictures of JonBenét Ramsey as a child beauty queen. The whole beauty contest culture for children is a bit repellent for some of us and seems to lend itself to this type of excessiveness.

However, I would be interested in the views of our readers on whether the loss of custody is an appropriate penalty. I totally agree with the need to remove the child from the home, but should the loss of custody be permanent?

Source: ABC

Jonathan Turley

34 thoughts on “You Have Your Mother’s Botox: California Mother Loses Custody After Doing ABC Interview on Giving 8-Year-Old Daughter Botox Injections For Beauty Contest

  1. Just Beautiful….Just Beautiful….

    In my opinion….if this was the first few times…she should have not lost custody….however….if she’s a threat to the COUPLES daughter then I’d have to say I agreed with the decision….some Beauty Queen MOMS just can’t stop themselves….

  2. Then you have to wonder about this one……or even maybe the source Fox…but hey….

    Mom With Breast Cancer Loses Custody of Kids

    A North Carolina mother battling Stage 4 breast cancer has another intense fight on her hands right now – this time over her two children.

    On April 25, Alaina Giordano lost custody of her 11-year-old daughter and 5-year-old son after a Durham, N.C., judge ruled that the children would need to relocate to the Chicago-area to live with their dad, ABC11 Eyewitness News, who first broke the story, reported.

    According to, the judge made the decision based on the fact that Giordano’s ex-husband was able to find a job and a house in a good school district, while she lives in North Carolina, jobless and facing cancer treatments.

    Judge Nancy E. Gordon noted, “the course of her disease is unknown,” and that “children who have a parent with cancer need more contact with the non-ill parent.”

    But according to one family attorney, who spoke to ABC11, this ruling is about much more than just cancer. Raleigh attorney Charles Ullman reviewed the 27-page order, and said the judge has many other concerns besides the health of Giordano.

    Read more:

  3. Ugh, I can’t decide! Personally, I think the woman’s at least an idiot, definitely in need of counseling in several areas – in perfect world, she shouldn’t be raising a child. This is seriously screwing with the little girl’s mental health and possibly more.
    On the other hand, how many parents are doing much worse, but aren’t stupid enough to brag about it on t.v.?

  4. If the mother was injecting botox with an unknown origin she was definitely putting the daughter at risk. Botox is a powerful neurotoxin and purity is a concern.

  5. WTF? Eight years-old and she’s worried about … wrinkles??!! Oh, boy …

    Part of me believes the State did the right thing in taking the child away; part of me believes the State may have overstepped … if Campbell repeatedly injected her daughter with Botox, I think the punishment is appropriate; if this is a first-time offense, taking the child away is a wee bit harsh. She should be ordered into therapy because it is obvious she herself has issue …

    While injecting an eight year-old with Botox is among one of the dumbest things this woman can do, she is setting her daughter up for a life brimming with poor self-image, low self-confidence and lack of self-respect in herself which in my mind, is far more damaging.

  6. yup, IMHO this is child abuse…the only ‘beauty enhancer’ a normal 8 year old child needs is a bit of mud on the hands and grass stains on the jeans….

  7. Woosty,

    I agree. The mother also hot waxed her daughter’s legs! The state social services has to investigate this family situation.


    – Does a person have to be licensed to inject botox?
    – Is botox a prescription drug?
    – Where did the mother get her botox?
    – Has the mother done something that is illegal in her state?

  8. Within a couple of days, there will be a required detention hearing at which the juvenile court judge determines if continued detention is necessary. (The mother would be entitled to appointed counsel.) If this is the only issue, one would expect the child to be returned to the parent with some supervision orders–like “no more botox”–at most. If the parties don’t come to an agreement, and the petition is not dismissed, a full scale hearing is required within a few weeks to determine if there is adequate risk for the court to take jurisdiction permitting it to issue continued supervision orders.

  9. Botox: S.F. pursues mom who says she injected girl
    by Erin Allday, San Francisco Chronicle Staff Writer

    Botox is the brand name of a purified, diluted form of the botulinum toxin that can be used to paralyze and relax muscles, which can smooth wrinkles in the skin around them. It’s approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for cosmetic use in adults 18 and older.

    The drug can be used to treat some specific health problems in children, but it does not have FDA approval for cosmetic use in minors. Botox requires a prescription for anyone to get, and under California regulations it must be administered under doctor supervision.

  10. Child abuse.

    Temporary custody.

    Prohibition of engaging in child beauty contests, period.

    Mandatory monitoring.

    Mandatory counseling; let me count the ways.

  11. Kerry Campbell, mom who injected 8-year-old daughter with Botox, loses custody of child: report
    By Nina Mandell
    May 17, 2011

    “There was a pretty big community response,” Trent Rhorer, the director of human services told the San Francisco Chronicle last week.

