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Inside The Beauty Routines of The Very Young

Do you think you're high-maintenance? Wait until you read the two-hour grooming routine of Bethany Conheeny:

After washing her naturally wavy hair, she spritzes, sprays and straightens it with £120 [around $240] designer ceramic straighteners. If there's so much as a kink left, she starts again. She's rigorous in her cleansing, toning and moisturing routine, and before leaving the house, applies a slick of lip-gloss. At the weekends, it takes longer. Bethany — who has £70 [around $140] worth of beauty treatments each week, including a spray tan, pedicure, manicure and eyebrow wax — applies St Tropez blusher, pink eye shadow and mascara.

The catch? Bethany is nine years old. To get my take on this situation,

Frankly, when I saw this mentioned on Jezebel, I was flabbergasted. Obviously, I love makeup, hair, spa treatments and the like—and lots of little girls are interested in playing dress-up. But this level of primping and maintenance seems unhealthy, particularly when these girls seem to be buying into the idea that they can't be pretty without spending two hours getting ready. Really, does any little girl need to have her eyebrows waxed? I can't imagine that even the prepubescent Frida Kahlo needed that!

Don't get me wrong: I think there are age-appropriate ways to enter the world of beauty, like painting toenails with Mom or wearing Bonne Bell lip balm. But some of these girls are getting leg waxes, tanning-booth sessions, and begging to wear Chanel foundation—all before they've turned 12 years old. It doesn't seem like healthy curiosity; instead, it seems like an obsession that breeds insecurity at a time when these girls need to believe they're smart, talented and pretty just as they are.

I know what you're thinking: Where are the parents? You'll be shocked—shocked!—to find out that many of them are actively encouraging these beauty routines. Catherine Conheeney, mom of high-maintenance Bethany, is hoping that her daughter's looks can help her become successful. "Bethany will need to be slim to be a model," she says. "But I'm working hard to explain that she needs the right balance of food to make sure she's healthy. I've just entered her for a modeling competition to find the next Kate Moss."

Like I said, I'm flabbergasted. Are you? Or is this merely a sign of the times?

