I always told myself that as soon as I started to use the phrase ‘When I was that age…’ it would be the right time to pack myself off to the local old peeps home. So forgive me. Because at the tender age off twenty-two I’m about to use the exact same line.
When I was seven years old the closest I got to plastic fantastic was either a Barbie doll or a Polly Pocket. It’s a shame that the little girls of today can’t say the same thing. In fact I dare say that many little girls today view Barbie as a role model instead of just a toy. And hell, I’d be amazed if they even knew what a Polly Pocket was. The closest I ever got to being a ‘grown up’ or ‘just like mummy’ was putting on a pair of my mums high heeled shoes and clip clopping round the back garden. I’d then get fed up and go back to reading some fairytales.
So I have to admit to being slightly disturbed when I read an article about Sarah Burge and her daughter Poppy. What bothered me the most though wasn’t the contents of the article (which is bad enough) but the fact that I wasn’t actually all that surprised by it. What does that say about the society we live in?
Little Poppy Burge first hit the headlines aged six when her mother taught her how to pole dance. POLE DANCE. AT SIX. A year later Poppy was back in the papers after her ‘human Barbie’ mother, Sarah, brought her a £6,000 boob job voucher for her SEVENTH birthday. Now, I’m sorry, but if I got a bit of paper for my seventh birthday which promised to enhance boobies I didn’t yet have I’d feel kinda cheated. In fact I’d be damn right pissed off. I’d be stamping my feet demanding to know where the hell my pink tricycle was.
But that’s just me. Because according to the article Poppy was ‘delighted’ with the gift. Mummy mentalist Sarah Burge, who herself has undergone over £500,000 worth of plastic surgery, then splashed out on an ‘exotic pamper party’ treating Poppy and her friends to manicures, pedicures, fake tans and tattoos, makeovers, fake champagne and a £250 designer birthday cake. Too much? I agree, what’s wrong with a McDonald’s party and a Happy Meal? Never did me any harm.
The surgery voucher is apparently for Poppy to use when she is sixteen (bearing in mind that a young girls body has nowhere near finished developing at such a young age.) In my opinion Sarah is not only an irresponsible mother but also a bad role model to boot. By giving Baby Barbie the promise of plastic surgery at the age of seven, Mummy Barbie has implanted the idea that by the time she reaches sixteen she expects Baby Barbie will be imperfect in some way. Poppy will now grow up seeking out imperfections that just aren’t there. While she was on a roll Sarah should have gift wrapped a self-fulfilling prophecy and year’s worth of insecurity and chucked them on the birthday pile and had done with it.
Sarah Burge should be ashamed of herself. Instead of encouraging such an impressionable little girl to follow in her plastic fantastic footsteps she should be telling her daughter that she is beautiful and perfect just the way she is, no alterations necessary. What was right for her doesn’t necessarily mean it’s right for her daughter, but because Poppy wants to be just like mummy she is doomed to a life under the surgeons knife. Personally I think this is an appalling example to set your little girl.
Shocking, as it may be, Sarah Burge isn’t alone in pressing the fast forward button on the childhood of little girls. Just last week somewhat of a hoo-ha was caused by the opening of Trendy Monkeys a beauty salon based in Essex (where else?!) offering facials, make-up, manicures, pedicures, fake tanning, hair treatments and extensions and ear piercing for the under thirteen’s.
While a little girl might like to be pampered, having a salon dedicated solely to young girls seems a tad extreme. Bearing in mind that girls of such a young age won’t be able to pay for the treatments themselves it will be their parents making the appointments and paying for them. Children shouldn’t be spending their time sat in a beauty salon; these places reinforce the damaging message that image and beauty is all important. More important than being a kid.
It makes me angry that little girls are no longer allowed to be little girls. Society seems to be in a rush to turn them into tiny little women. Innocence has gone to hell in a handcart. Snow White, Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty appear to have been swapped for Lady Gaga, Rihanna and Jordan and this quite frankly scares the shit outta me. As it should all of us.
Sadly society only has itself to blame. A mixture of irresponsible parenting and a bombardment of images from the media combine to create young girls living their lives in fast forward. Kiddie beauty salons, padded bra’s and bikinis for the under twelves, inappropriate clothing, high heels for two year olds, Rihanna singing about S & M and Christina Aguilera dancing like a slut on the X Factor pre watershed. What kinds of messages does this send out to impressionable young minds?
Is it all a case of too much too young? I’ve had my say so what say you? Speak after the beep.