What Do You Think?: Girls Wanting to Look Older
Sunday, May 5, 2013 at 6:15PM
Lynda Rae in beauty, clothing, cosmetics, dress, fashion, girls, image, make-up, media, self-esteem

What do you think about this scario?
Photo: Megan Bearder for The New York Times
Alicia is 13 and in 7th grade. She wants to start wearing make-up because she thinks it will get her more attention from her older brother’s friends, who are all in high school. She thinks the boys her age are stupid, but is interested in dating. She wants her brother’s friends to stop thinking of her as a little girl, so she thinks if she starts wearing eyeliner, mascara, and foundation that she’ll start looking like a high school student.

Her big chance will be at a party on Friday night. Now with Facebook, if Alicia goes to that party, she knows that pictures will be posted that night, and wants to look good for the camera. She decides that will be her debut. Alicia convinces a few friends that they should all go buy make-up and new outfits for Friday, so they head out to State Street with a picture of their idol, Selena Gomez,from her new music video, and buy things to imitate her…big hoops, dark eye shadow and liner, and a short dress. Since Alicia hasn’t fully matured yet, she decides she also needs a push-up bra.

Questions for Discussion:

1. Have you worn make-up before? What have you worn, and when? Do your friends? What age do you think is too young to wear make-up?

2. Have you ever thought about “looking older”? What does that mean to you?

3. Why would you want to look older? What do you think you might accomplish through this?

4. Did you know that most TV shows that portray junior high and high school students have actors/actresses that are actually much older? (Selena Gomez is 20, the cast of "Glee" are between 20 & 28, "Degrassi" is set in Junior High, and they’re all 15-21).

5. What possible positive and negative consequences could come out of looking older than your age?  What kind of guy might that attract?


What Can Mentors Do?


"Advice About Teenagers: Makeup" (Berkeley Parents Network)

"Makeup for tweens and teens: What's appropriate?" (The LA Times)

"Essential Beauty and Makeup Tips for Teenagers" (teensmakeup.com)

"Tweenie Fashion: 'I do feel pressure to look older' "(The Guardian)

"Graduating From Lip Smackers" (The New York Times)

Article originally appeared on Fighting Back Mentor Program Resource Center (http://mentor-center.org/).
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