Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Precocious and not so pretty

Last evening while I strolled in the park, keeping one beady eye on the child in the event that he got into fisticuffs of any sort that needed intervention I found myself near the club house of the complex, where a very audible birthday party was in progress with a DJ spinning tracks which had no business being played at a birthday party of any child under 18. Anyway. As is usual, I digress.
As I strolled in the vicinity of the entrance to the club house a mom was escorting her daughter, who couldn't have been more than 10 to the birthday party. Let me make clear at this point that I vaguely looked at the child in passing, before doing a double backward flip somersault and having my jaw clunk to the floor is shock. The child was made up with full pancake, eyeshadow, mascara, blush, lipstick with gloss. Hair extensions. Glitter eyeshadow. It gets worse. She was wearing a fitted strappy tube dress which was saved from being indecent because, well, she was not as they put it kindly, a haaalthy child. She was wearing gladiator styled heels which should have never been manufactured in kiddie sizes, unless of course, these were picked up in Bangkok where everything is only available in kiddy sizes.
To say I was appalled would be to state that the Titanic was a tug boat with a single passenger on board. I see this all around me. Parents are in some sort of freaking hurry to have their little girls grow up into beauty queens. The fashion industry is not helping either. I had just about finished sputtering into my morning coffee reading about how parents actually defended retail of Abercombie's push up padded bikini tops for seven year olds, and this company is a repeat offender, selling thongs for kids with Eye Candy and Wink Wink written on them. While I do wonder what kind of person could even conceptualise such clothing for children, I wonder more about what kind of parent would actually buy them and make their child wear said thong and push up padded bikini top. Ah well, apparently one lives right in my building complex.
This premature sexualisation of young girls is becoming an epidemic. I mean, as a child, I revolted firmly against being stuffed into frilly pink ribbon and laced frocks, but I was in shorts and tshirts for most part of the day except on social occasions when I was spit polished and poured into clothes that were well, clothes a child should wear, not someone about to start dancing round a pole.
If I had a daughter would I let her wear make up and hooker shoes at ten. I would probably shoot myself in the head before I let her step out of the home looking like that. And would I, as a mother of an eight year old, let him wear a thong to the beach saying Eye Candy? I think not.
There are inappropriate clothes for kids available out there, and the kids probably think they look cool and like their favourite film star when they wear it. That's why I think we were plonked on the planet as parents to wag the finger and steer them non negotiably towards more age appropriate choices.
Let our kids remain kids for as long as they need to be kids. They have their entire lives to be grown up and dress grown up. And what kind of message are these young girls getting when they wear these clothes, if you want attention, this is what you need to look like. Never mind that the attention is not exactly the kind of attention which would be appropriate. And for god's sake, don't slap on that make up on kids attending weddings and other functions. Little girls with full make up is kind of freaky. And inappropriate too.


  1. what a pity that many moms out there dont think like u and i do.... i recently attended a prog at school where the mom and daughter came dressed almost exactly the same...just as u said, heels, tube tops, make up and all! and what was more surprising was that many of the parents thought it was 'cute'!!! and to think i practically lived in jeans and tshirts till the college forced us to wear salwar kameez!

  2. what is freaking me out is that mums who think like us are a minority.

    to update you on what the indian expat mums and their daughters are doing here in KL

    ( the 10 year old KNOWS how to wear glitter eyeshadow. she picks her own makeup/clothing etc she doesnt need help ).

    (the beanpole 14 year old has a hawt bikini

    and the 13 year old haaalthy girl in the mini-skirt sits cross-legged (on the floor).

    excuse me, while i go and bang my head against the wall.

  3. Hey where did my comment go?!

    Anyway, Mim - look this way - am next to you, banging away my head as well :(

  4. on the other side of 30 and I STILL don't know to wear full makeup. Maybe I should learn from the kids next :)

    On a serious note: these are the moms that scream helplessly when the kids can't distinguish right from wrong at a later age. Hey - if the parents don't know - how will the kids?

  5. Maybe it was a fancy dress competition ;-) or a pre-halloween party

    But seriously, why ? I have seen kids here put nail paint at 7 even on school days and I am appalled that the schools don't check such stuff these days.

  6. Thats so sad... stealing the kids childhood. I do not want anyone looking at my daughter unless she is old enough to be checked out!

  7. I'm shocked.....ur description made my hair stand up. I have a 10 yr old & she gets to wear lipgloss once a year..on her birthday. And luckily for me she thinks I'm really generous:-).
    But yes I have seen a few kids wearing full make-up & outlandish clothes on their b'days TO SCHOOL & wonder with morbid fascination abt the parents.

  8. Anu: Cute. I think we are definitely in the minority these days.

    MiM: *joins MiM in the head banging*

    JustAnotherMom: Absolutely, if the parents aren't drawing the lines, how are the kids going to stay within them.

    BongMom: Forget schools. Parents have no business allowing their kids to put nail paint on.

    Anon: Absolutely.

    Reflections: Hope your daughter stays that way, and with you as a mom, I'm sure she will.

  9. On a colour-dress day + observation day at school, my son's classmate, again a girl of nine, was dressed in full length silk 'paavadai', hair plaited with false hair reaching her waist, adorned with 2 meters of jasmine, color on her cheers, lip gloss, full eye makeup, full jewelry - neck, waist, hand, fore-head.. For the most part of the day, I sat observing the little bride in making!!

  10. Vidya: Are parents really that unaware of how ridiculous this looks?

  11. Kiran, I have a twelve year old who lives in black T-shirt and blue jeans with hair pulled back in a tight high ponytail 24/7/365. I am reduced to begging her to be a little more girlie - jus sometimes. But secretly, I am really proud of her. She is so confident, and I love her for it. I do force her to dress up in indian clothes on weddings and diwali, and on these occasions i do love to apply some color on her face, which she promptly washes off.

    I guess dressing her up is only fun since she resists it so much - I shudder to think what I'd have done had she been this fake, artificial precocious girl. But sometimes I feel that she couldn't have been that, simply because I ahvent brought her up that way.

  12. What worries me is how unsafe it is for little girls/boys to dress that way. They attract the kind of attention that leads to CSA.