‘SLAP: on the face of childhood’ is Pinkstinks' latest campaign which focuses on the burgeoning cosmetics market aimed at young girls. Child cosmetics are often heavily branded around Disney Princesses, High School Musical, Monster High and Hello Kitty, and are commonplace as 'toys' in toy shops across the UK.
Pinkstinks is committed to campaigning for a childhood free from pressure to conform, fit in and improve physical appearance. These pressures stem from corporate desire to create new markets whilst helping prepare young girls for lifelong commitment to the beauty industry; an industry which thrives on culivating self-doubt and body hatred.
SLAP will expose the damage being done to girls with the advent and normalisation of makeup for children. Research shows we are witnessing high and rising levels of low self-esteem and body dysmorphia amongst younger and younger people. We believe that makeup encourages children to self-objectify and therefore further contributes to these issues. We want to expose and challenge this trend of putting beauty pressure on girls, as well as asking for positive action from retailers, parents and the beauty industry as a whole.
SLAP is asking for three things:
- Take makeup out of the pre-school and junior years: the recommended age limit of products - so called 'beauty products' for children - to be aged 8+ as a minimum. Currently many of these products containing lipstick, eye shadow, mascara and nail varnish are labelled aged 2 or 3+
- Stop giving makeup products to children as 'freebies': makeup is commonly given as a freebie or incentive to buy on a range of unrelated products; most notably children's comics, magazines and well-known shoe brands such as Leli Kelli.
- Challenge, question and reject: as parents and consumers we need to make stand, demand better for children and stop accepting and buying these products. We need to recognise the damaging messages that are being promoted through child cosmetics.
What you can do to help:
Watch this space. We'll be loading the website with a range of actions you can take to help SLAP make an impact.
"The pressure to achieve unrealistic physical beauty is an undercurrent in the lives of virtually all women [in the US], and its steady drumbeat is wreaking havoc on women in ways that far exceed the bounds of their physical selves. ... the lifelong burden of an unattainable beauty and body image is taking a terrible toll in all areas of women's lives, from economic well-being to health and interpersonal relationships."
Beauty at any cost: a YWCA report on the consequences of America's beauty obsession on women and girls. 2008