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?