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Sparkina Sparkina 7 years
This is mucho pathetico. When I was nine, deodorant was a product for adults or for those who were on their way to becoming such and not something one used before puberty -- and makeup and high heels were for let's-pretend play, not for street. All this beauty stuff for a child as a make-believe game is one thing, but to give the message that she has to do this in her real life, before going out in the street, in order to be accepted in social company -- that's BULLTOOT. And why to kids have to play at being adults every minute of the day anyhow? Whatever happened to rollerskates and storybooks and hopscotch and jacks, for crying in Manhattan
Sparkina Sparkina 7 years
This is mucho pathetico. When I was nine, deodorant was a product for adults or for those who were on their way to becoming such and not something one used before puberty -- and makeup and high heels were for let's-pretend play, not for street. All this beauty stuff for a child as a make-believe game is one thing, but to give the message that she has to do this in her real life, before going out in the street, in order to be accepted in social company -- that's BULLTOOT. And why to kids have to play at being adults every minute of the day anyhow? Whatever happened to rollerskates and storybooks and hopscotch and jacks, for crying in Manhattan
princess325 princess325 8 years
What kind of nine-year-old does this? What kind of parents LET their nine-year-old wear all this makeup? I didn't wear makeup until I was thirteen. This is just sad.
chrysanthemums chrysanthemums 8 years
why would you let your child waste so much money and time...? she's nine. for God's sake.
chrysanthemums chrysanthemums 8 years
why would you let your child waste so much money and time...?she's nine.for God's sake.
Muffins Muffins 9 years
I'm sure this has all been said before, but all of this just made me throw up in my mouth a little bit. Lol. All that money wasted on expensive cosmetics? You could practically buy yourself a new car with all the money spent.These girl's parents are teaching them all the wrong values. Sure, it's nice to look neat and presentable, but this is just way too much. I feel sorry for these kids, because they probably will never know that being a good person and beautiful on the inside is just as important, if not entirely more, than being beautiful on the outside. Really, really sorry.
Muffins Muffins 9 years
I'm sure this has all been said before, but all of this just made me throw up in my mouth a little bit. Lol. All that money wasted on expensive cosmetics? You could practically buy yourself a new car with all the money spent. These girl's parents are teaching them all the wrong values. Sure, it's nice to look neat and presentable, but this is just way too much. I feel sorry for these kids, because they probably will never know that being a good person and beautiful on the inside is just as important, if not entirely more, than being beautiful on the outside. Really, really sorry.
Heather36782 Heather36782 9 years
My daughter is 10 yrs old and doesn't really want her hair combed. Her dad and I are divorced and he seems to think she should be more like that-all diva like and obsessed with her appearance-I think she will get there when it is time, probably in about 2 or 3 yrs when she starts liking boys. EEK!! This stuff is getting out of hand.
cleegiants cleegiants 9 years
it's quite sad that children as young as 9 need to get this pampered. even as an adult - massages, manicure, facials, etc. are a means of pampering myself - for a special occasion or after a very long work period. and why does a 9 year old need to be waxed? this world totally needs to stop with the beauty obsession. accept your natural beauty - especially as a child!
cleegiants cleegiants 9 years
it's quite sad that children as young as 9 need to get this pampered. even as an adult - massages, manicure, facials, etc. are a means of pampering myself - for a special occasion or after a very long work period. and why does a 9 year old need to be waxed? this world totally needs to stop with the beauty obsession. accept your natural beauty - especially as a child!
kalaloughary kalaloughary 9 years
At nine I still considered swimming as counting as a bath! Really I cannot fathom this. This is why there are soo many underage girls getting pregnant. And arn't you just assking for child predators!!!!
makicabrera10 makicabrera10 9 years
oh, I forgot to mention one thing, back in 6th grade I had a strip of pink hair. Like, neon pink. I always thought my hair was plain so I wanted to make it noticable.....it worked. I was the only girl in school with pink hair. So, it was a quick dash of popularity, but I got over it in 7th grade. Then I changed schools, and there's like 3 girls with one or more pink strands in their hair, so it is no longer my trademark :-(
tralalala tralalala 9 years
I started dyeing my hair when I was in grade 7, but I never wore makeup regularly until I graduated high school (I decided sleeping until I had to leave was a better option haha). I don't necessarily have a problem with girls starting a beauty routine when they're young, but that is super crazy excessive.
tralalala tralalala 9 years
I started dyeing my hair when I was in grade 7, but I never wore makeup regularly until I graduated high school (I decided sleeping until I had to leave was a better option haha).I don't necessarily have a problem with girls starting a beauty routine when they're young, but that is super crazy excessive.
makicabrera10 makicabrera10 9 years