    The investigation doesn’t necessarily mean that Campbell will lose custody of her child for a long period of time. Child welfare experts said she may be able to regain custody through meeting a variety of conditions that could include parenting class, counseling and supervised visits.

    But the Chronicle, citing sources, reports that Kerry Campbell is a false name – and the woman does not even live in the Bay Area.

    The newspaper also reports that child-welfare officials say the case is already closed.

    If the 8-year-old was indeed taken away from her mom, it was not immediately clear where she was staying while Kerry was being investigated, but a source told ABC the girl is doing well.

    Campbell said on the show she thought that she was doing her daughter a favor, and that she was licensed to perform the procedure.

    “I do the Botox myself,” she said. “It’s safe.”


    Botox mom isn’t who she says she is
    San francisco Chronicle

    Turns out the mom who says she gave her 8-year-old daughter Botox beauty treatments doesn’t actually live in San Francisco.

    Nor, for that matter, is her real name Kerry Campbell.

    San Francisco officials were deluged with inquiries last week after the woman went on ABC’s “Good Morning America” and said she was administering Botox injections to her 8-year-old daughter to give her a better chance of winning child beauty contests. She said she was a trained esthetician and that the girl’s name was Britney. The city said it would look into it all.

    Reporters were unable to track down a San Francisco address or phone number for the woman. Our sources tell us that’s because she doesn’t live here and isn’t Kerry Campbell.

    San Francisco Human Services Director Trent Rhorer declined to comment on the matter Monday, citing confidentiality laws in juvenile cases. But he did say that “we have completed our investigation, and we are no longer involved in the case.”

    In California, county welfare agencies have jurisdiction only over families that reside in their counties.

    As for the woman’s true identity and where she actually lives, that remains unclear — but apparently, she isn’t a Bay Area resident. How much of the rest of her story was on the level — the Botox, the child beauty contests — also is not known.

    ABC News, citing unnamed sources, said child welfare officials where the family lives removed the girl from her home over the weekend.

    “Good Morning America” picked up the original story from the British tabloid The Sun, which reported back in March that Kerry Campbell was a 34-year-old former beautician from Birmingham, England, who had moved to San Francisco. The paper quoted the mom as saying, “What I am doing for Britney now will help her become a star.”

    When the story ran on “Good Morning America,” the mom’s age was given as 38. She was shown injecting what she said was Botox into the face of her daughter. The daughter said the shots “hurt sometimes, but I get used to it.”

    As for how child protective services officials finally located mom and daughter? We’re told they were certainly recognizable to the locals from their TV appearances.

  12. I have to agree that this is child abuse. I am not sure it requires a permanent loss of custody, but it was right that she was investigated. This child may be scarred mentally and physically. Doesn’t the licensing body have age restrictions on when a person can be injected with botox? Disgusting.

  13. This is child abuse, clear and simple. The psychological damage she is doing to her child by, in effect, telling her she is not good enough, not pretty enough and that her entire self worth is wrapped up in her looks is going to damage her for life.

    The mother is one sick %&^%*& and the child should be taken away permanently or until the mother is committed, goes through long therapy and proves herself to be fit. But that would take so long anyway, her daughter is better off with someone who can appreciate her innocence and beauty.

  14. As a former child welfare executive my feeling would have been for an immediate removal of the child since if the facts are as the mother states, they would constitute both child abuse and neglect. The permanancy
    of the removal is really a case as to the specific child placement options available: Other parent, Grandparent
    sibling, etc. The foster Care system, which i’ve also worked in is highly flawed in almost all venues and it is doubtful that it would be preferable for the child. That system should only be utilized long term if the child has been beaten, tortured, sexually abused, psychologically abused, starved, etc., by a parent with
    irredeemable tendencies.

    In this case you have a parent who probably sincerely believed she was helping her child, although the results were harmful. I believe, if the facts are correct that this child was both physically abused (the injections themselves) and psychologically abused in the mother’s
    inculcation of a nasrcissistic concept of beauty and life. However, with close supervision and psychological care for both, the damages could possibly be ameliorated.

    To fully examine this case, however, we must look at our “culture of female beauty,” which has become inextricably tied to the urge for celebrity at all costs.
    I despise the whole notion of beauty contests and believe that parents forcing their children to take part in them are vicariously living out their own sick fantasy
    life and psychologically damaging their children in the process. Their usual lame excuse is that this is what their child wants, but that is a ridiculous claim when one speaks of children under perhaps age 10. A child’s prime urge in most cases is to act in a way to please its parent(s) and has little ability to make extreme life choices.

  15. Mike Spindell said:

    “To fully examine this case, however, we must look at our “culture of female beauty,”

    Hey, Mike –

    No qualms with the essence of your observations, of course.

