How Young is Too Young?

By: Danielle Eldredge Email
By: Danielle Eldredge Email

Tallahassee, Fl--2/2/12

Beauty in a bottle. Sex appeal in a tube. Confidence in a container.
Pick your potion ladies, here's your liquid courage.

"We are more focused on physical beauty than most parts of the world," said psychologist Cheri Rainey.

And it seems it's starting at an earlier age than ever before.
"I would say as young as 10 or 11 coming in to have waxing services done and hair color services done," said salon receptionist Jennifer Mckenzie.

"I had a big spa day a couple of weeks ago, the moms brought their girls and they were like 4 and 5 and they got little pedicures and they got little manicures and they got little half treatments you know," said salon owner Mary Fannin.

Beauty professionals aren't the only ones noticing the increase in pre-pubescent pampering.

"People dye their hair and wear double piercing and things like that," said middle-school student Mckenzie Yoakam.

"I've seen it change from last year to this year and I've seen them try to like look more mature then how really old they are," said middle-school student Tatum Coker.

But when it comes to beauty in a bottle...how young is too young?...
Tracy Lynn weighed in on the topic on our facebook page-- "14 and younger is too young for makeup."

Heather May says, "16 with moderation and only on occasion...kids need to be kids..."

It seems the push to have girls grow up faster is everywhere. Just take a look at this lingerie line by french designer Jours Apres Lunes. It's specifically geared toward girls ages 4 through 12.

"I think it can be dangerous. As young women are developing, especially in america, but in other countries too, they are not looking within for their own wisdom," said Rainey.

Psychologists say this "sex sells" approach to tweens can be a serious problem. They explain that girls need to develop and appreciate their inner strength before they turn to outward validation. They should hold off on the magic potions until they realize the true magic lies within.

"You won't have to be dying your hair, but if you want to, you'll be doing it just for fun. And if you want to dye it pink, you'll also do that. But you won't dye it pink because you're trying to fit in. You won't do a nose ring because it makes a statement to the world. you'll do it because you love the nose ring," said Rainey.

She says it all starts at home.When you're spending time together, promote positive role models. Point out successful women who are admired for what they do-- not what they look like. Help her explore her talents and interests. Discovering passions builds a sense of self. And most importantly...lead the way. Practice what you preach.

"In order to teach that, and consistently encourage that, you also want to do it for yourself," said Rainey.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Dyna Wilhms Location: Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. on Feb 7, 2012 at 07:03 AM
    Great story Danielle. It really hit home. I have two Beautiful female children and Beauty is from the inside out. Loved the story.
  • by FSU4LIFE on Feb 3, 2012 at 06:42 AM
    Nothing wrong with taking your little girls for a mani/pedi. It's a good mother-daughter bonding experience. But waxing 10 year olds?? What do they have to wax...peach fuzz? I think the makeup issue depends on each kid and the parent. I started using it lightly when in middle school (lip gloss and maybe some eyeshadow). If had to wait until I was 14, I would have been a freshman/sophomore in HS!
  • by Paul on Feb 3, 2012 at 06:02 AM
    Selling sexual attractiveness to children is just sick. They will have enough trouble when they are older and trying to attract mates or otherwise compete in society. Yes, attractive people have a much easier time selling themselves but this is too young to begin that grueling process.
  • by Vic on Feb 3, 2012 at 05:05 AM
    it is sad how young girl's are forced to grow up quickly and attempt to look like and act like grown women. Take a look at what they see on tv, movies, facebook, etc....and the biggest problem is that mommy works and is not there for them.
    • reply
      by conservative democrat on Feb 3, 2012 at 10:53 AM in reply to Vic
      no the biggest problem is the sick mommys are pushing this on the children!!!
  • by DTH Location: Tallahassee on Feb 3, 2012 at 04:48 AM
    "I would say as young as 10 or 11 coming in to have waxing services"? What would a 10 or 11 Year old have to Wax? Seems to me, who ever did the Waxing did it just for the Money. If your under 14, your to Young.
  • by Faye Location: Havana on Feb 3, 2012 at 04:48 AM
    It is a combination, and much of it comes from opinions of what some people think girls should be instead of letting them be kids! Even if you are a majorette or cheerleader in the 6th grade, you are expected by the school to wear the heavy makeup!! It is all out of control, and until parents step in it will stay that way!!
    • reply
      by Jane on Feb 3, 2012 at 01:13 PM in reply to Faye
      I agree. And it starts younger than that. Kids in dance and cheer competitions are in full make-up and revealing outfits shaking it all as early as 3 and 4. I'm all for dress-up and fantasy, but whatever happened to letting kids look like kids?
  • by Jane on Feb 2, 2012 at 06:06 PM
    Capitalists will find an angle EVERY time. Age is no deterrent. Morality is dead.
  • by ConservativeHippie on Feb 2, 2012 at 05:00 PM
    How young is too young? Any age. Wearing this junk always makes a woman look cheap, artificial, vain and badly lacking in self-confidence and self-esteem.
  • by Anonymous on Feb 2, 2012 at 01:51 PM
    what in the hell are people thinking? whatever happened to "Get outside and play"? No wonder we have all these children with emotional problems.
    • reply
      by yep on Feb 2, 2012 at 03:31 PM in reply to
      then they give them a pill to fix it.
  • by SMH on Feb 2, 2012 at 12:56 PM
    I agree with you just saying. Let kids be kids. I dont know why I feel so strongly about this subject but I think what these parents are teaching these kids is so wrong and does more damage then they realize. These people dont get it.. that yeah they may look pretty but they arev teaching them to be super ugly inside. That only looks matters just on looks alone will get them so far in life which isnt true. When i watch toddlers and tiaras it makes me sick. I think its wrong to have your 4 yr old daughter wear a bikini and shake "what her mamma gave her" in front of the whole world! Its disgusting! I wouldnt be so against these pagents if it were actually based on natural beauty and not have these little girls look like street walkers. I could go on and on but this is the jist of how i feel.
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