Wal-Mart is set to introduce a new line of make up geared towards 8-12 year old at the end of February. The brand will be called Geo-Girl and include products such as mascara, blush, lipstick and face shimmer. And the retail Goliath touts that Geo-Girl is “mother approved” as it is to contain natural ingredients (forgive me if I’m skeptical of the line’s purity… we shall see when it comes out). Though, many reports have also said Geo-Girl will also have many anti-aging anti-oxidants in its formulas…which may make many mom’s uncomfortable. Eye bags at Eleven? No problem!
But while Wal-Mart hopes to have parental blessing, Geo-Girl will be a youth-centric brand. Tweens make up the majority of internet users under the age of 18, and with item names such as “QTPi” (Cutie Pie), “FYEO” (For your eyes only), and “URA*” (You are a star), Geo-Girl attempts to speak to youth in a language they understand: text.
So, little girls are being groomed to be little ladies, who can now make playing dress up a reality. They won’t have to break into mommy’s coveted make-up drawer and marvel at the wonder of lipstick, soon enough they’ll have their own cosmetic bags and be experts at contouring.
As a natural beauty author and entrepreneur I guess I am supposed to be happy that a conglomerate like Wal-Mart is breaking in the make-up consumers of tomorrow – but instead I’m just a tad disturbed by this new venture. To me it seems more like a cash grab targeting tweens and exploiting the idolization children have of adulthood. But am I blowing this out of proportion? For decades children have been adorning dolls – picking out their outfits and styling their hair, is it okay for them to begin doing the same for themselves? Or have we simply been capitalizing on kids for longer than we think? I mean, I myself had twelve Barbies, two Kens, a Skipper, a Barbie Corvette, a Barbie Soda Shoppe, a Barbie Dream House, even a Barbie Recording Studio (!)…and a mountain of Barbie clothes (which of course led my mother to buy me a Barbie clothing case – which is just a pink plastic box with a cursive capital “B” on the lock). This may have trained me to be the apparel consumer I am today (a drug I’m trying to quit). So why am I surprised that Wal-Mart is now selling cosmetics to kids when companies have forever been finding new streams of revenue from this very lucrative market?
Geo-Girl also boasts that its packaging will be completely recyclable – kiddie cosmetics with a conscience?…I’m beginning to feel that its a very strange world we live in. But whether I agree with this or not, its happening. So maybe sugar and spice and everything nice will soon be antiquated.
The concept of childhood inevitably changes, and a new generation is emerging…and this one knows how to use lash lengtheners.