Growing up too quickly?

When I was a little girl I dabbled in my mom’s make-up, putting on lip-stick while she was getting ready, but I wasn’t allowed to wear make-up until I was well into my teens.

Well, according to a recent Toronto Star article, Walmart has introduced a new cosmetics line targeted at young girls aged 8 – 12. Yep – that’s right, a make-up and skin care line for 4 – 6 graders!

Today’s girls are growing up in a society that increasingly exposes them to adult concepts and concerns beginning at a very early age. While it is natural for young girls to be curious about make-up, a cosmetics line targeting them only reinforces potentially harmful messages about beauty and body image.

Girl Guide Members of all ages engage in discussions and activities that teach them media awareness, and encourage healthy self esteem and positive body image – learning that true beauty comes from confidence, courage, resilience and resourcefulness.

The launch of this cosmetics line has already stirred up a lot of discussion in the media – what do you think?

  • What message does a make-up line for eight year-olds send?
  • Does it perpetuate the perception that a girl’s natural beauty isn’t good enough?

By Nisha, GGC staff


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7 Responses to Growing up too quickly?

  1. Trish Beauchemin says:

    Thank you Walmart for completely undermining the efforts of parents, Girl Guide leaders, teachers and communities everywhere who try to teach girls to have a healthy, empowering self-image. Let’s instead teach them that at 8 years old they need makeup to look acceptable and to be loved. And to guard against wrinkles. Wrinkles? Seriously?

  2. Leslie Reid says:

    Why on earth would they ever think that an 8 year old or anyone in elementary school would need makeup. I didn’t wear makeup until I was in my teen years, probably around the time I started high school. It drives me crazy when companies market things like this towards young impressionable girls. Why don’t they just put up a big sign saying “Girls, you will never be pretty enough unless you hide all of your natural beauty beneath a layer of grease paint. And please don’t be yourself, who wants to see that!” They are children!!! Let them be children. There’s enough years ahead for them to hear all the horrible TV ads saying they can’t have wrinkles or gray hair. Why can’t we embrace ourselves for who we are and not what the media wants us to be. This is just another way for company’s to get money. I for one will not support this product. As for a skin care line…. their skin is young and they don’t acne yet. I hardly think they need to have a skin care regimen.

  3. Kathleen says:

    But it’s the parents who purchase this stuff for their kids! Right or wrong Walmart is filling a market that people are willing to buy into. We are expecting adult behaviours (makeup, “boyfriends” and “girlfriends”) from children at an age where they have no concept of why they are doing it…it’s just the norm.

  4. Bri A says:

    I will start this off by saying I’m pretty much anti-makeup. I think it is a waste of money, unnatural, and unneeded. I have not worn makeup a day in my life.

    If you are an adult who is teaching girls to love themselves and know they are beautiful children, are you being a good role model for these teachings? Do you, as a leader, wear makeup to Sparks, Brownies, Guides, Pathfinders? As a parent, does your young girl witness you prepping yourself for an average day by covering up your natural face? Or are you merely asking them to “do what I say, not what I do”?

    I’m non-wasteful, not covered in chemicals, and beautiful in my natural state. I’m a proud Girl Guide and I pass these morals on to my Brownies.. Knowing that I also live by them!

    • Leslie Reid says:

      I don’t wear makeup myself when I go to guide meetings or camp. I rarely wear anything but a bit of foundation from day to day so if the girls see me out and about they see a natural looking me.
      Kathleen, I agree the parents are the ones buying it. I think they should also consider though if they want to buy it for their daughters and expect them to look like adults, they should not be surprised when they start acting like it…smoking, dating at young ages, and so on.
      I still think kids should just be kids. Why should they grow up so fast. I would love to go back to those days when life was so carefree. They are only young for a little while, enjoy it while it lasts.

  5. Callista says:

    I heard about this and we discussed it at the playgroup I go to. This is ridiculous but the sad part is what was already brought up. They wouldn’t be making this if people weren’t buying it. We were in a small store in our local mall that had makeup. I didn’t read the intended age but the girl on the package looked about 8. My 5 year old asked what it was and I said makeup and she said she wanted it. I told her she is too young for makeup.

    I don’t wear makeup except for special occasions and even then, mostly just foundation to even out my skin tone and perhaps some eye shadow if I feel like it. To me, using makeup on special occasions (and I mean really special occasions, not just a holiday or birthday) is the equivalent of kids playing with their parents makeup at home, just for fun.

    As a Girl Guide leader and a mom of 2 girls I try my best to instill self confidence and the proper message. I’ve never seen one of our Guides wear makeup but I had a Spark come in it once (yes a Spark!. a 5 or 6 year old.) That was just ridiculous.

  6. Suzi Cancar says:

    Children are undoubtedly growing up too fast. If you would like to see why, my sociology group at Ohio University has made this video. Watch it! Share it.

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