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The Forest Scout

The Student News Site of Lake Forest High School

The Forest Scout

The Student News Site of Lake Forest High School

The Forest Scout

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The Disturbing Rise in Cosmetic Purchases by Young Girls Raises Concerns

Courtesy of DevianArt
Courtesy of DevianArt

Many people may have realized the increase of younger girls when shopping at places like Sephora or Ulta, as well as the large amount of attention this phenomenon has gotten on social media. 

I first noticed this when I celebrated New Year’s Eve with my family over the recent winter break. I hadn’t seen my younger cousins in over a year, but when I saw my youngest cousin for the first time since then I was shocked. 

She was wearing a full face of makeup at the ripe age of eight years old. 

When we all gathered together later that night to open our Christmas presents, since we hadn’t gotten to see each other on Christmas that year, I watched as she unboxed her “Drunk Elephant” skincare products, “The Ordinary” Serums, as well as other makeup products she doesn’t need. 

I recalled when I was her age and I was asking for dolls for Christmas rather than cosmetic products. 

I didn’t realize this was affecting so many other young girls at the time, but I began to see more and more people complaining about seeing more and more young girls around her age in makeup stores. 

This phenomenon has become known as “Sephora Kids.” CBC News defines the term “Sephora Kids” as children who shop at beauty stores, and sometimes post videos of their skincare and makeup routines online.

Kids seem to be growing up faster at younger ages, but who is to blame for this anomaly? Their parents? Social media?

Many parents claim it’s not an issue because that’s what kids are into nowadays. 

One mother told Business Insider, “Times change, things are different,.. We all had our interests when we were 10, but now we have the internet, and we have social media.” However, many others believe that this is a growing problem that must be stopped and addressed. 

Sephora workers, specifically on TikTok, claim that these girls are causing scenes in stores, fighting over products, being extremely rude to the workers, and destroying the makeup displays in the stores.

Experts claim that a lot of the products these girls are buying are not suitable for children and can seriously irritate their skin, like retinol products to be more specific.

Products that contain retinol are also known to be popular in this age group. First Skin Foundation claims that retinoids can cause serious effects on bone development.

I started experimenting with makeup around the time I was going through puberty, so about seventh grade. Even using makeup then, however, I felt like it altered my self-image and I would feel very self-conscious when I wasn’t wearing it. 

I feel like younger girls using makeup products will make them feel more self-conscious at younger ages, and it could alter their development and the image they have of themselves later in life.

Do I believe parents are to blame for this epidemic? Not at all. 

I agree that kids should be able to express themselves creatively, however, I feel that makeup is a harmful way to do so. 

I also understand that if a bunch of kids around this age are wearing makeup to school, the kids who don’t own it could be seen as outcasts and could possibly be made fun of for not wearing it.

It’s difficult as a parent to understand how harmful makeup can be for children at this age, but also wanting your child to fit in and feel included. I feel that this epidemic is completely centered around social media use.

It’s not controversial to say that social media is extremely damaging to adolescent brains.

According to New York Presbyterian, children’s frontal lobes haven’t fully developed yet, which is what controls judgment, reasoning, planning, organization, or thinking of consequences, and it doesn’t fully develop until you’re around 21.

This means that it’s difficult for children to have a sense of “good judgment” when using social media and to identify what is harmful.

 A lot of these kids spent most of their adolescence during the pandemic, therefore, they spent the times they should’ve been interacting with other kids in real life, on the internet. 

Studies have shown that these kids, who are now in fourth or fifth-grade, have weaker academic skills than other fourth or fifth-grade students in the past. This period in their lives was very critical for developing social skills with other kids, like playing with toys or at playgrounds.

So, what can we do to help? I believe it’s important to shelter children as much as possible from social media, however, this is difficult to do if many kids in school are using social media and kids don’t want to be excluded because they aren’t using it, so I can understand how this may seem unrealistic to some people. 

However, I feel like parents should monitor more what their children are looking at on social media, and to understand and look into trends that may be harmful. 

I also believe it’s important to show kids how beautiful they are in their own skin, without makeup.

 

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About the Contributor
Olivia McIntyre, Staff Writer
Senior Olivia McIntyre is excited to be a first-year writer for The Forest Scout. She’s involved in a variety of clubs and activities such as Madrigals and the Human Rights Club. Outside of school you can find her hanging out with friends, listening to music, watching movies, or playing video games.  
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