Just when I was starting to feel like Wal-Mart was improving. They have started selling more organic produce, and are working to improve the nutritional quality of their food with manufacturers, partnering with anti-obesity champion and First Lady, Michelle Obama.
Then I hear about one of their newest product lines. Is it a line of non-toxic personal care/bath and body products, made with fully labeled and safer ingredients?
Is it a new, stainless steel Green Walmart water-bottle line, showcasing how they are abandoning bottled water, saving millions of plastic bottles from entering the waste stream and waterways?
They are releasing a line of cosmetics, called Geo-Girl, targeting the pre-teen, or tween. Yes, makeup for your children, ages 8-12. The products include include blusher, mascara, face shimmer and lipstick, as well as anti aging products (um, really?).
When I was growing up, these years were called childhood. Now, apparently, they are tween. So, according to this targeted growth market, my kindergarten aged daughter will be ready for these products in the second grade.
I don’t think so.
Why not? According to an expert featured on this segment,
“We are raising another generation of girls who kind of measure their self-worth based on what’s on the outside,” Dr. Logan Levkoff, author of the book “Third Base Ain’t What it Used to Be” said to “Good Morning America.”
Not to mention the increased exposure to thousands of chemicals that have never been tested for safety, and that are linked to cancers, hormone disruption, and other problems. Geo-Girl is supposedly an eco-friendly line of cosmetics, but I would like to see the ingredient list and ratings by the Environmental Working Group to be sure.
She also points to the fact that parents can be, well, parents, and say no to their kids if they feel strongly about this issue. She said:
“Parents should be talking about makeup and parents are entitled to be parents and if your daughters want to wear makeup you can say no,” Levkoff said. “We don’t just have to befriend our kids, but we also have to explain why. Because you are beautiful and it’s really not what’s outside that’s beautiful and there’s plenty of time for you to explain all of these things.”
I’m disappointed, although not surprised, by this move by Walmart. They stand to make millions of dollars selling products to this vulnerable age group, who will learn that our society values their looks above all.
The line also features products named as they relate to texting, for this supposedly tech savy age group. Great! Not only are they applying pressure for girls to use makeup at such a young age, but also pressure to use technology to text each other. To me, Wal-mart is creating products to profit from shortening, objectifying, and sexualizing childhood— and that is morally corrupt. I didn’t even mention the pants for this age group with cutie plastered across the behind.
Sign the petition below to tell Walmart to stop exploiting our girls and the environment.
What do you think about it? Would you let your 8 year old wear makeup in her daily life (not while involved in creative play)?