Thursday, September 19, 2013

Down with the pink

I have a bone to pick with Groupon and the business ‘Sweet and Sassy’ ( they’ve been endorsing by doling out coupons. As if it wasn’t enough to make grown women self-conscious and insecure about their appearance, they now want to brain-wash a whole new generation of young impressionable girls, mostly ages 4-13 years, into believing fashion, looks and partying determine their worth. For those of you still throwing up after looking at the hot pink homepage oozing unicorns and glitter let me give you a concise summary of their services: It starts with very benign sounding services: ear piercing, shopping for hair accessories, jewelry, decor. Then it gets slightly scary with the ‘ultimate makeovers’ which come is hackneyed varieties such as ‘Fashionista’ ‘Tiara Terrific’ etc. There there are the ‘Spa packages’ and ‘princess Mani-Pedis’ with certified cosmetologists trained to work with children. Who and why are they training people to give beauty treatments to children, anyway? What kind of parents think their children need to be beautified? The world we live in, is doing a pretty fabulous job of making us feel not-pretty-enough. The media, their peers, jerk boyfriends will take care of that. Parents *should not* be the ones introducing such superficiality and shallowness in the lives of 9 year old girls. Special mention: the Sweet and Sassy hot pink rental limos packed with a throng of little girls donning pink feather boas. I thought those things are for Halloween or strippers in Vegas. Their website has a variety of little online games for girls to play: Unicorn chase, Cupcake quiz, Dream princesses among others. God forbid the girls get their hands on math puzzles or those boy-games that can challenge their grey cells! Let’s pinkify all those grey cells instead. Do you really want to douse a little girl in carcinogens and harmful chemicals in the form of glitter and color, to make her feel like a princess or a movie star? To set unrealistic standards about the way she is supposed to look and present herself? To reiterate to her that her face and hair and body and clothes matter more than her intelligence, talents and mind? All this at an emotionally fragile tender age when girls are growing into the women they will be. I don’t miss being 13, the confusing first period, the mood swings, the self-loathing of my fat butt. God bless my parents who made me realize those things were not integral to my existence. I am completely for women embracing their womanhood but indoctrinating our girls with these glittery bubble gum stereotypes is offensive to their intelligence and potential. This is the reason why my engineering classes have had abysmal female enrollments of about 5%. Take your daughter, grand-daughter, niece and their friends to the park, the zoo, the museum, beach. Any place they can have fun without feeling insufficient. If they can learn a thing or two about the world, science, history or art while at it, even better!