I'm 13, and I started wearing MINIMAL make-up around 9/10. It was just soft pink eyeshadow, soft pink blush, and soft pink/peach lipgloss. I have never waxed (WAY too scared!!) or tanned (I live in Miami, so I don't really need it anyway, thank gawd, the last thing I want is to look like a cheetoh). And I'm not even tan-tan, just sunkissed. I have straight hair and sorta-wavy near the bottom, and I've only curled it twice, and never straightened. And poor little Bethany is gonna have fried hair and disgusting skin pretty soon. I've only gotten 3 manicures, 2 pedicures, and 1 facial in my life, and this girl gets them weekly. I got my first mani at age 12 (I got them frenched, it was my first, I wanted something special, ok?), but when do you thik this girl started? Maybe even earlier than 9. For my nails I get them in a soft pink, but I admit to painting my toenails red (just cuz they look good with my skin, and this is somethng I started doing around 12). And she gets them painted by a pro, I only got my nails painted by a pro 5 times (mani-pedi), I usually get them done by my mom (who does them like a pro, I'm lucky ;-)). For my skin, I have the basic 3 step system (cleanse, tone repair), and plus I use Avon, not some hundred-something products. (P.S. I will also admit to using their blackhead cleanser, even if I don't have any blackheads, just because it leaves my skin so silky smooth ;-))And for now, I use lipgloss, tan/neutral eyeshadow, occasionally mascara, and RARELY eyeliner. I don't even use blush, I just pinch my cheeks and BAM!, money saved instantly.A lot of what she does is not even neccessary. Wavy hair is cute, very natural and summery. And for the eyebrows? Having a freekishly perfect pair scares people (plus that is so what? 60s?.......I see how you can tell her mother encourages the eyebrows 0.o)
makicabrera10 makicabrera10 9 years
I'm 13, and I started wearing MINIMAL make-up around 9/10. It was just soft pink eyeshadow, soft pink blush, and soft pink/peach lipgloss. I have never waxed (WAY too scared!!) or tanned (I live in Miami, so I don't really need it anyway, thank gawd, the last thing I want is to look like a cheetoh). And I'm not even tan-tan, just sunkissed. I have straight hair and sorta-wavy near the bottom, and I've only curled it twice, and never straightened. And poor little Bethany is gonna have fried hair and disgusting skin pretty soon. I've only gotten 3 manicures, 2 pedicures, and 1 facial in my life, and this girl gets them weekly. I got my first mani at age 12 (I got them frenched, it was my first, I wanted something special, ok?), but when do you thik this girl started? Maybe even earlier than 9. For my nails I get them in a soft pink, but I admit to painting my toenails red (just cuz they look good with my skin, and this is somethng I started doing around 12). And she gets them painted by a pro, I only got my nails painted by a pro 5 times (mani-pedi), I usually get them done by my mom (who does them like a pro, I'm lucky ;-)). For my skin, I have the basic 3 step system (cleanse, tone repair), and plus I use Avon, not some hundred-something products. (P.S. I will also admit to using their blackhead cleanser, even if I don't have any blackheads, just because it leaves my skin so silky smooth ;-)) And for now, I use lipgloss, tan/neutral eyeshadow, occasionally mascara, and RARELY eyeliner. I don't even use blush, I just pinch my cheeks and BAM!, money saved instantly. A lot of what she does is not even neccessary. Wavy hair is cute, very natural and summery. And for the eyebrows? Having a freekishly perfect pair scares people (plus that is so what? 60s?.......I see how you can tell her mother encourages the eyebrows 0.o)
precious_pets4 precious_pets4 9 years
This is not a question of where's the parents -- THE PROBLEM IS THE PARENTS! I would be incredibly surprised if this young girl started any of this on her own. I'm certain her mother is behind it all -- and the mother probably spends just as much time, if not more, obsessing about her looks and 'getting ready'. This has got to be the ultimate example of someone living thru their child. I would bet every penny I have that the 'mom' always wanted to be a model, but never was one. I would also bet that the mother does not work outside the home -- how could she find the time? she must spend every minute in front of the mirror or on the waxing table. These are the same kids who have their own credit cards, I'm sure. We SERIOUSLY need to let children be children!! The need to be carefree, happy, playful, and not obsessive over their looks. It's not just the fault of the media -- because when you allow it to become a part of the child's life, it's YOU!
precious_pets4 precious_pets4 9 years
This is not a question of where's the parents -- THE PROBLEM IS THE PARENTS! I would be incredibly surprised if this young girl started any of this on her own. I'm certain her mother is behind it all -- and the mother probably spends just as much time, if not more, obsessing about her looks and 'getting ready'. This has got to be the ultimate example of someone living thru their child. I would bet every penny I have that the 'mom' always wanted to be a model, but never was one. I would also bet that the mother does not work outside the home -- how could she find the time? she must spend every minute in front of the mirror or on the waxing table. These are the same kids who have their own credit cards, I'm sure. We SERIOUSLY need to let children be children!! The need to be carefree, happy, playful, and not obsessive over their looks. It's not just the fault of the media -- because when you allow it to become a part of the child's life, it's YOU!
haleylovesjohn haleylovesjohn 9 years
I am 14, and I have to say that I was just brought up around make-up. I have been in love with it since I was a little girl.
littlemissvixen littlemissvixen 9 years
ridiculous, i can't believe her parents are actually encouraging her as well!
SugarIsSweeter01 SugarIsSweeter01 9 years
Wowsa, these girls are higher-maintenance than I am!
LuciLu LuciLu 9 years
absolutely disgusting.
LuciLu LuciLu 9 years
absolutely disgusting.
marley11 marley11 9 years
this is ridiculous. i'd shoot myselfif i cared about looks when i was that young.
marley11 marley11 9 years
this is ridiculous. i'd shoot myself if i cared about looks when i was that young.
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