Toddlers Don't Need Makeovers & Spray Tans

Julie Ryan Evans
5

toddler princessBecause everyone can't afford the full-time toddler beauty pageant circuit I guess, someone came up with the glorious idea of salons for toddlers where they can go get full makeovers, facials, and manicures, just like the big girls ... or big girls who are into that kind of thing. All I can picture is pretty innocent little girls going in and miniature versions of The Real Housewives coming out. 

The Daily Mail recently highlighted the offerings of Trendy Monkeys, one such spa in the U.K. that caters to clients as young as 1. There are so many sad and disturbing things about the existence of such a spa, it's hard to know where to begin, but let's start with teaching girls to put a priority on their appearance before they can even walk.

It's tempting, I know. They're so cute, and you want to do all the mommy-daughter bonding. I think how fun it would be to paint my 2-year-old daughter's little perfect toes, then don't because I don't want her to have to be careful about kicking a ball with those toes or not running or anything else for even a few minutes of her childhood. I don't want a quest for beauty to get in the way of the more important things in life -- in big ways and in small.

I will eventually, I suppose, when/if she asks, but there's a big difference between grabbing a bottle from your shelf and dabbing some on, and making a big to do of the whole thing, marching her into a blinged-out salon, and throwing in a facial while you're at it. While I learned a long time ago never to say never when it comes to parenting, that's something I hope I never do until she's ... I don't know. I don't know when it becomes okay, but I do know the toddler set is way too young for such treatment. They're perfect the way they are; why would we try to show them otherwise?

Little girls get plenty of attention from the world at large for their looks as is. My daughter hears how pretty she is ALL the time. It's like adults don't know what to say to her if they're not commenting on her hair, or her shoes, or her general appearance. With my son, however, he'll get a what a handsome guy once in awhile, but he's more likely to get what big muscles, or a comment on the team whose jersey he's sporting, or a question about himself. I know people are just being nice, but it happens ALL the time and the way people interact with them is starkly different and most definitely being registered. Less, not more, emphasis on little girls' looks is needed.

When girls base their worth on their appearance, it's a recipe for disaster -- most of us know that from experience. Why would we want to foster that in our daughters? The world was aghast when we learned of Kerry Campbell, the mom who forced Botox and bikini waxes on her 8-year-old, but salons such as this are mere steps away from that.

Plus it's setting them up early for a high-maintenance life. If you get your first spray tan at 10, will you regular pale skin ever be good enough again?

Perhaps these salons can provide some harmless fun for some, but I think the potential for them to have more harmful implications for girls' self-esteem and confidence later in life is greater.

What do you think of makeover salons for little girls?


Image via abbybachelder/Flickr

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