Off to potty to powder my nose

WHAT age were you when you started trying to reverse the ageing cycle?

Or, if you’re like me, did you simply see the Seven Deadly Signs of Ageing and say “bring it on, bitches!”

Occasionally I decide moisturising would be a very mature, responsible thing to do “for me” before I quickly slip back into my old habit of washing my face with Sunlight soap and slathering it in SPF30+ and nothing else.

Beauty regimes aren’t exactly on the top of my priorities.

So it’s not really a surprise that I found the launch of anti-ageing beauty products for tweens (eight to 12-year olds) simply appalling.

Selling at Walmart in the Unites States, the products claim they are eco-friendly and, THEREFORE, mother-approved.


Sure, it takes the ridiculous standard, set by cosmetics manufacturers to never look old, to children who have yet to mature to adulthood, but that’s okay… because the ingredients are all natural.

No, I don’t mind instilling in my daughter from the age of eight that she ought to start applying tinted moisturisers and lip gloss to keep her pre-tween youthfulness well into her age-ravaged 20s.


Don’t think I haven’t considered that there is an actual demand from young girls to mimic their mums and don make-up for fun. And, of course, mums wouldn’t want them to use products that could cause rashes or similar skin irritations.

But advertising is insidious. It doesn’t care if GeoGirl products implies that eight-year olds ought to manage a skin-care routine before they hit the playground, nor do they care that advertising beauty products on their flawless models perpetuates a disturbing rate of self-esteem-related issues in women the world over.

It cares about sales. It cares about the “nag factor” that kids wield over their tired parents. It cares about building brand loyalty – the sooner, the better.

I hope US mums buying these products have a lengthy chat with their girls about the danger of cosmetics – not their ingredients, but the larger impact it can have on her self-esteem, and just how the people on TV will try to make them feel less than beautiful.

Sure, play cosmetics have been around for awhile, but a line of beauty products such as this takes things to a new playing field, particularly when they tout the “anti-ageing” antioxidants that the products contain.

It already sets up the assumption that ageing=bad, anti-ageing=good. An impossible, unattainable goal that only serves the manufacturers.

My children don’t watch commercial TV (except when Husband has the remote) regularly, and I noticed on the one odd occasion when Son was staring, unblinking, at a row of enthralling ads for toys… an ad for TotalGirl magazine came on. He yelled at the TV: “I don’t want that!”

At the age of three, he had already put it together (without a regular diet of commercials) that they were showing him things he would want.

Interviewing Noni Hazelhurst once – former Playschool presenter, ABC advocate and all-round Aussie sweetheart – she told me of one of her finer “mummy moments”. Having drilled into her kids the hazards of television advertising, her child (also yelling at the TV) cried: “Stop trying to sell me stuff!”

Perhaps if we can show girls from the age of eight that advertising is just a means of “selling you stuff” you don’t necessarily need, the damaging sub-text that you’re not skinny/pretty/young enough can be nipped in the bud (so to speak).


5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Aussie Mummy Bloggers Carnival April 2011 | Nellbe's Gluten Free Kitchen
  2. Kellie @ ThreeLi'
    Apr 09, 2011 @ 12:27:54

    This all frightens me. With two daughters – a three year old and a six month old – I worry about what’s going to be pitched to them in the future. I worry about what effect those product pitches will have on them as young girls. So glad we’re only sticking to ABC Kids for now!


  3. petajo
    Apr 10, 2011 @ 23:16:11

    Ditto! No harmful messages on ABC2. And, of course, having a good role model at home always helps!


  4. Kelly B
    Apr 12, 2011 @ 23:50:03

    Seriously? Stupid!

    I’m so with you on this.


  5. A Cajun Down Under
    Apr 14, 2011 @ 04:54:20

    I am just appalled but, sadly, not surprised. I too am very careful about self image with 2 young daughters, and this sort of stuff just makes it harder for us moms.


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