Thursday 19 October 2017

Tweens obsessed with looking like idols as 'age of innocence gone'

The cost of make-up and hair can run into the hundreds of euro as parents fork out for their daughters to have the latest look Stock photo: Depositphotos
The cost of make-up and hair can run into the hundreds of euro as parents fork out for their daughters to have the latest look Stock photo: Depositphotos

Laura Lynott

They are the tween generation of eight-to-12s who delight in nothing more than splashing out hundreds of euro of their parents' hard-earned cash to mimic the Kardashian look.

Irish pre-teens are filling up hair and make-up studios across the country, in a bid to look just like Kim Kardashian or her supermodel sister Kendall Jenner.

But this obsession for beauty could come at more than a financial cost.

Two sisters who specialise in hair and make-up for the young believe the "age of innocence" is gone.

Ami (29) and Kelly McPartlin (26), from Skerries, North Co Dublin, are on hand when the tweens want to perfect their look to show off on social network site Instagram.

"They're getting into make-up at 10 and 11," Kelly told the Irish Independent.

"A lot of children nowadays are susceptible to wearing more and more, but five years ago it wasn't a thing.

"The kids want to get the best looks, just like their idols Kim Kardashian and Kendall Jenner, and put the looks up on Instagram.

"But it's sad because girls feel they have to look perfect all the time and what will the psychological effects be of always having to be on, as they get older?"

Kelly said the youngest customer she ever had was a six-year-old, who bought singer Ariana Grande's brand of make-up for around €70.

"This was dark plum lipstick and glittery lip gloss," Kelly said. "This child wanted to look like her idol and she wanted to show this look off on Instagram.

"The age of innocence is gone and it's depressing for a professional in the industry.

"I was happy with Vaseline on my lips at that age, to look just like my mum."

Girls coming to the sisters get their hair done just like Kardashian and their eyebrows and eyeliner have to be just like Jenner's.

Freelance hairstylist Ami said: "It comes down to finance.

"The tweens were born in recession and when everyone started lowering prices and the age of the MUA (make-up artist) started becoming more popular, when social networks started taking off, kids wanted to show off their look.

"And for many that look is very grown up clothes for concerts and parties, hair like the Kardashians, false eyelashes and full professional make-up."

Ironically, though, the sisters perfect the kids' looks, Ami, mum to eight-year-old Emily, doesn't want her daughter to go near make-up, ideally until she's 16.

"I think a lot of kids are starting too young.

"They're trying to grow up too quickly and it may be a laugh getting dressed up and wearing make-up and getting their hair done, but this should be something really left until they're older," she said.

"I don't think a child should be getting hair and make-up done professionally unless they can actually pay for it and that would mean when they're 18.

"Otherwise, sure, put make-up on and experiment but I'd say that should be happening at around 15 or 16.

"Parents are paying for this though. Everyone has the money now, so they're thinking why not spend it on their daughters? But I don't think they should be supporting this by paying for it.

"My daughter doesn't wear make-up, she doesn't have a mobile phone, she writes in her journal and wears a Metallica T-shirt.

"I want her to be an individual but if she comes to me at 15 and says I want to get my make-up done, I won't say no, she can't."

Irish Independent

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