From my pal Karoli I learn there's something new (in Philadelphia, anyway): bikini waxes for pre-pubescent girls. Mir is incredulous as is Moe at Jezebel: How Many 8-Year-Olds Have To Get Bikini Waxes Before We All Agree The Terrorists Have Won?
It's not just salon treatments, it is marketing:
But 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.
There's even an acronym for the phenomenon: KGOY, “kids getting older younger.”
Really, if there's a Club Libby Lu for "pretend makeovers", how short of a step is it to a full-scale spa treatment for the under-10 set?
Parents' complicity in age-inappropriate consumerism is not favored by everyone:
Rosalind Wiseman, the author of “Queen Bees & Wannabes” (Three Rivers Press, 2003): “Mothers and fathers do really crazy things with the best of intentions,” she said. “I don’t care how it’s couched, if you’re permitting this with your daughter, you are hyper-sexualizing her. It’s one thing to have them play around with makeup at home within the bubble of the family. But once it shifts to another context, you are taking away the play and creating a consumer, and frankly, you run the risk of having one more person who feels she’s not good enough if she’s not buying the stuff.”
Jennifer, writing at jezebel (its tagline reads: "Celebrity, sex, fashion. Without airbrushing") reads mothers the riot act for buying sexualized clothing for the pre-teen set:
Dear women: a child is a human being, not an accessory. The death of the It Bag should not be followed by the rise of the It Kid. As adults are dressing younger and younger, are kids forced to look older to compensate? Where have all the grown-ups gone? Besides the problems of 1) dressing a grade-schooler like a whore and 2) using a grade-schooler as a status symbol is the problem, as yet another mother points out, that "not only are the values and bodies of our young girls being exploited by these fashions, but what kind of effect is this having on our boys?" Exactly — if young girls (or rather, their parents) are objectifying themselves through the clothes they purchase and wear, can we blame men for doing the same to them, too?
Previous posts about age-compression and predatory marketing to teens and elementary-school girls:
Age Compression and the Britney Effect
For Shame, Abercrombie & Fitch
Abercrombie & Fitch Update
Searching for An Idea
Privileged Perfect Child
Girls Gone Mild
A Call for Parental Firmness
Promoting Tween Sexuality for Profit
A Call for Parental Firmness
Dressing Your Little Girl Like a Slut
Age Inappropriate Dressing for Mothers and Daughters
Loss of the Latency Period
See Age Compression.
See A Call for Parental Firmness
See Entitlement Culture and Unspeakable Rudeness
See Consumerism and Parenting
See Humility and Privilege
See Creating Entitled Children
See previous posts on children with entitlement issues,
Feministe's KEIs: a book on entitled kids,
I'm not a lousy parent, you are a too-needy kid;
the enduring lure of Gunny Therapy and why it doesn't work;
pushing kids into adult behavior in the pre-teen years;
Christian Science Monitor: Isn't She Special? Packaging Girlhood
Thirteen going on ThirtySomething
Age Compression: Tweenfluence
Girls Who Grow Up Too Fast
BellaSugar: Has Little Girl Primping Gone Too Far?
Tacoma News Tribune: Sexy at 7?
Philadelphia Magazine: Pretty Babies
New York Times: Never Too Young for That First Manicure
Slate: Lolita's Closet
Daddytypes on the Heinousness of Club Libby Lu
Daddytypes on the Heinousness of Club Libby Lu--update
Angry Pregnant Lawyer: Club Libby Lu--Too Much Disposable Income
Phantom Scribbler: Club Libby Lu
Jo(e)'s Page: Calling Club Libby Lu