‘Pamper parties’ sexualizing young girls
London: Girls as young as three are undergoing beauty treatments like facials, manicures to eyebrow shaping, body glitter and temporary tattoos in the UK, it has emerged.
The Daily Mail has found in an investigation that from Aberdeen to Devon, specialist businesses are offering `pamper parties` and cosmetic tips previously confined to the adult market.
The heavy makeup services also include pedicures, nail painting, moisturising masks, make-up lessons and stick-on `tooth gems`.
A number of businesses also offer post-makeover glasses of `kids` bubbly` and non-alcoholic cocktails, according to the investigation.
Young girls are also being targeted by firms offering `Lipstick and Limo` parties and U.S.-influenced `mini-model` fashion parades, complete with pageant-style tiaras and scaled-down catwalks, stated the newspaper.
Reg Bailey, chief executive of the Christian parenting charity the Mothers` Union, is preparing an independent review for Cameron into the sexualisation and commercialisation of children.
He has asked parents to contribute with evidence of the pressures on children to grow up too quickly.
"In particular, I want to know whether parents think that there is too much sexualized imagery day to day, and if this makes it seem like the norm to children.
"I think that many, many parents will be concerned by the prospect of children not being allowed to be children and being expected to grow up way before their time," he said.
Katherine Rake, chief executive of the Family and Parenting Institute, backed him saying, "This type of activity is giving girls an image of themselves which is based solely around their physical appearance. That puts huge pressure on them to conform to some kind of unachievable standard."
"This results in low self-esteem, eating disorders and all sorts of psychological and health issues," she said.
However, Lisa Burgess, who organises makeover parties for girls aged between six and twelve, insisted the criticism was unjustified.
The owner of Pamper Parties, based in Canvey Island, Essex, said, "Little girls have always loved to play with make-up and it`s a natural part of growing up. We don`t go over the top and the children enjoy themselves."
"The cocktails are really popular because they make the girls feel that little bit more grown-up. They have them in plastic champagne flutes with the little stirrers and umbrellas. It`s just like the grown-up drinks but without the alcohol," she said.