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Makeup Mirrors

Navigating Makeup and Girlhood
Photo courtesy of Michael Gray on flickr.

Sephora is lit up by harsh white lights on a chilly Friday night, every aisle of makeup is stocked up, and testers are in near-mint condition leftover from the spotty business of the work week. Soft music radiates from the radios, blending with the gentle chatter of customers and employees throughout the store.


The store is desolate, no one else but a college-aged couple, a mom and her young daughter, and two girls by themselves, lustfully gazing at the viral Drunk Elephant skincare and makeup section in the back of the store.


Photo from Unsplash.

This seems harmless enough, two little girls in a makeup store, shopping for, skincare?


Young girls, ranging from ages 7 to 11, are taking to the viral app, TikTok to share their makeup routines, night and morning routines, and their favorite products.


This is an unprecedented time for us all, as this upcoming generation is the first ever to grow up with unfettered media access Whether girls seek it out or not, the media is constantly spitting at them to buy specific products or convincing them they need to wear SPF now or they’ll be riddled with wrinkles by age 30.


Brooke Petit, 13, has two sisters, 11 and 17. Petit spoke passionately when she stated that even though she doesn’t have social media, it affects her all the same.


“A lot of kids are impacted by the people at their school because they have social media and start doing trendy stuff and copy high schoolers,” Petit said. “It spreads to younger generations and then they want to be like the older kids.”


Petit described the vicious cycle that she is witnessing first hand among other girls in her school and through her own experience.


“In fifth grade, even though I didn’t have a phone, a lot of my friends did, and they started dressing a certain way, it still impacted me a lot,” Petit said.


Angela Petit, Brooke’s mom, believes that the vast access to knowledge that her kids and others have is why girls are interested in makeup at a younger age.


Photo by Harper Sunday on Unsplash.

“My 11-year-old knows more than I do about makeup and I’m 41,” she said. “I say It’s not normal. The girls kind of roll their eyes at what they and I both see as a cultural shift. I try to keep them grounded in what I think is a reasonable reality. ”


Dani Castillo, 52, another Fort Collins mother and a professor for the Journalism Department at Colorado State University, shares the same viewpoint as Petit and reflects on her time as a child, full of wonder.


“I didn’t wear makeup until I was 15, I was a tomboy. I feel like I’m very much the same as I was when I was little… I still feel fascinated by Barbie dolls… I wish I could experience different parts of the world again as a little girl,” Castillo said.


Bella Walser, 20, a third-year student at CSU, still feels connected to her younger self through the insecurities she carries with her into adulthood.


“I would tell little girls today that there’s no rush, don’t worry about the way you look and what people think of you, it’s going to be your biggest waste of time,” Walser said. “There are so many things you’re missing out on when you’re worried about how you’re being perceived.”


Girlhood coming full circle is little girls wishing they were older, buying a 10-step skincare routine and anti-aging products, while women watch them, desperately trying to relive their own childhood that they too once wished away.


Women and little girls have felt this way for a long time -it’s sort of a right of passage. It’s how they know adolescence is over.


Although it’s never really over, is it?

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About the Contributor
Mia Anguiano-Perez
Mia Anguiano-Perez, Contributor
I’m Mia Anguiano-Perez and I love writing all sorts of stories! i’m particularly passionate about politics, film, food, wildlife conservation, and sustainability. College ave has given me the platform to write what I want and care about, enjoy!

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