At this point, the well-worn "little girls are getting pedicures" storyline is nothing new, but as kiddy-specific salons and spas grow, so does the controversy. Most recently, the BBC reported on Chez Lulu, a Beirut salon for girls. Open since 2009, Chez Lulu provides hair styling, makeup application, and nail services for kids as young as 4 years old. Malak Mohammad, a sprightly 4-year-old, certainly seems happy as she has her makeup done, dons a pink wig, and gets a manicure (disturbingly, a UV lamp is used on those little fingers).
But Chez Lulu is only a small part of the mainstreaming of little-girl primping. Madison, the 5-year-old YouTube beauty guru, is closing in on two million video views, and the kids on Toddlers & Tiaras draw audiences with over-the-top pageant drama. Taken individually, there's nothing inherently wrong with a girl who tries on mom's lipstick now and then. What's troubling is the trend, reaching ever younger, for girls to value prettiness above all other qualities. Your thoughts?