Thursday, May 14, 2009

Tween Fashion Victims

This article on the diva-fication of today's tweens is good reading for parents of tweens. I have not failed to notice that J looks relatively gauche compared to her more fashionable peers. I figure the challenge for me is to build her self-esteem without allowing her to fall into the make-over trap. The author is right that 6-8 year old girls go to the salon to have their hair-styled. Pedicure and manicure sessions are common at sleepovers and birthday parties. It does not take them long to graduate from the "play" makeup to the real thing. It makes for a rather disconcerting sight to see a first grader with ironed hair and more than a dash of eye makeup.

While a lot can and is attributed to the portrayal of girls and women in their air-brushed perfection, parents play an equal if more greater role in allowing girls to become fashion victims while they are so young and impressionable. If a woman has a positive body image and is at peace with herself, chances are that she will be able to pass on that confidence on to her daughter.

There are plenty of little girls who look and act their age even though they are exposed to the same kind of baleful media influences as those who strive for the impossibly perfect look with the tacit consent of their parents.

These are challenging times in that media is as intrusive as it is ubiquitous - if you live in society you cannot escape what it is relentlessly projecting. However, that does not make it inherently impossible for parents to have their own guard rails or set an alternative standard or example that their children can follow.

1 comment:

ggop said...

Gosh! My sister and I were content with yogurt-turmeric-gram flour "face packs" at age 12!