Friday, 17 April 2015


So Tuesday I told you all about my entry for Vogue Talent Contest for Young Writer's 2015. For the second task we were asked to write a social commentary piece. So, today I'm sharing with you all my article...

A fifth of girls as young as twelve won't leave home without a face of make-up and over half of under-fourteens wear cosmetics EVERY day. Emma Fox debates why the young tweens of today are worryingly hiding behind ‘the mask’...Click below to read more

 I remember when I was a little girl, as do most, grabbing the unfamiliar bag containing the ‘dress up’cosmetics from my sister's vanity table and (over-) enthusiastically painting my face with pink eye shadow and red blush in an attempt to resemble Barbie. I would observe in sheer admiration at my older sibling strategically swirling fluffy brushes around her rosy cheeks. Afterwards, I compared her look to the likes of Hilary Duff and Ashley Tisdale in Teen Vogue. Of course the look was lacking a certain je ne sais quoi.

Formerly, it was common to see young girls sporting the latest flavour of Lip Smacker or to see them rummaging through the shelves of Claire’s Accessories picking out the most outrageous fluorescent nail varnish shade, only to be worn for special birthday parties. Today however, it appears many girls prefer to wear ‘the mask’, a thick multiple layering of makeup that, if removed, would reveal a different face underneath.

In essence, makeup is there to empower women, for them to feel special, confident and attractive. Some women wear makeup as an outlet for creative expression whilst some merely relish choosing the perfect shade of red lipstick to enhance their complexion. Whatever the reason, makeup is there as a means of enhancement of natural features. So this led me to contemplate the reasons as to why some tween girls choose to wear heavy makeup that masks their innocent youth.

I argue that today's media has a profound influence on tweens, for example, at the tender age of seventeen, Kylie Jenner, was recently spotted exhibiting a contoured chest. Is this not extremely mature and inappropriate? There is an underlying notion from a cornucopia of influences that state if you're able to hide your flaws in any way, do so. As a result, girls are growing up with a psychological mind-set that their natural appearance isn't socially acceptable and that they should cover their face completely in an attempt to replicate the looks seen in teen magazines. Consequently, many girls lack self-esteem and confidence as a direct result of the idealised images portrayed to them. It is estimated that over two-thirds of mothers say they regularly hear their daughters complain about their skin. Michaela Angela Davis, Image Activist and the Editorial Manager of BET Networks shared her advice to mothers of tweens who want to wear makeup as soon as possible. She states that mothers should tell their daughters to “look closely in the mirror and gaze at all the natural colours in [their] face” and tell them “daily how beautiful they are and how their face shines by itself”. This way, girls will begin to feel much more confident over time.

In support of this argument, online retailer, discovered that more girls than ever are starting to wear make-up from the age of eleven - three years younger than it was a decade ago. 37.8% of women also think it is young girls wanting to feel ‘grown up’. As a seventeen-year-old beauty-maven I acknowledge this is something my tween self could have related to immensely. I began experimenting with makeup when I was thirteen years old; the innocent, pivotal and fragile age where I thought it was a perfect idea to use my sister’s four-year-old mascara. I desired to fit in with other girls, mirror the flawless beauty looks I saw in magazines and boost my confidence. However, the tweens of today are only becoming worse.

So in light of this, where do you stand on the debate - should girls be allowed to play with make-up from a young age? Or should there be a restriction?

Et voila! I really struggled writing this article and I would definitely change many things about it if I were given the chance to re-write it. Nonetheless, I think it's a very important topic to address therefore I thought it would be a great idea to share this article with you all.

Happy weekend!

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