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Tween Vanity Gone Bad?

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Tween girls (between the ages of 8-12) are spending $500 million on beauty items annually. Are they out-of-control or just following mom's lead?


WWD reported that 60% of 10-year-old girls say they use fragrance products such as bodywashes, gels and lipgloss, while 40% of tweens are using colored cosmetics. We're a little disturbed by this statistic: Are moms allowing their daughters to buy beauty products and/or wear make up to school? And what about the recent trend in tween bikini waxing? Waxing what??

We can't help but wonder who is driving these girls to beauty salons and make up counters, and furthermore, encouraging them to get treatments that should be reserved for a woman, not a child.
Who is responsible? Mom or the beauty salon?

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23 comments so far | Post a comment now
Kasi May 22, 2008, 9:07 AM

I think a little pampering for little girls is harmless…but these girls are going too far. They are still little girls and shouldn’t be looking like grown ups…it just attracts the wrong kind of attention. When I was that age I couldn’t wait to wear make up and dress older but now as a mother of 2 girls I understand why my mom wouldn’t allow it…there are just too many creeps out there.

LeAnn May 31, 2008, 2:48 PM

I think it’s too far. I’m raising three ‘tweenage’ daughters (11-yr-old twins and a 9-year-old) and some of the girls at their school dress like they’re much older. I agree with Kasi: it attracts the wrong attention.

Julie June 1, 2008, 5:43 PM

Girls can still be interested in products and treatments that make them feel good & it does not have to attract the wrong attention. All ages (male & femalke alike) like to be well cared for & pampered. It is something they can do for THEMSELVES, and does not have to be for others.

There should be more products & treatments designed specifically with this in mind for tweens.

Harry June 11, 2008, 8:43 PM

Don’t ask how I found this site, but I am disgusted with this. I have a 10 year old girl and 13 year old boy and they are more preoccupied with the clothes, shaving, bras (?), etc. than they are with being KIDS. No matter how much I talk to them about it, I am losing because they go to school and deal with the other kids whose parents are asleep at the parental wheel. There is a difference between good grooming/cleanliness and the obsession with “needing” all these products/processes.

Celeste June 12, 2008, 12:33 AM

I don’t see anything wrong with a fruity smelling body wash or an afternoon with mom getting pedicures. The problem I have is my twelve year old who wants to wear make-up and thong panties like everyone else in 6th grade. My question is what are parents thinking!!!It’s bad enough that girls bodies are developing faster than thier brains now days. Why add to this already confusing time in thier life by making them think they have to look “sexy”. Let them be kids!

Princesspeachfan2008 June 15, 2008, 5:16 AM

to Celeste:Why should you let them be kids, everyone grows up as adults, even you were a kid before, but face it, when your in 6th grade, your childhood shall end! and enter teenhood and into adulthood. The tweens are just ready for the ultimate challenge of growing up.

Jessie June 20, 2008, 1:18 AM

i think that if your child feels ready to do this stuff let them it is crossing the line when they where to much makeup and stuff but gloss and eye liner wont hurt them! And if you child needs a bikini wax let them

Tipper June 23, 2008, 8:12 PM

” And what about the recent trend in tween bikini waxing? Waxing what??”

Is the person that wrote this unaware that girls hit puberty around 9, and 10?
Theres a lot of 11 year old girls that are more developed then some strippers.
I see nothing wrong at all with any of this.

Brian November 29, 2008, 5:08 PM

i have news for the people who think there is nothing wrong with a 10, 11, or even 12 year old getting a bakini wax; your girl is going to get knocked up. make up isn’t suggestive, but a bakini wax is a reason to show more skin. all leading to the day your little angel gets pregnant and has a traumatizing abortion or is stuck with a kid before they get out of middle school.

Danielle December 31, 2008, 8:50 PM

There is nothing wrong with wanting to look good. Kids grow up quicker now. Its the times people!

Carrie January 15, 2009, 6:30 PM

well i think they have to fit in. all ages wear short skirts and make up now. everyones already seen bikinis on the beach so its nothing new. ive met 2 really rich guys because of my daughter so im going to keep on helping her dress up.

Alex January 15, 2009, 6:34 PM

hey im 16 n i cant tell if a girls 10 or 14 sometimes so i just go 4 it ;) if they want 2 look like a hoe thats kool im up 4 it! they kno all bout stuff by time there 10 anyways

Martin January 15, 2009, 6:44 PM

Some people are so behind the times! In the circles i move in the daughters and mothers look the same. It’s good that kids can dress up and do the things their mums do - it brings mother and daughter closer together. We all invite kids to our parties and they have a great time mixing with adults, dancing and in the pool. We’ve even had “America’s Top Model” shows for them - they love getting tanned, putting on make up, getting a new hair style, wearing glamourous clothes, as well as the “woooos” from the guys.

Heather March 31, 2009, 11:25 AM

I am trying to understand the way people are more “progressive” these days. I allow my daughter some choices. But my niece is only 11 and allowed to wear the skimpiest things. She bikini waxes. I asked her about it, and she said everyone else does. I have caught her here doing bad things online too. I told her she has to behave here, but her mom (my ex sister in law) allows her to do that at home. If anyone wants to share issues we face, write me at, or chat on yahoo at heather_a_h

Heather March 31, 2009, 11:28 AM

I messed up my yahoo name in that posting. It is heather_a_h2002

MarcomMom June 1, 2009, 7:22 PM

Some of these comments make it sound as if you’re using your kids as bait to find men for yourselves. That is really sick.

Pat June 6, 2009, 1:36 PM

This whole thing is sick to me.Let your children be children- they have their whold lives to be adults. I can see good grooming as a skill to be learned thoughtfully- like keeping clean and not havingb body odor, brushing your teeth, etc. Our kids should be more concerned with learning and playing and not worrying about things as children. Childhood should be carefree. As far as trying to look like something you’re not, thats just raising kids with wrong values. If they(and you) buy into the propaganda about women needing to be a certain way-like the airbrushed magazines they will end up with all kinds of anxieties and problems because most photos of women ( and men) are not even real- they are photo shopped. Bikini wax for a tween? I’m 51 and I’ve never done that. Its a US cultural thing. In Europe women like their hair and are not ashamed to be real women. What message are you sending to your kids? Your Vagina has to be groomed? For who? some man when you are 12 years old? Why not just put them on the street corner? Thats crazy. American women are weird.

Dawn June 24, 2009, 4:03 AM

To Pat: you’re my hero! I agree with everything you said. (Just thought I’d say that)

Jennifer H November 22, 2009, 11:23 AM

I hardy think that is the demise of girl’s childhood to allow a little makeup. a sheer coat of gloss and a liitle sparkle on their eyes isn’t going to hurt anyone. I’m not saying let them walk out of the house like a show girl however subtle lookes like you would see on the pages of Gap kids and jcrew catalogs are not unreasonable.

jessica January 10, 2010, 2:42 PM

My daughter lost her virginity very early and I do regret not having controlled the amount of make-up she wore, because her confidence went over the top. She would bring guys back when she was 11 and have sex in the house. Not good.

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