Friday, April 04, 2008

Really Bad Parents

Is this a trend? Or is this article Pretty Babies a total con? It's a six page article, so let me offer this substantial quote regarding the spa treatment of an 8 year old girl:
After sweating through the kid’s eyebrow wax, Engle, today an aesthetician at the Adolf Biecker Salon/Spa outposts in the Rittenhouse Hotel and Strafford — and, it should be noted, one of the most sought-after eyebrow specialists in the region — was directed to give her pint-size client a … bikini wax.

Engle was, predictably, extremely uncomfortable with the idea. But she sent the girl next door to the spa to have it done anyway. “It was clear that this girl was getting a bikini wax no matter what,” she says. “Better for her that we did it, instead of her mother dragging her off somewhere else to get it done.”

Engle is sharing this tale with me one afternoon over my own eyebrow session, after I’ve remarked on another young girl — no more than 10 or 11 years old — ­sitting nearby, thumbing through a magazine and obviously waiting for some sort of spa service. As Engle talks, my head floods with images of breaking this poor young munchkin out of the clutches of her surely nipped-and-tucked mother, to let her grow old and hairy under my prudish wing. “But … there’s nothing there, right?” I ask Engle. “I mean, at eight? Am I forgetting something?”

“Nope,” she says. “There’s not. Doesn’t matter. That’s when the mothers are starting them these days.”


Engle’s anecdote might be one of the scariest, but it’s not her only one. She’s seen a pair of sisters — one nine, the other 10 — brought in for microdermabrasion. (Note: Microdermabrasion sloughs off dead cells to reveal glowing “younger” skin beneath. Which is awesome if you’re, say, 45.) And at Adolf Biecker, it’s normal to see 12-year-olds coming in for their first eyebrow jobs.
My first reaction is "Eeewwww!" My second reaction is "Eww! Eww! EWWW!" My third reaction, after a little thought and some breathing exercises, is that this is abuse. It's physical abuse (waxes hurt even if there is no hair), and I think maybe it's even sexual abuse. Why tell a child that a very normal part of her body is not right and needs to be fixed? Does it set the kid on a path to an eating disorder? Or maybe just a narcissistic personality disorder?

But I know people. I know people with kids. They don't do this to their little girls. My friends care about the emotional development of their children, and pretty much want them to have childhoods similar to our own. Ahhh... I know... this article is about OTHER people's kids!

It's about a minority of parents who indulge their kids in the stupidest ways possible. We all pay the price. I predict in a few years this child will be auditioning for American Idol, we'll suffer through her rendition of Dancing Queen, and finally Simon Cowell will be the first person to tell her how spoiled she really is.

1 comment:

Trung said...

why must people be so lame? the other type of parents that bother me are the ones who put those lame stickers on their cars about their child being a student of the week or month. it's good to be proud of your children, but i hate to break it to all you yahoos out there... no one gives a crap about your children being an outstanding student other than you!