“Anti-Aging Makeup” — for 8-year-olds?

Hi Readers! Remember when kids wanted to look grown UP?  Not anymore, I guess. According to this piece in The Independent, Wal-Mart is introducing GeoGirl “natural” makeup for girls age 8 and up. As revolting as I find that idea, the fact that it is touted as “anti-aging” has me holding my head together with duct tape. (An attractive look.)

So, girls: You’re too young to walk to school at the same age mommy did, but you’re old enough to worry about wrinkles. You’re too young to play in the park with your friends, but old enough to stare into a mirror and think what you see needs fixing. In short, you are babies — and babes. Got a problem with that?  — Lenore

How sad to live before GeoGirl came along!

63 Responses

  1. The stoopid. It burns!

  2. wow, i didn’t realise just how fleeting life really was. What sort of parent would buy this for their kid!?

  3. Actually, I find this rather creepy.

  4. As the mother of two little girls, one almost 5 and one almost 7, this actually makes me want to vomit. And leave it to Wal-Mart. Really.

  5. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Lisa Ray, New Moon Girl Media. New Moon Girl Media said: “Anti-Aging Makeup” — for 8-year-olds? http://ar.gy/8Cv […]

  6. Thank you. I will now go be ill. What the hell is wrong with people?!

    I am going to have to write Walmart. Not that they’ll care.

  7. Walmart says these products are, “mother approved”…well, there you go. That makes it OK.
    I’d like to meet those bimbos…er, mothers if they even exist.
    They shouldn’t have been allowed to mate.

  8. Just gives me even more reason to instill my philosophy of “brains over beauty” in my girls. 🙂

  9. […] “Anti-Aging Makeup” — for 8-year-olds? « FreeRangeKids […]

  10. Duct-tape is also an anti-aging product. When wrapped around your head it lifts the skin around the eyes… hey, maybe they can market THAT to kids next. Ugh. *eyeroll*

  11. I feel like I am reading an article from parenting magazine and not free-range kids. Buy the product or not, but why have a fit over it, with eyes of judgement. The more I read this blog the less I am feeling the original purpose of the free-range movement.

  12. Not too thrilled that this is becoming mostly a general Walmart Sucks thread, but I would have to know more – is this play make-up (which is nothing new) or actual make-up? (Assuming there is a difference?) I do find it concerning that some moms seem to think it’s appropriate for “tweens” to wear make-up outside of their homes. Personally I am 44 and I don’t wear it; never have; so I won’t likely be guiding my kids toward that aisle. Really, if an 8-year-old has make-up, that’s about how her mom thinks, not what the stores offer.

    The other day I saw an article (with video) about a woman having her 5-year-old get her eyebrows waxed. She seemed to think it was worth it for extra points at the pageants, or however that works. The kid didn’t agree. So who’s really the crazy in these situations?

  13. Disgusting! Yet another thing to make me glad I have a little boy and not a girl!!

  14. This just highlights a little conundrum I’ve noticed over the years.
    On one hand you have people yelling that kids are growing up too fast and, on the other, you have people (many of the same people) telling 9yo girls they are too old to play with Barbies and that make-up is all-important for girls.

    Move the age to 11 or 12 and it’s magnified. It’s wrong to play with Barbies, it’s right to want to wear makeup BUT it’s wrong to want to be more grown up and it’s right to treat your tweens like they are mentally stunted 3 year olds (without all the perks of fun toys and stuff like that).

    I’m lost.

    My 10yo and her 11yo friend were playing Bratz in her bedroom one day and I asked them if they weren’t a little old. Her friend’s eyes got all big and was like, “NOOOOO!!!” My little heart just soared. I’m so glad they would rather play Barbies (or even with my 4yo’s dollhouse…which I admit is way cool) and trade Silly Bandz than sit around talking about boys and demanding I get her makeup and stuff like that.
    I’m sure that will all change when they hit middle-school next year but I hope it’s a gradual change. I was a total tomboy when I was a kid and was never into “girl” endeavors like clothes, makeup or celebrities. I don’t even know how to put makeup on and have never worn it. My girls will have to learn that from friends (or their mothers) and find a way to pay for it themselves because I won’t waste my money on it.

  15. Okay, the whole idea of makeup for pre-teens is bad, bad, bad, bad, BAD, but “anti-aging” components doesn’t have to mean they’re trying to make the 8 year olds look younger, it means that over time, the use of it and other age-appropriate products later, will slow the natural aging process of their skin — so they’ll look good when they’re 70.

