Hyper-sexualizing Girls Makeovers for 6- to 9-year-olds? What's next? Botox? Hair extensions?
I grew up in an era when girls were not pampered the way they are today. My sister and I helped around the house from the time I can remember. We did everything from vacuuming and ironing, to cleaning up the kitchen after meals. Even my younger brother washed and dried the dishes. Everyone pitched in to help.
Mom rarely pampered her girls, except for the occasional bubble bath. We weren’t allowed to wear make-up and nail polish until we hit the teen years -- except on Halloween. My sister and I would dress up like gypsies (no offense to gypsies intended) and Mom would break out the costume jewelry, paint our faces with rouge (blush), lipstick, and press a “beauty mark” into our faces with eyebrow pencil.
Growing up I was a tomboy. Back then I cared little about clothes or how my hair looked. What mattered most to me was playing softball, tetherball, hide and seek and climbing trees and fences.
But I also had a girlie-girl side. I loved playing with dolls! In the 1950’s and 60’s dolls were made for children, hence their bodies were not “mature” like a modern Barbie doll. My grandma’s loving hands made most of my doll clothes. In those days parents would have disapproved of sexy undergarments and lingerie for their daughter’s dolls. By today’s standards my favorite doll was a plain Jane, but I loved her just the same!
Now fast forward to 2008. Surprisingly the left-leaning New York Times published an article by Camille Sweeney, Never Too Young for That First Pedicure . The article reported on a disturbing trend to hyper-sexualize girls. To that end, most spas now offer treatments for youngsters, which includes make-up, manicures and pedicures.
The portrait Sweeney paints of the modern adolescent isn’t a very pretty one. Little girls are becoming self-focused and vain before they even reach their teenage years! The reason this is happening is that our culture emphasizes a person’s outer beauty, not their inner beauty. The Bible tells us that true beauty is a matter of godly character. “The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” (1 Sam 16:7).
In her article, Sweeny gives us the lowdown on some of the ways parents and grandparents are spoiling girls.
“Eleanor was in the bubble-gum-colored pedicure lounge of Dashing Diva, the Upper West Side franchise of the international nail spa, with her 3 ½-year-old sister and a half-dozen or so friends. The girls were celebrating her birthday with mani’s, pedi’s and mini-makeovers with light makeup and body art — glitter-applied stars, lightning bolts and, of course, hearts.
“Eleanor’s mother, Anne O’Brien, stood watching and shrugged. ‘What can I say?’ said Ms. O’Brien, whose husband suggested the party. ‘She’s a girly girl. I’m not quite sure how it happened. I didn’t get my first manicure until I was 25.’”
Anne O’Brien may not be sure how it happened. But I think I know. Retailers. They’ll do anything for a buck. Including peddling raunchy products to adolescents.
“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.”
Those responsible for purchasing “beauty” products for girls should know better. That would be parents. It’s the grown-ups who are allowing their daughters to become “savvy beauty consumers.”
“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. And 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 in martini glasses? Extra-virgin nail polish? For 8-year-olds? Has common sense left the building?
Sweeney reports on “primping parties”…
“At Club Libby Lu, a mall-based chain and the most mainstream of the primping party outlets, 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, said Ari Goldsmith, the director of advertising and marketing.”
Makeovers for youngsters? What’s next? Botox? Hair extensions?
Why are so many parents complicit in this push to hyper-sexualize girls? Answer: They’re impervious to the corruption of our culture. Instead of protecting their child’s innocence, some parents are robbing them of it. It’s painfully obvious that a large number of Moms and Dads don’t have a problem with their kids being a part of the popular culture, where anything goes, including turning children into sex objects. And by the way, where are the women’s rights activists on this issue? Young girls are demeaned and exploited for profit, and the collective voices of the feminists are dead silent.
Really, what it comes down to is this: Parents want their daughters to be part of the “in crowd” – no matter what the sacrifice. The sacrifice, I’m afraid, is their virtue.
Is there something wrong with raising young girls to be virtuous? Whatever became of developing godly character in a child? In today’s popular culture modesty and purity have become vile words.
For me, one of the most disturbing aspects of this trend is the way parents dress their young daughters (6-year-olds do not dress themselves). It’s heartbreaking to see little girls in skintight low riders and crop tops that expose their midriff. Moms and Dads should be savvy enough to understand that evil forces are behind the hyper-sexualization of girls. Those most responsible are the anti-God secular humanists. But is there any doubt that perverts and pedophiles are part of the corrupting influence?
Sadly, some of the high-powered executives that operate the multi-billion dollar beauty and fashion industry are really nothing more than raunch peddlers.
Speaking of peddling raunch, Victoria’s Secret (VS) top executive, Sharen Turney, recently admitted that VS is “too sexy” for its own good and is planning to “reinvent the sleepwear business and focus on product quality.”  Why? Not because Miss Turney has been struggling with her conscience. Truth be told, the change of heart came about because of the bottom line. According to AP “Same-store sales at Victoria's Secret fell 2 percent in 2007, with sales in the fourth quarter dropping 8 percent.” As a result, the queen of raunch lingerie is becoming more ladylike. From their plunging sales it would appear that some women are no longer interested in wearing undergarments designed for porn-stars. Sales suffer when consumers stop purchasing a company’s products. Consumers have spoken. Is Miss Turney really listening?
Perhaps other retailers of women’s clothing whose sales have gone flat will come to their senses and drop the sexy fashions they’re marketing to youngsters. Unless parents refrain from buying their sleazy products it’s about as likely to happen as a shark becoming an angelfish. There’s always hope, though!
And what, pray tell, is the Church doing to put a stop to the madness? The sad fact is that many Christians have yielded to the culture. And those that have are just as complicit in hyper-sexualizing youngsters as liberals are. So I pose this question to followers of Jesus Christ: Why do you suppose the world doesn’t believe what Christians have to say?
The answer is that Christians don’t live what they say they believe. Instead they live like the world.
“The Christian life,” says Warren Weirsbe, “is not a playground, but a battlefield.” [Read Eph. 6:11-12] Those who commit to follow Jesus Christ have got to get off the playground and make haste to the battlefield. Your children’s future is at stake. And I’m not talking to you nominal Christians. I’m talking to those who are serious about their commitment to Christ. Yes, fighting the culture is an uphill fight. But we can win some battles! "We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed” (2 Corinthians 4:8-9).
Copyright by Marsha West, 2008. All rights reserved.
Biography - Marsha West
Marsha West is a religious and political-based writer. Until recently Marsha was owner and managing editor of the Email Brigade website and the EMB News
Report for over 20 years. She is currently co-owner and editor of Berean Research and general editor of the Christian Research Network. Marsha’s articles have been published widely, both online and in print. Her articles appear on Berean Research, Christian Research Network, News With Views, RenewAmerica and Web Commentary. Visit her resource website: http://onsolidrockresources.com