Thursday, February 3, 2011

Wal Mart Targets Tweens With New Makeup Line

Is Wal Mart Taking Things Too Far?

I recently saw all the buzz the past week of Wal Mart partnering with a makeup line called Geo Girl created by Pacific World, which is targeting little girls between the ages of 8 and 12. Apparently it is a move to recreate the phenom which occurred when the Olsen twins, Mary Kate and Ashley, had a line of products catering to their tween following of skincare and makeup.

However, since the twins are no longer tweens and have essentially aged out of this market, a new targeted line is stepping up for a piece of this large market share. Just on this basis alone, this is insinuating that they are too old now to continue in this market. What does this say to young women? We eventually have an expiration date stamped on our foreheads?

The new range helps bolster Wal-Mart’s tween beauty assortment, which currently includes lines such as Disney Princesses, Lip Smackers, Lotta Luv, FAB Beauty and Crayola. Carmen Bauza, Wal-Mart Stores Inc.’s vice president and divisional merchandise manager of beauty and personal care, said Wal-Mart began merchandising these brands together in a tween beauty set nearly two years ago and continues to add new brands to the assortment.

GeoGirl, beginning Feb. 21, will occupy the two feet of space in the 1,200 stores vacated by the Mary-Kate and Ashley cosmetics range, a former Wal-Mart exclusive that the retailer cut from the assortment last fall. The Mary-Kate and Ashley tween customer “has grown up and the brand started to deteriorate,” said Bauza.

The new "Geo-Girls" product line includes everything from eyeshadow and mascara to exfoliators and cleansers. The market for such products is lucrative, with tweens spending about $24 million on lip gloss and other cosmetic items every year.

The Experts Weigh In

In an interview with ABC's Good Morning America Dr. Logan Levkoff, author of the book "Third Base Ain't What it Used to Be", stated "We are raising another generation of girls who kind of measure their self-worth based on what's on the outside."

Other experts warn that such a practice could cause harm to young girls.

"The use of make-up in some way can be addictive, and what these children would be addicted to is the pursuit of perfection--the superficial, skin deep, 'I'm only as good as I look,'" Dr. Henry Paul told ABC News.

"In the long run it can lead to an erosion of self esteem in a child because they'll begin to think of themselves only as beautiful kids," he added.

Walmart says the new line was developed to give parents a healthy, more age appropriate option for those younger girls.

The Motivation Behind The New Line

According to the marketing team behind the line, the formulas are designed for 'young skin' and contain natural ingredients like white willow bark, chamomile, lavender and calendula, as well as anti-oxidants which are said to prevent aging.......are they joking?......

Joel Carden, executive vice president of Pacific World, the brand's manufacturer, says the line is designed for young children who want to use real cosmetics, but with natural ingredients.

All 69 products in the range will be paraben, phthalates and sulfate free, a strategy that is designed to attract parents worried about the excess chemicals in make-up.

Synthetic colours and fragrances are also avoided to reduce the risk of skin allergies.

Is It Just Me?

I think it is commendable that Wal Mart and Geo Girl are about promoting awareness of problems with certain ingredients and teaching the consumer about the safe use of cosmetics and how they utilize eco friendly packaging as well, but I can't help but think this is a bit over the top.

I remember playing dress up and having fun with my moms lipsticks and perfumes, but to wear makeup to the extent of foundations, blush, eye shadows, I feel is too extreme for one so young.

Our children seem to be wanting to grow up so fast with all the technology at their fingertips, making cosmetics a pervasive part of their everyday lives. I mean do children who are still sporting baby teeth, really need to be worried about wrinkles?

Even as a cosmetics manufacturer, I am not one to indoctrinate children with all the glam and glitz forcing them to grow up faster than they already do. How about supporting them in important ventures which build self esteem and self worth, rather than based solely on their exterior appearance?

Will they end up as cosmetic addicts, or plastic surgery addicts? What is this saying to our small children? Do we really want to see our young girls in anything other than a bit of lip gloss?

To each his own I guess, but this disturbs me to a large degree. Even mineral makeup can do wonders for keeping skin healthy with use, but again, I don't think one so young needs to be worried about such things. What happened to just being a kid and having fun?

Maybe I'm just too old fashioned to see any benefit for this age group except simply grabbing market share on the part of the manufacturers since it appears to be quite lucrative.

What do you think...good thing or another phase of contributing detrimentally to the overall self worth of our young girls?.....which I might add are already susceptible to peer pressure.

Or more sinister unfortunately, it can create the image of being a sex object providing fodder for the pedophile. I just feel this goes much deeper than self image, but how a little girl could be perceived in the mind of the twisted. Let's not forget the beautiful Jonbenet Ramsey.

Parents need to be cognizant of the obvious because this realm is real and should not be fueled by allowing our children to grow up faster than true age reflects.

It certainly has it's proponents and opponents....which side of the coin are you on?

Protected by Copyscape Online Infringement Detector


  1. From a READER:

    Gloria Writes: I must be WAY out of the loop of society today, granted I am over 70. But I try to keep a finger on the pulse of what is going on. I completely agree with you, let kids be kids, not push them into grown-up wanabees. Peer pressure is an ugly thing on many issues, and self-beautification of one so young, is one of them. I would like to see more effort put into, taking care of one’s skin, teeth and hair. Good clean healthy fun and eating. Maybe we need to spend more quality time with them doing family things like biking, hiking, hobbies. Parents are the best role models, and if we as sisters, mothers and grandmothers spend less time talking about makeup, and making a big to-do about in front of them, maybe they won’t think it is so cool, until the time is right.

    Old Fogey

  2. Thanks for your input Gloria,

    I so agree with you. Glad I am not the only one. I was raised by the generation of keeping it simple. Both my mom and grandma only wore a bit of lipstick. No makeup and some perfume. They were handsome women. Not glamorous or gorgeous, but smart, well educated and self assured. In fact I was not allowed to wear makeup of any kind out of the house until high school. And I was self taught because they did not wear makeup so couldn't really help me. Boy did I make some boo boo's of application. Now I own a mineral makeup company and I get it right. Funny how things work out.....who would have thunk it!

    Have a great weekend.

  3. Gloria's Response to ME:Thanks, Katherine. Maybe as the mature generation we will have some impact. Granddaughters tend to look to us a lot. I know that mine do.

    You have REALLY done it right. I love your makeup, and try to keep it really simple. It works for me.