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The latest media announcement to have moms up in arms? Seems Wal-Mart is rolling out a line of makeup specifically targeting the tween market called GeoGirl. "Eight-year-old girls are too young for makeup," they’re shouting in all-cap comments below the online news stories. "This is wrong on so many levels." And my favorite: "Just give 'em a mini skirt, iPod, cell phone and set them in front of the TV. Your job is done."
Okay, ladies, let’s relax here for a second. First of all, our kids are being “marketed to” all the time. And Wal-Mart is certainly not the first to try to lure our daughters over to the superficial side. By the time my oldest daughter was 3, she had her own pink plastic (talking!) makeup station (no, I didn’t buy it for her), and at 5 she was the proud owner of the same hideous giant Barbie head that I had when I was a kid. Accessories giant Claire’s -- a popular tween hangout -- sells every makeup item imaginable, including fake eyelashes and miniature press-on nails. There’s even an entire Hello Kitty cosmetics line (sold at Sephora -- and it’s not cheap!). Don’t even get me started on the padded bras, high heels and extremely teeny bikinis available in sizes to fit your preschooler.
Is Wal-Mart trying to sexualize our kids -- or are we looking for someone to blame for those time we can’t control them? According to news reports, the tween makeup market already rakes in more than $24 million a year. Why wouldn’t Wal-Mart want a piece of that action?
My thoughts: Wal-Mart’s job is to make money. A parent’s job is to raise children who (hopefully) have something resembling a moral compass and healthy self-esteem. If we do that properly, we won’t have to worry about who’s marketing what to our kids, whether it’s makeup, McNuggets or Marlboros.
At what age do you think a girl should be allowed to wear makeup? Chime in below!
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