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?

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Little Miss Vanity

Almost 2 year-old Eleanor June Rees-Sutherland

Ok, so your girl has an urge for beauty. But how far will a mother go to support that? And do parents even need to encourage it at a very early stage? These questions may not sound so tricky to answer, but there is a true story behind them that calls for deep contemplation.

A 23-month old (!) girl is going to participate in Miss Mini Princess UK, which is the first national beauty contest to be held in Leicester for little girls. Apparently her mother, Robyn Sutherland, regards it as quite natural to enter her not-yet 2 year-old daughter in this beauty pageant. She is the youngest ever contestant, thus provoking a lot of criticism. Even her dad has serious concerns about this experience as well as his daughter's constant use of make-up. Maybe there is "nothing wrong with wanting to look like a little princess for one day," but there is visible jeopardy when a girl is utterly obsessed with her looks. Eleanor June Rees-Sutherland is only a kid and already amazed at the glamorous effect of cosmetics; however, nail varnish and glossy lipstick aren't really reminiscent of childhood. Something is obviously wrong in this equation.

The worst case scenario is that all this girly femaleness will not fade out properly and it will cost her valuable playtime, hence a sane girlhood. I think it would be closer to normal if Eleanor June's parents focused on filling their daughter's photo album with more moments of her playing around unpretentiously, like the one above.

You can also read Jessica's recent blog, which is relevant to girls growing up too fast.

-Magda Repouskou
Junior Girl
Girl Museum Inc.

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