Point/Counterpoint: What's Up With Lipstick For 1st Graders?

Illustration for article titled Point/Counterpoint: Whats Up With Lipstick For 1st Graders?

Encouraged by sales of its makeup collaboration with MAC Cosmetics (left) Mattel is partnering with Bonne Bell to launch a Barbie-branded, "girl savvy" cosmetics line "aimed at girls 6 to 9" (Emphasis ours). After the jump, two Jezebel editors hash over whether Barbie-branded makeup for primary-schoolers is evil, innocent, or just a case of a company giving the kids what they want.

  • POINT Jesus Christ: Is nothing sacred anymore? Call me old-fashioned (or just the spawn of a '70s-era women's libber), but the years between 1st and 4rd grades are a time when little girls should be running around, skinning their knees and learning swear words; after all, they've got an entire lifetime in which to learn to be sex objects! But seriously, for those who believe that dolls are just child's play with negligible effects on ideals of beauty and self-worth, think again. This shit is so depressing it makes me never want to have kids.
  • COUNTERPOINT As a reporter who used to have to cover Mattel's unending struggle with what is known in the toy industry as "age compression" — in layman's terms, the reason girls' dolls look like anorexic, coke-addicted whores — I just see this as a pathetic attempt to make the Barbie brand relevant in the eyes of the Bratz demographic, which by six years old is already probably giving blow jobs anyway. But as a former kid, my thoughts are: Makeup is really, really cool. I mean, It makes you look sooooooo much prettier!

Mattel's Barbie And Bonne Bell To Push Makeup For Little Girls [MediaPost] Related: What Dolls Can Tell Us About Race In America [ABCNews] Department Of Marketing: Little Hotties [TheNewYorker]

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In all fairness, this crap has been available for at least as long as I can remember. Little pots of lip gloss, and horrible rub-on blush, and nail polish that is made just for children and peels off, as I recall. It's practically impossible to keep little girls from wanting to imitate their mothers or other women in their lives, or what they see in the media, and much of that desire for imitation is innocent and completely normal. All that would really worry me about it is moms pushing it on girls that age. The reason they wear it is more important than the fact of their wearing it. I know someone who put makeup on her newborn daughter for the first photos from the hospital, when the baby was just a few hours old. That, to me, is a sign that the line is a dot to them.