Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Walmart Plans to Sell Anti-Aging Makeup to Tweens

I have often referred to Walmart as the great Satan. Though it is the largest employer in North America, it regular abuses labour laws, and much of the products sold there come from highly exploited labour. I understand that because of poverty, many do not have a choice about avoiding the box store evil, but for those that do, here is just one more reason to reconsider giving your money to Walmart.
Some women believe it’s never too early to start an anti-aging beauty regiment, but an anti-aging cosmetics line geared towards eight to 12-year-olds have many questioning whether such products are necessary, or healthy for children’s self-perception.

Little girls won't be needing to dip into mommy's purse to play with lipstick and blush, Wal-Mart is rolling out a new youth preserving line called “Geo-Girl” consisting of 69 cosmetic products.

The brand includes everything from exfoliators to blush and mascara, all aimed towards the “tween” ages, who have an estimated $2 billion in buying power. (source)
Yes, you read that correctly, Walmart is selling anti-aging makeup to 8-12 year old girls.  Is it any wonder that so many women grow up riddled with self doubt?  We tell girls from a very early age that they are imperfect, and are in need of improvement.  We create this need, and then fill them with empty promises and products that largely do not create any form of change.   I have girlfriends that won't even consider leaving their home for a moment without makeup. 

They have tried to cover the damage that they are doing by pointing out that even the packaging is recyclable and that all the products are natural.  They don't want to admit that what they are doing is cultivating future customers, who are going to feel inadequate without performing some beauty ritual beyond washing their face daily with soap and water. 

Every time I write about teaching my boys about gender and gender performativity, someone comes along to tell me that I am indoctrinating them, and that boys need to boys.  Well, now that we have this heinous product on the market, I am sure that someone will be right along to tell me that girls will be girls, thus ignoring the way in which the beauty industry is highly invested in normalizing this behaviour.  What 8 year old girl looks in the mirror and says, I need to exfoliate? Some will in turn blame parent who buy this nonsense for their daughters, claiming that parental responsibility should out weigh corporate responsibility.  Even if a parent refuses to purchase this make up line, not every parent will and the desire will still exist whether or not it is fulfilled by purchase, because everywhere they look, they will see advertising that tells them that women are not complete without specific products.

So without equivocation, I would simply like to say, fuck walmart, fuck the creators of this makeup line, and fuck the people who think that gender performance is natural.  Once again, it seems the best interest of children is being set aside, for the purpose of profit.  Kind of fitting that the twin evils of capitalism and sexism go hand in hand with Walmart isn't it?