Makeover Madness

Surely, you’ve been to Reign of the Girl Child? Today there is a great story about the message to teens and preteens that a Makeover Makes Everything Better. (It’s exactly the same message given to these girls’ moms too isn’t it?) It’s an old tried-and-true message, but now “image consultants” are charging big bucks for the service. Also, I must encourage you to get Felicia Richardson Battle’s book Feel Good Girl!

A very interesting post at Michele & Lexie’s page at the about image consultants for teens and tweens. These consultants charge big bucks (upwards of $500) to essentially give girls the “right” look so they don’t feel like outcasts.

Hmmmm…OK, I completely remember what it feels like to be unsure, uncoordinated, hormonal and frankly a little goofy as a young teen. No one feels completely confident at that age; and kids – especially girls – can be mean as hell if you don’t fit the mold. We’ve all, at some point, been left wishing that we could “just be like everyone else”.

But the idea of using an image consultant to help a kid conform to an ideal rubs me the wrong way. What about individuality? What about being liked for who you are instead of being admired because you’ve got the right label on your blouse or your makeup looks great?

Is image consulting for teens a much needed service or is it just another ploy by marketers to capitalize on natural adolescent insecurity and piggyback on the narrow ideals that are already being pushed on girls… that their real power lies in their looks and their ability to impress others?

This is such an easy answer to the problem. Make them over. Make them fit in…all is well. Oh really? Instead of helping all kids understand the need for individuality and accepting others for what’s inside is it OK to just say “Let’s just make them look great and they’ll be fine.”

Is that right answer for our daughters?

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