Friday, January 28, 2011

Pretty Little Girls

If you looked up “girly-girl” in the dictionary, there’d be a picture of me sitting there in a fabulous pink dress, with my legs neatly crossed, face beat, lips shining (Lip gloss is my favorite!), drinking some afternoon tea, and reading my most recent copy of Cosmopolitan magazine.

I really do love all of that stuff!  So it was a surprise to some people (those who don’t really know me), that I was bothered by Walmart’s recent announcement about their new line of beauty products.  Beauty products – no big deal right?  Did I mention this line is tailored for girls between the ages of 8 and 12?  It’s being branded as an “anti-aging” line designed for “young skin” and it will feature blush, mascara, lipstick and face shimmer. 

Lipstick and blush for 8 year-olds?  Seriously??? 

I’m not mad at Walmart for deciding to run this campaign. They’re a business, and businesses are in the business of making money. Point blank.  And the beauty industry is BIG MONEY.  What frustrates me is the message that this is sending to young girls.  To me, it reinforces an unhealthy focus on exterior, superficial, physical beauty.   

The vanity obsession is everywhere.  Turn on the television on any given day and you’ll see young women who are consumed with their appearance. Part of it is just being insecure (We’ve all been there.)  And companies know that. That’s why they spend millions on marketing campaigns that focus on the beauty benefits of their product.  Get it?   

Yes, I enjoy wearing make-up, but I’m a woman who’s comfortable and confident in her own skin (with or without lip gloss). Young girls should be encouraged to be smart, outspoken, compassionate and fearless. And they should be reminded that real beauty doesn’t come from the perfect shade of face powder.  It comes from within and is always accompanied with great humility.    

Let's leave the lipstick and blush on the shelf where it belongs.    

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