Thursday, 5 March 2015

Is the beauty industry corrupting childhood?


This is going to be a bit of a controversial post, especially as I myself as a beauty blogger, may even be contributing to the very topic I am about to complain about. When I was in super drug the other day I was casually browsing the makeup isle when I heard a small voice behind me exclaim 'this is by far my favourite foundation brush - you  have to try it'. I turned around to see a group of girls, no older than 11 or 12 sharing their views on the latest £14 a pop Real Techniques brushes.


These days post 3pm, Superdrug somehow seems to turn into a daycare centre. When I was working on a makeup counter I once (hesitantly) sold a £24 brow kit to a twelve year old. Her mum tried to dissuade her from spending most of her allowance on it, and my selling techniques were not as pushy as I'd been trained to make them as honestly, I would have much rather her spend them on a toy. When I was twelve I had a see-through lipgloss and a see-through mascara, both from Mizz magazine (Is that still around? I hope so!) It was very, very common to ask your friends whether their mum let them wear makeup yet in my early teen years, now it just seems like second nature.

Don't get me wrong, I love beauty. I've worked on a beauty counter and I run a beauty blog. But you have to wonder, with all this new technology virally spreading the late must-have products - is our culture's obsession with makeup corruption our youth?

My friend Emma (All that Shimmers), a fellow beauty blogger said something that really summed it up recently. Whilst we were sitting stuffing our faces in Subway, we started discussing how kids use the internet; 'I always used to think we were the internet generation' she exclaimed. I have never felt older, but it is completely true. My 11 year old cousin has an Instagram. Seriously.

You could blame it on the mass media, but in my opinion it's far more intricate than that. I think the introduction of beauty gurus on youtube has a lot to do with this cult of baby beautistas. When I was younger we had youtube, but it was all 'Chocolate Rain' and 'Keyboard Cat', nothing like it is today. You type the address into your browser and before you even log in there's 'Kylie Jenner make-up tutorials' and 'Get ready with me' videos as far as the eye can see. Anyone can become a makeup whiz now because there are thousands of sources showing us exactly how! 

Kids also have 24/7 internet access now. I got my first phone at the age of 12. It was a silver flip phone and it would cost you a fortune to access the insanely slow and incredibly basic internet. I think I managed to get google (or probably Ask Jeeves) up like, once. Nowadays every tween going has an iPhone, with instant around the clock access to beauty videos and celebrity instagrams

But here's the catch, is this beauty-mad tween nation, really that bad? I'm in two minds. On one hand, makeup is an art form. It is a brilliant way of expressing your own personal style and individuality in a fun and creative way. On the other, I can't help but think 'can't kids just be kids?' what's the rush to grow up. In short, I'm very glad my makeup collection consisted of that one lipgloss and mascara when I was younger. I'm glad the word 'contouring' wasn't in my vocabulary. I'm glad I didn't blow three weeks allowance on a brow kit. 

I'd love to know your opinions on this so please comment/debate below!
Abigail x

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7 comments

  1. I think that this is a really touchy subject and that everyone has there own opinions on it. Personally, I don't really see a problem with boys and girls wearing make-up at a young age as they can do what they like with their allowances etc. but I can see why people are a bit "meh" about it at the same time... The world's a lot different even from when I was a kid (and I'm only 19!!) and I guess this is just how society's evolving to now. So long as children aren't feeling pressured I see no problem with it - it's when they feel inadequate that I start to worry.

    Great post!

    Chantel Dione | fashion, beauty, music & life

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  2. WOOO I GOT MENTIONED HI EVERYONE

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  3. I definitely agree with this. I didn't have my first phone until I was at least 11 years old and even then I never used it because I much preferred to be outside playing on my bike with my friends. I was about 14 when my mom first took me to Superdrug to buy make-up and even then it was bare minimum and in neutral shades. I think kids nowadays are becoming adults a lot quicker.

    Natalie Ann xo // Petal Poppet Blogs ♥

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  4. Your blog amazing! I do really like it! I know how much time it requires, but you did a really good job! Keep doing it!) I’ll be happy to see you in my blog!

    Diana Cloudlet
    http://www.dianacloudlet.com/

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  5. I think wearing make-up is definitely a personal preference, I was 12 when I first wanted to wear make-up, however I wasn't allowed until I was 15. While I don't think it made a huge difference in my childhood I am glad I was forced to wait. At a slightly older age I was more confident in myself and better understood the difference between highlighting versus covering my features.
    I love how aware your opinion is. Thank you for posting.
    -Chelsey // AndEverythingNice

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  6. Interesting read and hard to pin point subject in terms what should and should not be. I personally feel children should not be indulged to what to do this beyond their age. For example my mom allowed me to wear polish at 12 hesitantly. But when she realized I was unable to maintain the color due to chipping I was not allowed to wear it anymore until I knew how to maintain them.

    The point is with every grown up action there is grown up responsibilities. Children should just be that, young and care free! Thanks for sharing.

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  7. This is a tough one for me because I strongly feel that children should not wear makeup until they are well into their teens, even though I remember how desperately I wanted to wear more than clear lip gloss at the age of 13. Now that I am older, I have 3 main reasons why I think kids need to wait until they are about 15ish (give or take) to start experimenting with makeup and hair color:
    1. You have to be able to purchase and maintain your style. Having personal style is important and being able to express yourself is great, but while your parents should clothe you and hopefully, take your taste into account, it is not up to them to buy every new item that comes out and they certainly shouldn't have to nag you about maintaining your style (like re-dying your hair, cleaning the bathroom after you dropped makeup, etc.) Some kids can handle these things at a younger age, but most need to be in their teens to do it consistently.
    2. You have to be mature enough to understand the implications of your style and deal with them maturely. I would never tell anyone what s/he should wear or how they should do their makeup (unless they asked) and I would never judge anyone, but that's just me. Unfortunately, we live in a society wear people will judge and assume certain things about you based on your appearance. Typically, a 16 year old can deal with that appropriately, but a 12 year old might have a hard time.
    3. Lastly, it's nice to have things to look forward to in life. If you have your first manicure, kiss, pedicure, facial, massage, pair of heels, date, boyfriend, tube of red Chanel lipstick and Gucci bag all before you turn 13, what will you look forward to at 14? It's not a huge deal, but I didn't get my first facial until I was like 27 and I was way excited. It was something that I'd wanted and looked forward to for a long time and anticipation can be such a wonderful feeling.
    I know that there are some very mature tweens and younger teenagers out there, along with some that have a very definite sense of style and I applaud them for having that, but most younger teens still need a few years to get a handle on making good life choices. I remember it being hard, but it's a life lesson that will be worthwhile in the end.

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