Monday, May 24, 2010

Divafication


Waiting my turn at the community microwave at work a few days ago, I leafed through the pages of an old Newsweek. A line in an article on the pre-mature diva-fication of little girls made me pause. The author quotes a mother  :
"My daughter is 8, and she's like, so into this stuff it's unbelievable," says Anna Solomon, a Brooklyn social worker. "From the clothes to the hair to the nails, school is like No. 10 on the list of priorities."
No matter how hard you try to pin the blame on media and society at large , the problem clearly lies with the parent and not with the child who has placed education number 10 in their list of priorities.I know mothers who take their kindergärtners out to get pedicures and manicure to say nothing of professional hair styling on a regular basis. The kids are not begging their parents for any of this. They are quite happy being kids. It is the parent that is not allowing them to do so.
It seems that it is the vanity of the parents (and maybe their own lack of satisfaction with their physical appearance and/or social status) that nudges them toward diva-fication of their children. Over time the situation spins out of control. A few years down the line, the kid will throw a fit if their hair is not styled right and their French manicure is lacking in quality - they are merely being creatures of habit. If the parent had taken a detour from the diva route and got the child interested in other things - education, art, sports, music - come to mind but a slew of other wholesome options exist as well, they would have ended up having entirely different set of priorities. 
It is a pity that authors of such articles don't take the trouble to make the responsible party feel like they have a big part in the problem and have the ability to fix it even as the tween pageants dominate prime time television. Instead we have this ludicrous hand-wringing on behalf of parents who don't deserve any of the commiseration.

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