If you had a daughter would you let her go to this party?

Sarah Burge with her daughter, Poppy

At the school gate last week, I got wind of some news – invitations would be going out in a few days’ time to what sounded like a party that couldn’t even be real. I’d noticed the mum of the party girl before (I don’t want to be a #$%*, but you couldn’t not), but hadn’t, until this point, known she was ‘someone’. With a little googling, I found out she is, in fact, Sarah Burge, the self-styled ‘Human Barbie‘ and proud owner of more than a million Aussie dollars worth of plastic surgery.

A little more googling made my eyes boggle as I learned more and more about this party that my daughter’s to-be eight-year-old classmate, Poppy, would be having. There was already quite a bit of media surrounding the affair. The Daily Mail informed me that:

Wearing a designer dress and diamond encrusted boots, the child will be paraded through her village on a horse and carriage before 100 guests will party in a barn-themed marquee with pink carpet.

There will be an X-Factor style competition in which her friends will have to strut down a catwalk and the world’s largest rabbit, which is 4ft long, has also been hired to make an appearance. Each reveller will take home spray tan vouchers, a signed photo of Poppy and Sarah and luxury chocolates in party bags worth £200 each.

Then there were the photos. My retinas burned as I looked at them – particularly the one of the topless mother and daughter bound in ‘do not enter’ tape posing with a gun.

Of course, all the girls at school are talking about the party. They’re all excited (thankfully, my daughter is most interested in the gigantic 4ft bunny on offer). My problem, however, is that, if my daughter is ‘lucky’ enough to receive an invitation, I think I will have to RSVP a big, fat, ‘no’.

My daughter is eight. For her birthday, she requested a ‘cat cake’ and we had a family dinner at home. In her spare time she likes to hang on the monkey bars, play with Dolly and Cookie (a beat up, battery-operated dog) who she lines up and teaches spelling and reading to. Rather than plastic surgery vouchers, like Poppy will get, she received some clothes for Dolly and some Lego for her birthday. She has no idea what pole dancing, MTV hosts, spray tans or X-Factor is and this is the way I’d like things to stay for some time, thanks very much.

But then, at 3am, the worries about the other little girl, the birthday girl, creep in. What if no-one attends? If we RSVP ‘no’, aren’t I making this about the mother and her choices, rather than about Poppy? If we RSVP ‘yes’, I’d be there, with my daughter – what’s the worst that could happen? Should I really be choosing my daughter’s friends for her? Just because she’s friends with Poppy (who takes pole dancing classes three times per week), doesn’t mean she’ll turn into a pole dancer as well, does it? And, of course, the big one – if I say ‘no’, will I ever get the chance to see a 4ft rabbit again?

Allison Rushby is the Australian author of 11 novels in the genres of women’s fiction and young adult fiction. You can find her blogging here and on Twitter here.

So, how about you? Would you let your daughter attend this party?