What’s The Rush?

Boy am I seriously out of touch!  Is this a hallmark of aging?  Am I already so generationally- out of step-with-the-times challenged?

I was sitting outside at Starbucks late this morning trying to enjoy a post-workout Latte and…OK, I’ll fess-up….a sweet treat as well.  It’s the season for pumpkins so I indulged in a slice of pumpkin bread.    I stressed the word trying because at the next table there were two women talking rather loudly.   I was taking advantage of my poodle’s doggie day care play day by sitting outside with a good book and tasty treats too.

I tried mighty hard to ignore the voices at the next table, burying my head in my book.  I kept reading a simple sentence over and over.  Didn’t their mother’s teach them the meaning of talking softly…sotto voce….when out in public?  Obviously not.

“…And here is a product to consider for your daughter….how old is she,” asked one of the women.

“Nine,” was the answer.

“Oh good….she’ll like this then.”

As I took a piece of pumpkin bread I turned enough in my chair to get a look at the party at the next table.  Well that explains the snippet of conversation I had just heard.

On the table was a tray of Mary Kay cosmetic samples and some brochures.  One woman was obviously the Mary Kay consultant.  She  had perfectly coiffed long blonde hair and was dressed straight out of a Talbots catalog.  The other woman…the mother of the nine year-old.  NINE YEARS OLD?

Everyone has an opinion and no doubt you’ll guess what mine is:  It seems awfully young to be wearing makeup.  I thought the going age was sixteen knowing full well that many young girls are probably sneaking lip gloss and mascara on at thirteen or fourteen, as soon as the front door hits their tush, when on their way out to school.  Am I so out of touch with things that I missed this trend?

Apparently I am, big time.

An Ad for Walmart's makeup line for young girls

An Ad for Walmart’s makeup line for young girls

Sneaking makeup is so passé.  In fact, it’s totally unnecessary, apparently in this day and age.  In fact, I feel like I did just fall off the turnip truck.   I hadn’t a clue that  in 2011 Walmart introduced a line of cosmetics called Geo- Girl specifically targeting 8 – to – 12 year-olds.  (http://abcnews.go.com/US/tweens-young-makeup/story?id=12777008).   My jaw dropped.  Eight years old. 
Another reason to boycott Walmart I say!!

Yep….An ABC news article in 2011 reported that the new makeup line at Wal-Mart “aims to speak the language of technologically savvy youngsters.”  Seriously?  One mother commented “I feel [makeup for young girls]… it’s part of hygiene and I do all of these types of things myself and I think they are better off starting young.”

Should your daughter have sex at the age of eight then?   You do that too, I presume.  Just saying.

Seems like these young girls should master the art of face washing, clean fingernails, and brushing and flossing teeth instead of wasting time on, –and-might I add, the expense of– wearing makeup.  girlmakeup

Another comment touted the benefit of creating a bond between mother and daughter; helping daughters to choose the right makeup for their skin and, if their skin is smooth and flawless, how to choose substitutes to foundations….all of this can aid in a mother’s lasting relationship with their daughter.

Did you catch that?   If their skin is smooth and flawless they still need to have something!  Amazing.

There are so many avenues to creating and nurturing the mother-daughter relationship and yes, a makeup regimen is one of them but wouldn’t you think there’s plenty of time to do that in the teen years.  Let these little girls be just that…little girls.  What’s the rush?  Can it really be that moms need makeup sessions to bond with their little girls?  It seems to me that mothers are caving to some Hollywood and media-driven notion about beauty and that cannot be healthy! That’s not parenting.

I am stupefied, really.  What message is this sending to these very young minds.  They need makeup to look and feel pretty.  And so the “measuring” begins and with it obsessing to look beautiful and the often inevitable downward spiral of self-esteem.  What can possibly be healthy about that?

Maybe I’ve done things terrifically wrong.  Could this be the reason why I don’t have as close a relationship with my 27 year-old daughter as I’d like to have?  I don’t recall her pleading with me to paint her face when she was still in grade school.  Sure…I caught her playing with my makeup when she was two years-old and supposed to be down for her afternoon nap.  She had taken a tube of my lipstick and had drawn all over her face…and the bathroom wall as well!   I couldn’t help but laugh at the sight of my baby girl!

My daughter was as cute as a button when she was a little girl.  And, certainly at age nine she did not need eye-shadow, lip gloss nor mascara to look pretty.  She was….is….beautiful in my eyes.  Yes. She started the occasional foray into the makeup world by the time she was thirteen.  But it wasn’t allowed before then and even at thirteen it was only for a special occasion.  She went to a homecoming dance at thirteen and when she emerged down the steps to the living room in her beautiful Cabernet-colored dress her face was adorned with lip gloss, mascara, and a pinch of rouge on her fair cheeks.  It was a special occasion after all, and oh yes, what fun it was to help her get gussied-up.  By the time she was fifteen or sixteen, my daughter wore makeup more regularly but still, even then she sometimes didn’t care one way or the other about it because she was more interested in soccer and doing well in school than looking and dressing like a Barbie doll.

I suppose I’m mighty lucky I don’t have a young daughter to raise in these times.  When looking around on the web I found that many moms let their daughters wear makeup before age 8…and out in public too.   I’d be mighty unpopular If I had a young daughter now…but then again good parenting shouldn’t be about “popularity” and being ‘friends” with your kids.

Sigh.  A sign of the times I suppose.  A sad sign.  Let’s hope this is just a phase and that someday (sooner rather than later) there will be a return to more common sense, healthier, values.