I can remember as a budding teenager waiting to turn 13. 13 was the magic age that my Dad had said I could start wearing make up. Not full make up mind you, but eye shadow and lip gloss. My Mom helped me pick it out and showed me how to apply it. The Big Guy and I have already had the discussion on when our own girls could start wearing makeup, and although he said "Never", we went with the 13 rule.
A recent New York Times article highlighted the tween makeup scene. The makeup industry is now making products for girls as young as 7. It would seem that girls in the tween age group are going and getting their makeup professionally done before going out to dinner, bat mitzvah, or a school dance. They are talking about the new "hot" lip gloss colors, and according to them you have to have lip gloss on you at all times.
These girls aren't going for their mothers makeup either. There are brands specifically targeting these young divas. PixieGlow Cosmetics is set to be launched in March at Target, the brand will feature Tinker Bell and other Disney Characters. Willa is another brand that targets the 7 - 14 age group and will soon be along side PixieGlow, at Target. Walmart already is selling GeoGirl. Madonna's 15 year old daughter started Material Girl Beauty, with help from her mother of course. And these are just a few of the brands that are targeting this demographic, there are even more out there.
Girls in the tween age group have enough problems without the added pressure if they are wearing the right makeup or not. They are already in a weird stage between childhood and teenager, their bodies are going through the change, and they are trying to figure out who they are as a person. I see the ones that hang out at my house playing with their Monster High Dolls, reading The Dork Diaries, and watching Sponge Bob. They are having their first crushes, although don't let their father know that or he will lock them away till they are 30, and just starting to giggle about who they heard likes one another.
A lot of girls this age already have self image issues, and adding if their makeup is on right is just going to add to those. As their mothers some of us are not helping them see that going without makeup can be just as beautiful, if not more so, than wearing it. I, personally, have never really been a fan of makeup. I'll wear it when society says that women should have makeup on, but other than those few times a year I don't wear it. I like that my girls are growing up seeing that Mom doesn't have to put on makeup to leave the house.
With this line of marketing it is easy to see why older generations think that this youngest generation is growing up too fast. We aren't allowing our kids to be kids any more. Many of you already know my view on this from my post "The Change From Play to Learning" . With makeup already being marketed to this young of age group, what is next? From here the only thing left would be to switch our toddlers and preschoolers from play makeup to real makeup. With makeup being produced with popular Disney characters on it in play makeup and cosmetic products I might not be that far off.