Natasha, all of 7 years, got an invitation for a friend’s birthday party. The birthday party had the theme of a princess. Natasha wanted to look her best and wanted others to envy her. She came back home from her school and straight went to her mother’s room. “Mom, I want to go shopping today and tomorrow I want to go to the parlor to get my makeup and hair done according as per the theme. I want all the girls to be jealous of me. I want to look my best. I want to be the most popular girl in my class and school.”
Her mother smiled very proudly and took her shopping. The dress, shoes, and matching accessories were meant only for one day. Next day, mom and daughter went to an upmarket salon where Natasha decided that she will get her hair done as per the theme with some highlights, manicure, pedicure, chocolate facial for the “glow”, nail art, and finally the makeup.
When she was done finally, she blew a kiss to herself and her mother was beaming with pride. She entered the birthday party adjusting her off-shoulder gown and strutting in her 4-inch high heels. All the other girls looked at her in awe. That’s exactly what Natasha wanted, the look of appreciation, awe and jealousy in each girl’s eyes. She said to herself, “No one can stop you from becoming the most beautiful, stylish and popular girl in the school.”
Sounds filmy..isn’t it? But sadly it is not. Children as young as 6-7 are “groomed” by their parents. Just came across a write-up in a popular publication where parents said that “looking good” would make their children confident and popular among peers.
Call me old-fashioned but is that what makes a child popular and confident? What about the values of sportsman spirit, sharing, helping, being happy and confident in your own skin, not judging anyone on the basis of their caste, looks, complexion, gender, etc.?? Kids as such get bullied in the school. A plump kid getting teased daily, a dark girl being discriminated, a child from humble background being looked down upon, and many such examples of bullying and discrimination start from the school itself.
Why does an 8-year-old need chocolate facial for relaxation? Its an age where playing with friends, getting dirty in sand and mud, chatting with friends brings relaxation. Every stage has its own charm. Childhood means innocence. The entire adult life is left to do all the other things.
Times are changing, kids are exposed to a lot of things now. But as parents we have the responsibility to make them understand what’s right and what’s wrong. They are kids and would demand everything that they see. Its we who can tell them about the pros and cons of things that they wish for or see.
Giving emphasis on looks right from a very tender age has adverse effects on the children. Once in a while pampering is fine but making it a daily ritual is not! No, I am not being judgmental, I am forced to think as we are raising the next generation!
Think about it!