    But to “fully” examine this case, we also must examine this nation’s dynamic to drug everything that wiggles.

    We are becomiing unhinged.

  16. “But to “fully” examine this case, we also must examine this nation’s dynamic to drug everything that wiggles.
    We are becomiing unhinged.”


    I totally agree.


    Thank you and so glad you’re back.

  17. I hope both mother and child are soon in counseling of some sort or another. That is not the behavior of a healthy adult mind.

  18. I wonder if removal from the home will lead to a better, safer placement? The foster care system is filled with great people who want to help children. It’s also filled with children who prey upon other children, “parents” who stuff as many as possible into a home to collect the biggest possible monthly checks, and some real whackos. Removal of a child from a home should be the last thing anyone wants to do, and a parent having a lifestyle devoted to crazy beauty standards is dangerous? More dangerous than parents who won’t vaccinate? More dangerous than parents who won’t let their daughters wear pants? More dangerous than parents who spank? More dangerous than parents who put boys in dresses as a punishment? More dangerous than parents who demand straight A grades? More dangerous than parents who push their child to excel at athletics even when injured? There’s a slippery slope here, but let’s all pick on botox since it’s the worst thing ever in the entire free world and make allusions to Ancient Romans or something. Downfall of civilization! OMG!

  19. So parents should lose their children for needlessly inflicting small amounts of temporary pain? Like spanking? Maybe ripping off band-aids without soaking them first? How about a good scrubbing with some lye soap and a rough washcloth, like Grandma used to do?

    Or perhaps the crime here is using a medication outside of its official FDA approval? Like 90% of physicians do every day of the year. Like a mother sharing a Claritin prescription with her child during allergy season?

    Nobody has addressed whether the mother did something actually unsafe. She professes to be an “aesthetician” with personal experience with the product. Is there any allegation that she used the medication in any way whatsoever that resulted in medical detriment? If a doctor had administered the medication in an equivalently safe manner would that have made a difference? Is, then, her crime practicing medicine without a license, even though she made no pretense of being a doctor, charging money, or treating anyone outside her family?

    Or maybe her crime is needlessly and cruelly effecting her child’s physical and psychological well-being merely to improve her chances of scoring well in a children’s beauty contest. If so, what is she doing that is substantially different than every other mother who pushes her child to diet, wear makeup and bikinis, and practice degrading and sexually- and age-inappropriate routines? Perhaps it is the institution of beauty contests which should be under indictment here, and the mother only a victim of the supposed psychological pathology inherent in what should clearly be an illegal enterprise?

    Or maybe her crime was to believe that even an eight-year-olds beauty might be enhanced through the application of a cosmetic beauty product that is usually used in adults? Like makeup, lipstick, eye liner, etc commonly used in these contests?

    Maybe you should all get off of your high horses and let the beauty judges be the judge of what the term means in a beauty contest. If the appearance of a cosmetically botoxin-enhanced child is inappropriate, the contest results will validate that, the mother need not use it again. Think of it as scientific experiment writ small.

    Or are you all you mother-haters also against science as well? I’m sure that the fact that many scientists are Jewish zionists has nothing – absolutely nothing – to do with your pious pronouncements and your sanctimonious censure of this loving mother. That’s it – you all want the child taken away because you’re antisemitic. Every one of you!

  20. There was a html coded end/snark postscript on the end of my post which did not come through! 😀

  21. If she gets cleared by a psychiatrist after counseling, then she should get the child back, under scrutiny. It’s not just her abusive behavior though; she’s training the child in the mindset of who’s the hottest of them all. Maybe the kid will end up with BDD.

  22. Woosty’s,

    My ex used to be a sort of “foster big sister” volunteer to a girl who was taken from the home of her mother (borderline retarded) and put in a foster home where she (the girl) was raped by a fellow foster child. Yeah, it’s horrible and it certainly doesn’t happen every time, but taking kids away from homes shouldn’t be done just because there’s a spot.

    I’ve known some child protective agency employees as well, and they know the consequences of what they’re doing. They also burn out of their work quickly, have huge turnover issues at work, have supervisors who just push paper and never go out in the field, and know that much of their job involves finding the least-bad placement for children. They’re also the ones who get pointed at when abused children die. Do they ever make bad decisions? Yes. Are they overworked? Yes. Are they underfunded? Yes.

    There’s no easy answer, but in this world I think a parent who parades her child in pageants isn’t my personal highest priority for even parental counseling.

  23. Absolutely should not lose custody! She was being stupid not purposefully abusive. She needs some parenting assistance and should be monitored by someone but never should an 8 yr old be taken from the one closest person in her life. Do people realize the abuse and trauma when you separate a mother and child? The world has gotten so heartless and evil. God help us.That child should be returned to the mother once the mother recognizes the danger of what she has done.

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