May 30, 2011

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So I’ve still got spa-culture on my mind. Today it’s kids and spa culture – or how we train girls in body control.

A couple of months ago, the internet was abuzz about a woman who was injecting her 8-year-old daughter with Botox (for supposed ‘lines’ around her otherwise pageant-perfect smile) and taking her for leg waxes.

Got a few minutes to spare? Here’s an interview ABC News did with the mother and daughter:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=auzvSkIk7xg

At one point, the little girl tells us that she doesn’t think it is “lady like to have hair on your legs,” (although she also says that the pain from waxing was so terrible that she doesn’t think she wants to do it again).

In this case, the mother justifies her actions because her kid does the kiddie beauty pageant circuit. If television programs like Toddlers and Tiaras are anything to go by, it’s a strange world where little girls get spray tans, fake teeth and eyebrows waxes before parading around in custom made gowns for a panel of judges.

Watch the show here:

http://tlc.howstuffworks.com/tv/toddlers-tiaras

But it’s evidently not just the pageant set who are teaching their daughters about the joys of chasing the beauty ideal.

At a spa in Texas, girls as young as two are apparently settling in to spa culture. For them, it’s a chance to “feel like a princess.”

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/vp/19513736#19513736

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/19510304/ns/health-kids_and_parenting/t/spa-treatments-kids-raise-waxed-eyebrows/

In a related article I found on the MSNBC website, I learned that pre-teen girls are evidently being taken for ‘virgin waxes’ by their mothers. Though they may not yet have a pile of ‘unwanted’ hair to contend with, the parental reasoning is that waxing it away before it makes a full-on appearance is a way to save the young woman from having to deal with pesky hair as an adult.

As the article states: “One New York City salon, Wanda’s European Skin Care Center, boasts on its Web site that children 8 years and older can get discounted waxing for “virgin” hair. “Virgin hair can be waxed so successfully that growth can be permanently stopped in just 2 to 6 sessions. Save your child a lifetime of waxing … and put the money in the bank for her college education instead!” the salon proclaims.”

Apparently the article’s author couldn’t get the spa owner to agree to an interview, though she did learn that they see 200 “kid clients” a year, and that “kids should start waxing at 6 years old.”

Oh, sigh.

Here’s the full article if you’re interested:

http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/26182276/ns/today-today_fashion_and_beauty/t/too-young-preteen-girls-get-leg-bikini-waxes/