The purpose of our blog is to discuss topical issues, stories, and situations, as well as to share what we are up to and new ways for you to get involved. We are always searching for possible answers to the question: Why is a girl's worth culturally and historically relative?

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Makeup for Tweens is on the Rise


As a young girl, I enjoyed playing dress up, going trick-or-treating on Halloween and trying out for every school play. The costumes were exciting and fun, but I really enjoyed dressing up so I could wear what I saw as forbidden: LIPSTICK. My mom would not let me wear ANY makeup, not even in high school, no matter how many times I begged. Sometimes I would sneak some of my mom's makeup to school or buy a few items with my babysitting money, but she would always find out and ground me.


Looking back on my childhood, I realize I just wanted to be like everyone else and fit in. I wanted to shave my legs, wear short skirts and makeup, because I thought it was cool, not because I needed it. I now know that I was just trying to grow up—too fast. I never thought I’d say this, but my mother was right about makeup. I didn't need to wear it then and now that I feel comfortable in my own skin I can happily say I don't need it. If you want to live without makeup or at least less, check this link out: http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/BeautySecrets/story?id=2779368&page=1.

I’m not surprised that high school girls want to wear makeup, but I am shocked that makeup is becoming more and more popular with tweens (ages 8-12). According to the research company NPD, their case study Insight into the Youth Market showed that the "overall regular usage is at much lower levels across most beauty categories for teens and young women, regular usage is actually up for a few products relative to 2007 for tweens." The NPD press release can be found here.

Tweens reported increases in regular usage of mascara, eye liner, and lipstick, relative to 2007 levels. Is the increase in make-up product due to television shows and celebrities? Yes and no. Some girls are influenced by the media, just like I was with the magazine Teen Beat, but the case study notes that girls "look to their parents and siblings to see what they are using to help decide what to buy and use."

I don't see a problem with make-up for young girls in play, like dress up and theatre, but how young is too young to make a habit of wearing make-up? Tabloid pictures have recently shown Suri Cruise, three-year-old daughter of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes, wearing red lipstick and shopping at the cosmetic store Sephora.What do you think?When did you start wearing make-up? There isn't necessarily a right or wrong answer and this topic will continue to be debated, but parents and their daughters should discuss what is it all means and what is age appropriate. If you and your parents decide makeup is fine, check out appropriate makeup for teens and tweens here:
http://make-up-application.suite101.com/article.cfm/makeup_for_teens.

- Samantha Bradbeer
Junior Girl
Girl Museum Inc.

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