    You tell your kids to drink their milk for strong bones now, partly because you don’t want them to have osteoporosis when they get older, not because brittle bones are a big issue among 10 year olds. It’s the same idea – you use “anti-aging” stuff now for the long-term, not because 8 year olds are “old.”

    Again, this whole thing in principle is stupid, stupid, stupid, and worse than stupid, but I think the anti-aging thing is a red herring.

  16. Can’t bring myself to be offended by this. Some little girls like to play with makeup. I’d rather they use modern “all natural” makeup than old school lead-based makeup, y’know.

    The article doesn’t have a picture of the packaging to know if it’s actually advertised as anti-aging or it’s just the same kind of ingredients. If it IS advertised that way, I imagine they’re trying to get sales from adult women as well. “Look young! Use children’s makeup!”

  17. That’s younger than I want my daughters wearing makeup, but I do like the idea of better quality makeup for those ages – not that you can’t just buy regular makeup for them anyhow. Some girls do like to play with makeup.

    I’ve generally discouraged that, but I’m another one who doesn’t wear makeup. I rather hope my daughters follow in my footsteps, but if they don’t, I want them to learn about buying safer types. So many types of makeup aren’t good for your skin.

  18. Lenore…this doesn’t have anything to do with this post, but I thought you might enjoy this –

  19. […] “Anti-Aging Makeup” — for 8-year-olds? « FreeRangeKids […]

  20. I hope this blog doesn’t turn into the mind numbing parenting “advice” found on most mom blogs. Have no idea what make up has to do with Free Range parenting.Isn’t this the sort of judgmental interference this blog rails against?

    If you don’t think it’s anybody’s business but my own whether my kid is old enough to ride his bike to the store, why is it my business to tell a parent her daughter is too young to wear make up?

  21. Girls, you can do anything you like…just make sure you are Super Hot while you do it.

  22. @Kokopuff: It does relate to Free-Range. Not so much for the kids, but for the parents mentality. As I’ve always said, most of these helicopter parents are doing what they do to make THEMSELVES feel better, and not entirely on the “safety” of their children. Now taking that into consideration, these mothers are so anal that they won’t allow their kids to go out and play with friends with out a full compliment of “security” escorts (insert sarcasm, but close enough, lol). But they ok with making their kids look and feel older than they really are. Yeah, that’s something the PARENT wants. Ever watch that TLC show “Toddlers & Tiaras”? It’s pretty much the same thing. These mothers are living vicariously through their kids.

    In short, a lot of these parents pick and chose what’s best for their kids based on what’s best for themselves. That’s pretty f’n selfish.

  23. P.S. Why would any kid have to worry about wrinkles? Unless they do fake n bake every day, wrinkles won’t come around for a very longtime.

  24. I’m having a hard time with my daughter wanting to wear make up… but she is 14 , not 8.

  25. I see nothing shocking in the fact that people will try to sell any product they can think of that they can get some other sucker to buy. “No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American people.” (Mencken)

  26. Who would want to look like an 8 yo forever???? Just imagine a job interview!

  27. Now that Max Factor has ceased production of pancake makeup, the ‘Toddlers & Tiaras’ set needed another product so they won’t look so washed out on stage.

    I’m so glad I have a boy……

  28. […] Read the rest here: “Anti-Aging Makeup” — for 8-year-olds? […]

  29. “…the retail giant says the around 70 new GeoGirl products are eco-friendly and therefore “mother approved.”

    Yes, this part bothers me a lot – they’re TELLING me that I approve? It turns out that I don’t give a rat’s ass if this product is “eco-friendly” – I, like most people, think that little girls with fully made-up faces are repulsive.

  30. @EricS–you’ve missed my point on why I find this type of post useless.

    Lenore typically posts items that have to do with excessive parental, civic or legal controls over normal childhood activities. I’d find it more in line with what I thought was her philosophy if this was a post about someone calling Child Protective Services about an 8 year old wearing make up. Not that the make up was available and targeted toward that age group. There’s plenty of other places to find that drivel.

    Of course we do things as parents to make ourselves feel better as parents. That’s why we all read this blog, right? 🙂

  31. So I guess when an 8 year old acts up in class we can blame it on a mid-life crises? Ha ha ha.

    (Sometimes you’ve just gotta laugh, it’s all you can do.)


  32. I sort of agree with those who say that this issue isn’t really Free Range, but I’ve always been bemused by people who tell blog owners what their blogs are about.

  33. I would assume that Lenore’s point here is that it’s not so much the product itself, but the message it is sending to these young girls.

