The Student News Site of Elkhart High School

The PENNANT Online

The Student News Site of Elkhart High School

The PENNANT Online

The Student News Site of Elkhart High School

The PENNANT Online

Ditching Dolls: Are Girls Redefining Christmas List Expectations?

Young Girls Clamor For Adult Glamor
12-year-old Elkhart Student displays her skincare collection!

When adults and teenagers today think back to when it was time to make the annual Christmas list, they recall a time for circling toys in the magazines, filled with Play-Doh, Barbie, Nintendo, and other toys fit for all children. Traditionally, young girls have asked for the most popular toys–even if it was makeup. Whether pretend or even the real deal, the makeup featured pastels and glitter–indulging little girls in the fun of learning how to apply makeup for the first time. 

Today, the stakes are higher. While conversing with Senior Adyan Al-Shamri, an employee at Sephora, she reported seeing, “an increase in young girls buying luxury products they definitely do not need.” Explaining, she adds, “I have girls starting at nine asking for products such as retinals and all sorts of serums. So, which are the most desirable products? “Three brands I have noticed they purchase heavily are Drunk Elephant, The Ordinary, and Glow Recipe.” For context, these skincare brands are for people who have already present issues with their skin, or generally mature skin.

These products, specifically The Ordinary, are pure serums full of hyaluronic acids and peeling solutions filled with chemicals. What on earth would a nine-year-old need with a product such as this? Al-Shamri replies with her honest opinion: “Many people could say that they are just having fun and enjoying being young girls, but I see this growing as a problem. They are becoming too self aware of how they look–something most girls in older generations didn’t notice until much older.” Continuing, she adds,  “Another problem I see growing from this is the fact that they are damaging their skin with all the harsh chemicals they are putting on their faces.”

Now, more than ever before, girls between the ages of 8-12 have been asking for luxury skincare products, as well as luxury clothing. Young girls have been stacking Amazon wish lists with brands such as Skims, Drunk Elephant Skincare, LuluLemon, UGG, etc.–and families all over America have been taking notice of this absurdity! Dermatologists, such as @brookejeffymd on TikTok–who specializes in teen’s skincare and wellness–have been warning parents all across the board to avoid purchasing certain products,despite their children’s requests, noting that they contain anti-aging ingredients like retinol and peptides. This is because they can permanently damage these young girls’ skin barriers, giving them premature acne and chemical burns! Children as young as eight-years-old have been posting videos on social media making “skin-care smoothies,” combining unnecessary skincare products as part of their everyday ten-part routine–unknowingly damaging their skin. Meanwhile, parents are also unaware–believing it to simply be more expensive play makeover.

The sad truth is that this issue has been going on way before the Christmas season ignited.  On the positive side, Christmas has opened this topic up for discussion, bringing families into awareness. The question people need to ask themselves is what brought young girls to this point in society? Why do these girls believe that they need items and products to “perfect” their faces, lose weight, and look so grown up at such a young age? Amanda Raffoul, an instructor at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and a researcher with STRIPED (Strategic Training Initiative for the Prevention of Eating Disorders), says, “The more teenage girls are on social media and exposed to image-based social media in particular, the more likely they are to have poor body image.All fingers of blame point towards social media when it comes to creating unrealistic expectations and standards for young women–and now this stigma has spread to young girls, as well. 

Hopefully, this Christmas season, families with young girls will be more aware of the severity of something as simple as buying them a pair of Skims and an anti-aging cream. Consider these alternatives for skincare instead: @brookejeffymd gives parents healthy alternatives for their daughters who are just getting into their own routines of self-care as they grow into their teens. These products are simple; all these girls need are a standard cleanser, moisturizer, and sunscreen! The brands that she recommends include CeraVe and Cetaphil, which do not damage the skin and are easy to find at any local department store or drug store.

This Christmas, save face by avoiding unhealthy skin practices.

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About the Contributor
Aurora Kalkbrenner
Aurora Kalkbrenner, Staff Writer

Aurora Kalkbrenner is a new addition to The PENNANT staff this 2023-24 school year! As a sophomore, she hopes to have the chance to bring out more of her creativity through writing articles this year. Aurora loves to direct her stories towards informing the public, as well as writing about entertaining news and events! When Aurora isn’t at school or work, she loves to read, paint, and do anything involving autumn! Additionally, she enjoys learning new things--and this year, she hopes that as part of the staff, she’ll learn even more than ever!

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