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A new beauty salon has opened in Essex that offers makeovers, spray tans and facials for girls as young as one year old! The salon, which caters only for the under-13s has been opened in Brentwood, Essex.
The new beauty shop, called Trendy Monkeys, is owned by Michelle Devine and girls of any age can come in for various glamour treatments and services normally reserved for older women. They will even do a spray tan for a child if a requested.
Brentwood is the setting for the ITV series The Only Way Is Essex which follows the lives of glamour-obsessed young people. According to the owner the shop has been very successful already. Apparently one of the first customers to be served in the new salon was only 16 months old.
It's okay to play make-believe and pop on a pair of Mummy's shoes and do role play games about looking after baby dolls or playing schools. However, allowing and indeed encouraging, toddlers, small children and school age children to go to salons where they can study themselves and change the way they look is distasteful. Fake tans at eight, make-up at 4, manicures at 6, surely this is encouraging an obsession with how they look.
Part of childhood is being taken away and focusing on such activities is detrimental to normal childhood ideas and experiences. Children should be out walking, feeding the ducks, flying kites, throwing stick into streams and enjoying the carefree, happy days of childhood... not stuck in a salon under the nail dryer!
Is this a step towards the sexualisation of children, an erosion of the innocence of childhood? Should wearing of make-up be a rite of passage when our children are more mature and not something to be experimented with and taken seriously at a young age? Or are salons like Trendy Monkey's just a harmless bit of fun?