    Little girls don’t NEED this stuff, nor should they be made to believe that they do.

    I believe that’s the point here.

    Maybe it’s not a 100% “Free Range” issue, but had it not been posted, we would not be discussing it.

    Lenore, has provided a place, a “sounding board” if you will and I think it’s great that we have a place to post our opinions…for free!

  34. I find it interesting that several are posting that this post has nothing to do with free-range kids. I kinda think that this is Lenore’s blog and she can post what she wants to post on it . I’d understand the objection if someone else had posted a link to this article but the blog-master can talk about whatever she wants.

    As for the actual product, my 5 year old loves make-up and frequently wears it in the house. She has some make-up that my friends have bought for themselves or got as samples and didn’t like. I have no problem with that. She understands that this is just for play and we don’t wear it out of the house. I do have a problem with make-up being marketed specifically to young children. I don’t really care whether it’s play make-up or real make-up, marketing beauty products to young children is just wrong. The purpose behind make-up is sex appeal so we are okaying the sexualization of 8 year olds.

    I think that western society gives children and adults horribly mixed messages. On one hand, kids can’t go to the park themselves; on the other hand, kids can dress like hookers. On one hand, youth is admired and age to be avoided; on the other hand, men who are attracted to teenagers are perverts. On one hand, we’re sexualizing 8 year olds; on the other hand, we’re panicked about child molestors being hidden behind every bush.

  35. I can see how this plays into Lenore’s overall theme that kids should be allowed a natural childhood. That would include not having to think about their looks any earlier than they naturally would. Even leaving makeup out of it, most 8-year-olds are not naturally focused on how they look in the mirror. I tend to think that is healthy. That said, some little girls do like to “play” with make-up, and while I can’t relate to it, I do see it as a legitimate “play” activity. But no kid of mine is getting out the door with make-up on until she is at least 13 (preferably older). Yikes!

  36. Ow. That hurt my soul. smh

  37. I hope it works! I would love to preserve my 11-year old forever.

    That said, “anti-aging” and “makeup” for tweens is the epitome of an oxymoron. And just moronic.

  38. I’ve never worn makeup as an adult, but I loved to play with my mom’s makeup when I was a kid. Of course, I wanted to brush her blue eye shadow all over my face so I could pretend to be a Star Trek alien.

    I swear, adult uses of makeup are so *boring*…

  39. I have no objection to the silly “make-up” that kids often wear — sparkly gels and sticky gems and things — and I have no objection to those things being natural and eco-friendly. But the anti-aging thing gets me, because anti-aging creams don’t even work (in so far as I know anything about the science)– it’s just a marketing ploy to get them hooked early. I think it’s symptomatic of a society that values the appearance of childhood over the experience of childhood.

    Also, in sephora of all places I overheard a woman asking what a good starter make up for an 8-year-old was. IN SEPHORA. I think that’s worse…

  40. Yeah when those 8 year olds realize that having the skin of a 13 year old comes with zits, the demand for anti-aging cream will skyrocket.

  41. I think the really ridiculous part is the anti aging bit.
    Parents can rest assured that this make up is eco friendly so it won’t hurt their kids and that it has the benefit of anti aging, so yes moms run out and buy this make up….it can stop the aging process your kids must actually go through.

    Forget about talking to your kids about make up and that appearance is not important. Buy them anti aging makeup so they don’t grow up and it has no harmful chemicals….overprotective parents this is a no brainer!
    Not only can we stop the kids from thinking for themselves we can actually stop the process of physicially getting older

  42. But is there sparkle lip gloss? That’s pretty much vital for the not-even-preteen appreciation of makeup.

  43. I played with my mom’s make up when I was a kid. We called it “dress up.” I had a little horde of the stuff she didn’t want anymore. My 2.5 year-old likes to play with my make up. She and her 3 year-old cousin play “tea party” and they put on glittery make up and princess dresses and have a grand time.

    I agree if the packaging actually says “anti-aging!!” on it, then that’s a little silly. But little kids wearing make up is just part of being a little kid.

    I agree they shouldn’t wear it outside the house, but that’s just me. Plenty of my friends were wearing make up in 6th grade, and I was SOOO jealous.

    The plus side to playing with makeup as a kid, is you learn how not to look like a clown when you get older. My parents eased us into makeup.

