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Kiddie Mani-Pedis

How disturbing is this article from The New York Times? & Seven and three-year-olds getting pedicures, thumbing through People, putting on MAC make-up which, by the way, is very expensive. & I didn't start having pedicures until my late twenties. & When I was seven and running around Florida beaches, my toes were for elaborate sandprints. & And at three, well, at three is was all about "this little piggy games," not "Jungle Red" or "Passion Pink." & And let me make a distinction here, I'm not saying that glittered kiddie toenail polish is a bad thing. & I'm saying that actual child pedicures and group pedicure outings involving OPI and heated whirlpools is going to far.

This excerpt only confirms a trend well underway: &

But today, cosmetic companies and retailers increasingly aim their sophisticated products and service packages squarely at 6- to 9-year-olds, who are being transformed into savvy beauty consumers before they're out of elementary school.

& ldquo;The starter market has definitely grown, I think, due to a number of cultural influences, & rdquo; said Samantha Skey, the senior vice president for strategic marketing of Alloy Media and Marketing.
Other trends laid out in the article have left me agog:

Sweet & Sassy, a salon and party destination based in Texas for girls 5 to 11, includes pink limo service as a party add-on, which starts at $150 a ride. And Dashing Diva franchises often offer virgin Cosmos in martini glasses along with their extra-virgin nail polish, free of a group of chemicals called phthalates, for a round of services for a birthday girl and her friends.

Now, it seems to me that a fair amount of child's play is about mimicing adult behavior and experience, like the easy bake oven (do they still make these?), baby dolls, doctor kits, playing school, etc. & But why would you construct play experience around adult consumer-driven behavior? & And worse, adult forms of partying, letting loose, and physical adornment? & For me and I suspect for many of my friends, pedicures are about many things: & luxury, maintenance, reward, and, it can't be denied, sexuality. & These are not the concerns of a 7-year-old unless we make them so.

Looking back, I wouldn't have wanted to be so conscious of my body at age seven. & The psychological weight of such body consciousness would have distracted my growing mind and curiousity. & I'll admit my imaginative play sometimes involved a pink Barbie corvette (which I put tons of stickers on) but it never included a ride in one. &