In today’s New York Times, the paper takes an interesting look at the growing phenomenon of pre-pubescent makeup use. Analysts say this is part of a trend called KGOY (kids getting older younger) – a trend which is only enabled by pushover parents.

Years ago, I was shocked when pre-teens started carrying Dooney & Bourke handbags and wearing 7 For All Mankind jeans. And don’t get me started on the sweatpants with “Juicy” splashed across the ass. I used to find fault with just the parents, but the article points out that retailers are also to blame.

“Today, cosmetic companies and retailers increasingly aim their sophisticated products and service packages squarely at 6- to 9-year-olds, who are being transformed into savvy beauty consumers before they’re out of elementary school.”

According to the article:

*In a study last year, 55 percent of 6- to 9-year-old girls said they used lip gloss or lipstick, and nearly two-thirds said they used nail polish, according to Experian, a market research company based in New York. In 2003, 49 percent of 6- to 9-year-old girls said they used lip gloss or lipstick.

*Sweet & Sassy, a salon and party destination based in Texas for girls 5 to 11, includes pink limo service as a party add-on, which starts at $150 a ride.

*At Club Libby Lu, a mall-based chain, girls of any age can mix their own lip gloss and live out their pop idol fantasies. Last year, the chain did about a million makeovers in its 90 stores nationwide.

*Dashing Diva franchises often offer virgin Cosmos in martini glasses along with their extra-virgin nail polish, free of a group of chemicals called phthalates, for a round of services for a birthday girl and her friends.

Virgin Cosmos?!?!?! Huh?

I don’t know about you, but I am sickened by this. It doesn’t quite rise to the level of Big Tobacco marketing to adolescents and teens, but it’s pretty damned close. And the parents who can’t say no just add fuel to the proverbial fire. I’m all for buying your pre-teen some Bonne Bell Lip Smackers (that’s what my mom did, and I turned out just fine)…but limos and faux cocktails? I think this trend will only lead to bad things – like girls begging for rhinoplasty and boob jobs to commemorate their sweet sixteen.

Photos courtesy of The New York Times.

3 Comments on Girly Girls: The Growing Trend of Marketing Makeup To Children

  1. yummy411
    February 28, 2008 at 8:38 PM (10 years ago)

    ok, i do not condone a virgin cosmo! that is utterly ridiculous, but have you been into Libby Lu’s? it’s so cute and childishly fake. def no harm there. I saw the other place that you have pics of (sweet n sassy maybe?) kimora lee simmons daughters got kid pedis and manis. it was cute, but no virgin cosmos! i’ve taken the idea to have that kind of party at home and save money. great post!

  2. monique
    February 29, 2008 at 12:01 AM (10 years ago)

    hmmm…this is definitely a tough subject…i have a 7 yr. old, and i have been taking her to get mani/pedi’s (mostly pedis) since she was 5. i let her wear make-up at home and sometimes out of the house. she has her own make-up, and nail polishes. she celebrated her birthday lat year, and it included a trip to Club Libby Lu. it’s her favorite store. very girly, pink, and full of all the H.S Musical things she could ask for, as well as Hannah Montana. there are other things in the store as well–clothing, jewelry, hair stuff, shoes– she asks me everytime we are at the mall to visit the store, and she wants to have her birthday include Libby Lu this year as well.

    i think as a parent, it’s a personal choice as to whether or not to allow your child to have things like pedicures. she finds it fun and knows that she is beautiful without it.

    this is always going to be an issue, i’m sure. just thought i’d share… 🙂

  3. Anonymous
    March 1, 2008 at 8:53 PM (10 years ago)

    Its funny how as a 21 year old I see girls half my age looking at the same things I am at the mall. I stopped going into Victorias Secret because all you find is the tween crowd buying thongs and lip gloss. If I go in Sephora they are there yet again trying on mascaras and such. When I was that age I got excited when my mom brought home a lip gloss for me. It was Clinique’s Air Kiss and it was soo pale you couldn’t see it! I didn’t know any better. I was excited and that was when I was 13! Now show that to a 13 year old and they’ll roll their eyes at you. Where’s the childhood innocense?!