    12- clear lip gloss, blush, and brown mascara.
    13- colored lip gloss, neutral eye shadows
    14- black mascara, and colorful eye shadow
    16- eye liner and lipstick (for special occasions)
    18- pierced ears

    I plan to use the same time line for my kids, because by the time I was 16, I really knew how to make my make up look natural, and I knew that less was more. But until they’re 12, they can play with makeup all they want in the comfort of our home.

  44. I’d rate this at about the same absurdity as bra’s for <10s. They're marketing this stuff as things your children need when they honestly don't. There is a difference between playing dress up and wearing a bra and makeup when you're 8.

  45. @Metanoai: I had a training bra when I was 9 or so and definitely not even slightly curvy. I stopped wearing it, and then started wearing bras again when I actually had something that required support. I don’t think I really needed the “training” (except perhaps for the clasps, but then training bras are usually front-clasping or sports-style). In an odd way that’s like giving a kindergarten class homework because they’ll have to do it eventually. :S

  46. I thought the point was what was stated:
    You’re not old enough to go be a kid (play in the park, wander the neighborhood, have any kind of independent mobility) so here – go worry about your (imaginary) wrinkles instead…
    Alice really went to Wonderland, um?
    And Dorothy really went to Oz.
    And just where do girls go to in the real world?
    (only those corporate shucksters know for sure…)

  47. “Mom Approved!” Right. Like the T-shirts for girls that say things like “I only go to school to flirt with the boys” or “My brain is on summer vacation” or “Too cool 4 school” that are available at stores like Walmart and K-Mart.

    All mother approved, that is why after the back to school sales, those are the only shirts left on the racks.

  48. My biggest issue is that the names of the products had to be translated into REAL english.

    I’d only buy my kids make-up labled “make-up” not XL%)!*&A!.

    (Really, doesn’t text speak look like swear words used to in the Sunday comics?) .

  49. Real make up for 8-12 year olds? This is the equivalent of a KidzBop remake of Britney Spears If U Seek Amy. Girls shouldn’t be wearing make up if they’re not ready to handle the “real thing”–which should be 13 at least, hopefully older.

  50. Donna- “I think that western society gives children and adults horribly mixed messages. On one hand, kids can’t go to the park themselves; on the other hand, kids can dress like hookers. On one hand, youth is admired and age to be avoided; on the other hand, men who are attracted to teenagers are perverts. On one hand, we’re sexualizing 8 year olds; on the other hand, we’re panicked about child molestors being hidden behind every bush.”

    Amen! And both angles make me sick. :/

  51. my girls have destroyed so much of MY makeup that I have had to break down to buy them their own or at least rotate mine out more often, given them the bits I won’t wear anymore.

    I was one of those girls who was never really shown how to put on makeup as a child or teen by my mother and never really had makeup party sleepovers. So although I know how to put on makeup, I’m not that good at it. If my daughters want to play and have fun, they might as well have stuff geared to their skin, not mine.

    although the makeup kits at Daiso are a fraction of the cost…

  52. I was going to put in two cents, but Donna and SKL said it for me! Thanks!!:)

  53. Sad. Is anything sacred? Perhaps “mommy approved” thongs are next. Way to go WalMart and all of the execs who sat around the conference table discussing this one.

  54. Oh gag me already (sorry for the visual). And how the hypocritical thinking work!

  55. @Kokopuff — Thanks for posting another POV. I seriously don’t know what the purpose of a comments option is, if not to give our honest, polite, opinions. And I’d wanna hope they’re not all identical.
    And, btw, I think your point’s a good one.

  56. playing out in the mud does wonders for the complexion…

  57. @ Tuppence – I agree with giving legitimate opinions. Saying that you disagree with Lenore’s point of view, saying that some (including Lenore) are being judgmental, saying that this is not a big deal are all legitimate opinions. Telling Lenore that this post was pointless and should not have been included in her blog is where I have an issue. It’s her blog. She can blog about the price of milk if she wants to do so. We don’t get to decide what is posted here and what is not. We can choose not to read a particular thread if it doesn’t interest us. We can choose to express our opinions about the topic however unrelated to Free Range Kids. But we can’t tell her that she shouldn’t be blogging about a certain issue on her own blog.

