We live in a fast forward society.
We want our information now, our coffee in an instant and our packages expressed.
This leaves me wondering- what’s the hurry?
I question this pace even more when it comes to our children, especially our girl children.
It seems that not only are they in a hurry to grow up, they have begun to take matters into their own hands physically forcing the hands of time forward.
Little girls no longer look little. Older girls look even older.
The faces of these girls are now far from looking fresh. Instead, it is often hard to distinguish their true age because of the cosmetics layered on their faces. When I am shopping I often stroll through the little girls and tweens section. The clothes hanging on the racks do not look like they are intended for young girls. Rather as though manufactures have taken clothes meant for grown women and simply shrunk them.
As a culture, are we compelling young girls to act and dress beyond their years or are we just sanctioning it?
Why this is inclination to grow up too fast not occurring with our male children? I have sons and so do most of my friends. For some reason, we have not faced the challenges of parents with daughters. The boys seem content to look their ages and act them as well. Is it a lack of “beauty” products that keeps them in chronological step? Or is that Mother Nature has dictated boys mature slower and they are happy with that?
While little girls playing big girl is alarming to see there is perhaps another wrinkle in this dilemma- the reaction their appearance can prompt.
By allowing our young girls, and I am not talking about teenagers, to disguise their age behind big hair, cosmetics and adultish clothing we are objectifying them. They are learning to trade on their looks and not their skills or accomplishments.
Let me be clear at this point- I am not advocating that all girls under a certain age be banned from wearing make up and using hairspray. In fact quite the opposite.
If girls want to wade into the cosmetically enhanced waters, that is quite fine. But they should have a guide. Someone who knows how to navigate the currents and can show these girls that while physical beauty is to be appreciated, it has its limits. Limits that if surpassed can lead to waters infested with sharks that don’t care who actually lies beneath the eye shadow and lip liner.
Having pride in your appearance can be indicative of the pride you have in all areas of your life. However, becoming so enamored with the outside that overlooking what is inside can send precarious signals.
We need to teach our young girls that being attractive is a nice thing. However, it is not the only thing.