I had my first-ever pedicure when I was in my early 40s. It was a Mother’s Day gift from Dennis and the kids and, although it was pleasant enough, I never went back for another. I did make an appointment for one, but I called up and cancelled because I simply couldn’t justify that kind of money for red toe nails — or whatever color is in vogue these days. That’s not to say other women shouldn’t enjoy this indulgence; I’d just rather spend my “mad” money on books or music or red wine or a really great suede coat (one of my real weaknesses).
But that has nothing to do with the preschoolers and paparazzi promised in today’s headline, does it? Well, there is a connection; bear with me. In today’s New York Times, the Thursday Styles section featured an article (read it HERE) on a disturbing new trend. Girls, some of them as young as 3 years old, are apparently becoming regulars on the spa circuit. They get pedicures and manicures and make-overs. What they’re making over at the age of 6 or 7 is beyond me, but one of the experts explained the phenomenon like this:
“Our little girls now grow up thinking they need to be ready for their close-up, lest the paparazzi arrive.”
Oh, well, when you put it that way, it’s completely reasonable. I feel much better now.
If these girls feel the need for a make-over at 7, what will they need to feel beautiful at 15 or 25? I guess the answer to that question can be found in the sky-rocketing numbers of young women seeking out plastic surgery for attributes that were once considered endearing or charming but now are considered unacceptable. I don’t think we have to look farther than the young women gracing the pages of the celebrity tabloids to see where this twisted mentality has gotten us.
It’s one thing to let our girls play dress up or rummage through our make-up collection to try on a shade of lipstick on a rainy day at home. It’s another thing completely to let our girls buy into the notion that they need accessories and regimens and procedures and, of all things, paparazzi to be complete.
We have to let our girls be girls before they become women or they’ll never become the women they are meant to be.