  58. […] “Anti-Aging Makeup” — for 8-year-olds? « FreeRangeKids I'd find it more in line with what I thought was her philosophy if this was a post about someone calling Child Protective Services about an 8 year old wearing make up Not that the make up was available and targeted toward that age group. I've never worn makeup as an adult, but I loved to play with my mom's makeup when I was a kid. Of course, I wanted to brush her blue eye shadow all over my face so I could pretend to be a Star Trek alien. […]

  59. I remember being 8 and sitting in the living room with my BFF and her ginormous play makeup collection and giving eachother “makeovers”… complete with purple & white lips, green eyeshadow, and red blush. I have nothing against play makeup because it’s just that, play.
    I started wearing makeup at around 11 or so and that’s only because my mom said it was okay because she did the same thing (her mom was an Avon rep. and therefore had tons of makeup just lying around). You know what? I rarely wear makeup today because I just can’t be bothered but when I do I actually know what I’m doing because my mom actually taught me how to blend colors and the like.

  60. I went and read a few articles and press releases on this, and the disturbing thing (well, one of them) is that they go out of their way to explain that this is intended not as play make-up, but is – in fact – “real” make-up.

    How the fact that they are sending out this sort of confusing message about childhood is *not* a concern for FR parents is beyond me.

    Childhood innocence is sacred, in our society, to the point where people are attempting to protect them from even the normal growing experiences of being a child. We are supposed to assume that there is someone out there eagerly waiting for the slightest chance to rip that innocence away, should we let down our guard for even a second. We should suspect every stranger (and pretty much any man) of looking at our children in a way that is unnatural and perverted. Because of the sick people out there who view children in such a twisted light, we cannot allow our children to roam free and just be kids. We should be careful of even posting their photos online, because these creeps will find them and think awful things about our sweet, innocent babies…

    And in the meantime, we should by our pre-teen girls “real” make-up, because for some reason they need to accent their eyes, show off their cheekbones and define their lips. Luckily, they recognized that youthful skin doesn’t need covering up, so they are not selling a foundation, but they did make sure there is a mascara to emphasize those lashes… so they can better flutter and bat them..?


    Add this to the state of little girls’ clothing these days, the majority of which some of us dubbed the “Prostitot Collection” a few years back, and you’ve got some very strange messages going out about what is appropriate for our kids. Low rise jeans (when my daughter was 7, I couldn’t find any jeans in her size that actually came up high enough to cover her little girl underwear, so I went with boys’ jeans until I located a couple more-decent brands), cropped tops, provocative sayings, high heels, way-too-short skirts…
    There was one memorable day when I saw an outfit in the girls’ section that was, I kid you not, an almost exact replica of the school-girl costume on display in the window of the stripper-shop next door to my favorite used bookstore. It was possibly the only time I have ever wished I had a camera phone, because I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.

    I let my daughter play with make-up and face paints. Mostly, this means she wants to “look like a fairy” or some other such thing. At her school, there aren’t a whole lot of girls in make-up, but she tells me she sees more when they go on trips where there are kids (the same age) from other schools, and when we went to the local theme park, they were *all* over the place. Full make-up, in full-on Tramp style. This was not letting a little girl wear lip-gloss or a little shadow, even… this was more “Floozy out on the town” application, on the same age set as the ones this new line is targeted towards.

    And where you can say that it is up the parent to decide what is okay for their child, and it is, I want to know what this is saying about society. Many of us, as Free Range Parents, are criticized for allowing our children to be “in such danger” and told we just aren’t facing “how it really is” and seeing “how scary it is out there.” Open your mouth in the wrong parenting group or around the wrong people, and you can be attacked for your parenting choices, including being told you don’t deserve to have children if you aren’t going to keep them safe. We are told, over and over and over, that there are sick people out there who think inappropriate thoughts about our children. We are told to worry about how they are plotting and planning ways to get close to our children, and that these sickos see them only as sex objects and potential victims and they are EVERYWHERE. (This, of course, being something *we* know isn’t true, but facts have never stopped anyone really determined to criticize, judge and condemn when fear is the issue.)

    And then we’re told it is perfectly normal to dress our children up in clothing designed to show off their bodies and the figures they probably don’t even have yet (though, in my family, we’re in bras for a reason by time we’re 10). It is considered cute to dress them up in things with flirty little sayings. And, now, apparently they need “real” make-up before they even necessarily have all their adult teeth?

    And of course, then you have things like this.

    And we’re supposed to be paranoid about the perverts around every corner who are determined to sexualize our children.

    Um… wait. Which ones were they?

  61. At 38 I still don’t wear makeup – never really have. It’s not something I wanted to do as a kid, I was taught to value my real beauty and not cover it up.
    I have to say I still get mistaken as a 25 year old often enough.

    This all makes me really sad for girls growing up today. And totally another reason to boycott Wal-Mart. I wouldn’t spend my money in their stores if it was the best deal in town.

  62. well written. thanks for informative article.

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