Continuation of a Theme

IzzyMom had a really great post lately about Bratz dolls and projecting sexuality onto young girls. She said it all and I totally agree, so I won’t go into it here. But go read her thoughts.

However, coincidentally, a friend on a mommy message board just brought up a somewhat related issue when her daughter was invited to a party where the girls come and play dress up. With make-up, clothing… um, the works. More than the works. See here for an example. She asked, “Why, oh why, can’t little girls just be little girls anymore???”

As you can imagine, it sparked a huge debate.

I started the ball rolling by calling it “nasty.”*

Not my most politically correct moment, but for some reason this whole phenomenon really rubs me the wrong way. AND I HAVE A LITTLE BOY!

Some of the moms didn’t see anything wrong with it… that it was just a little bit of fun. And certainly one party, where the kids know it’s just a special event, isn’t going to turn anyone to a life of looking for johns on a street corner. Point taken… but it’s the message I don’t like. That this is what you do to look beautiful. Wear gallons of makeup. Bare. your. belly.

Some moms said they played dress up just the same way when they were kids. Sure, I played dress up too. But my mom would have had a heart attack had she walked in and seen me like that. Dress up was her clothing that was 10 times too big for me, a weird hat and *maybe* some lipstick.

One mom asked how it was any different than Halloween. This comment gave me pause. Good point. Except I don’t let my son dress up like scary ghouls and goblins at age 4 any more than I would let my daughter dress up like a hooker at age 6. In fact, when Declan wanted to be a skeleton last year, I couldn’t find any non-creepy costumes, so I made one myself.

And, of course, the JonBenet word was uttered. And I jumped on that one too – because I will say it loud and proud – I HATE CHILD BEAUTY PAGEANTS.

I find them to be ridiculous, scary, and most often just a way for ugly cow mothers to boost up their own sagging egos through their beautiful daughters. (Bring it on haters, I really don’t care if you flame me for that one – you know it’s true.) For anyone who wants to be enlightened on my hate, watch this documentary: Living Dolls: The Making of a Child Beauty Queen. And then prepare to feel the vomit rise up in your throat.

OK. So overall. I listened to my friend’s arguments. And I admit I understand where many of them are coming from (on the kid’s party thing – not on child beauty pageants – I will never understand that).

I still stand by my gut reaction. Nasty.

*Not the girls. The idea of the girls dressing up like sluts for fun. Of course, when Bryan looked at the photo – he said… “Well, maybe those girls are slutty.” Yup. Proving my point.

This article has 16 comments

  1. Anonymous

    Yeah, I vote nasty too. (Like you said, not the girls, the sluttiness)

  2. Anonymous

    I agree with you to a certain point. I don’t see anything wrong with taking a bunch of little girls to a party and having fun with nailpolish, hair and makeup. I would draw the line at slutty costumes, but big hats and silly shoes, boas, would be ok with me.

  3. Sandra

    I agree with you completely. And I also have a boy. I can only imagine what I’d be like as a mom of a girl. In fact, when we go to parties of girls … I go out of my way to buy something that doesn’t feed into this whole nastyness

  4. mcewen

    We had a party for one of my sons [two boys and one girl]. At the end the parents came to collect their children. A younger sister of one of the guests had just attended a similar party aged 6 and arrived in full make-up. My daughter [approaching 10] was flabbergasted – it would appear that I have deprived her. I wonder if a bouncy castle will still do it for her this year?
    Best wishes

  5. Mar

    In agreement with you here. As the mom of a 6 year old girl, i try my hardest to steer her away from Bratz and all that crap. A little chapstick/lipgloss is all she’s gonna get for a long time….

  6. Mayberry

    That movie was soooooo disturbing. Mothers putting hair extensions on their 18-month-olds = WAY OVER THE LINE.

  7. Meghann

    I’m with ya homie. Bratz dolls are not allowed in our house, period. It irks me enough that the preview for the Bratz movie is on one of our DVD’s.

    I too am really bothered by society trying to force our girls to grow up so dang fast. And then everyone wonders why puberty is starting earlier and earlier. Well. . .DUH.

    Lip balm and cheap sparkly nail polish that peels off in a day is all my girls are going to see for a looooong time.

  8. Lotta

    I will watch that documentary. I love them. I just finished The Farmer’s Wife. A must see if you haven’t watched it already. Oh, and of course all the PBS 1900 House, Pioneer House, etc series. Rock’n.

    And on topic – I fear what the latest Bratz incarnation will be by the time my 2 year old is a preteen.

  9. aimee / greeblemonkey

    Lotta, the sad thing is these Bratz dolls are seemingly more for younger and younger girls! Not just preteens – but like 6 and 7 year olds.

  10. Heather

    The picture of the party was disturbing, the bare bellies and skanky costumes were over the top.

    There is a Libby Lu here and they do similar parties here but more on the make-up, hair, nail side of things and being princess for the day. Its so hard navigating the world for little girls these days because the marketing world doesn’t seem to want them to be little girls, they want them to be little women which is really unfair.

  11. TxGambit

    What Heather said. It is hard to raise a girl. Much harder than a boy!!!!

    While I don’t see anything wrong with the parties in moderation (not the over the top ones).

    I do not like the beauty pageants at all. It is one thing to celebrate girls for strengths but it is a completely different thing to exploite them.

  12. Shell

    Another Mama of a 6-year old girl here. ITA with you, Aimee. But, sometimes I worry that’s just because I’m a tomboy. This is also rubbing off on dd, which is fine by me. Shopping for clothes is the hardest thing that we face. Luckily, dd loves Gymboree, so I have a few years before I need to shop with the masses.

    My Mom was trying to get me to curl my hair and wear makeup as a pre-teen, and as a mom now, I still can’t figure that out!

    And beauty pageants-yuck! That just puts more undue pressure on these *kids*.

  13. tmrperry

    I’ve seen that documentary (yes, it’s scary!) and just googled Swan Brooner to see whatever happened to her (like if anyone ever did a follow up). Turns out that since the documentary filmed, she lost both her parents in separate incidents. How sad.

    Now I feel like Debbie Downer!

  14. Sue

    When we found out that Tau was a boy baby at my ultrasound, I turned to Dave and said, “Oh good – no princess parties!”

  15. monstergirlee

    Aimee, I totally agree with you 100%.
    And now I have a daughter and that stuff scares the crap out of me. That picture was disturbing. Dressing little girls up like sleezy women for fun? Nasty.
    I am just going to try to raise my girl to follow her own instincts and love herself. Cripes its scary.

  16. samantha Jo Campen

    My husband and I (currently childless) were at the zoo a year ago when we saw these girls, no older than 10, wearing mini skirts. Before I could say anything Bryan pulled me aside, grabbed both my shoulders and said with a wild-eyed expression: “We will NEVER let our daughters wear anything like that EVER! What are parents thinking?!?!” Then he went on and on about perverts out there looking at little girls, how little girls don’t know how to sit in short skirts, they should be playing and running and climbing trees, etc etc etc.

    So yeah, no slutty clothes for us when we have kids either! I’m in full agreement with you:-)

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