You can buy a string bikini for a six month old. Suri Cruise has been spotted around Tinsel Town teetering in two-inch heels. And the TLC show Toddlers and Tiaras is now in its fifth season. So I guess I shouldn't have been so surprised when my girlfriend announced she'd just read that Walmart was launching a line of cosmetics aimed at 8-12 year olds. I was pretty sure she must have read it in The Onion, but she emailed me mainstream media confirmation. The But Walmart has said in a statement that, "The geo-girl line was developed in partnership with our customers to give parents a healthier, age-appropriate option for their tween girls who ask about wearing makeup." Do some 9 year olds seriously ask their mothers if they can wear make-up? And worse yet, are some mothers looking for a way to be able to say yes?
With inviting "green" packaging, "texty"-cute names (a lipshine called GR8), and special formulations for "soft, young skin," Walmart is touting the line up as a "safe" cosmetic choice for fourth graders; it's like a KidzBop version of Britney Spears' If U Seek Amy. They are telling a nine-year-old that her eyelashes really do need some enhancement, but that this option is far more "appropriate" than the stuff in the pink and green tube. Are they encouraging your fifth-grader to consider an anti-oxidant or two to get a leg (lip?) up on father time--all under the auspices of good old-fashioned hygiene?
We don't let our daughters take pole dancing for pre-teens because it seems like good exercise. We don't give 11 year-olds non-alcoholic beer to wind down and relax after a tough day of fifth grade. There are some things that kids should just hold off on until they are ready for the real thing.
Sadly, this isn't the mass merchandiser's first foray into cosmetics for kids. GeoGIRL will be replacing the failing Olsen Twins product line in Walmart stores. I guess, at the very advanced age of 25, Mary-Kate and Ashley are over-the-hill has-beens. Talk about the end of an era. But I won't even let my eight-year-old get her ears pierced because it seems too grown up, so maybe I am just being a prude. What are your thoughts on geoGIRL--harmless fun or license to grow up too soon?