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Contour Kits, Cosmetic Queens: What Are We Doing to Our Little Girls?

Kim Kardashian West is so over the critics who flip out when she lets daughter North, 5, wear makeup. Last month, Kardashian West posted a video of North on Instagram wearing a new lipstick shade from her mom’s KKW Beauty collection — and Kardashian West called out the haters before they could hate on her.

“Relax Mom Shamers it’s coming off in a few mins,” Kardashian West captioned the clip. “I needed a bribe to get [her] out of the door… you feel me?!?!?!”

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Kardashian West was also derided by online commenters for permitting North to strut her tiny stuff in a Los Angeles fashion show sporting a crop top, sunglasses and bold lipstick. 

Now, it’s one thing to be the famous offspring of selfie-obsessed Kim Kardashian West and controversial sourpuss, rapper and designer Kanye West, but it’s quite another to be a cosmetics-obsessed 6-year-old kid growing up in a normal-ish anonymous family. These days, more and more little girls (think 5 to 12) are grooving on hardcore cosmetics and very high-end makeup looks — including heavy contouring.

The New York Post reports, “[T]hese mini divas are social-media savvy, hip to the latest techniques, obsessed with the coolest cosmetic brands and fans of beauty influencers. With professional makeup brushes clutched in their tiny hands, these darlings are copying sophisticated online makeup looks with grown-up powders and potions at home. And they’re even making money doing it.”

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Say what? Long gone are the days of lemonade stands and bake sales, mama friends. Check out Molly, 7, who is racking up the big bucks (a cool $12,000 is likely her take for this year) making cosmetics tutorials on YouTube (under her mom’s username, Courtney McCutcheon) and on the Instagram account @lipgloss_and_crayons.
Molly spoke with The Post herself about her love of makeup. “My favorite products are lipstick and glittery eye shadow. And I really like blush because it makes my cheeks stand out.”

McCutcheon sees nothing wrong with her daughter’s diva-esque lifestyle. “It was awful, people were calling me a child abuser,” she said according to the same Post article. “They were saying it’s going to ruin her skin and she’s going to have acne. People were telling me I should be arrested or I’m going to go to hell, or that she should play with Barbie dolls or she should be outside.”

But McCutcheon thinks this is totally age-appropriate for 2018. She also says she only lets her daughters wear a teensy bit of glitter and glitz and gloss outside the home. This is purely inside play: “Molly begs me to do videos and likes creating content. It’s innocent and she’s having fun,” McCutcheon stated.

Zara would agree. She is a second-grader in Atlanta with the online handle Yoshidoll. Want to guess how many Instagram followers this girl has? More than you ever will: 208,000 as of this post. She, like Molly, also has a popular YouTube channel. *Gulp*

Zara’s mom, Ellarie Noel, is a beauty influencer. She says, “My daughter has her own Caboodle full of stuff she gets to wear at the house.” But Ellarie Noel also says she only lets her daughter wear makeup at home (and for eye safety doesn’t let Zara do her own mascara). Also like Molly, Zara’s making some serious change. Sponsored videos featuring hair products garner the kid $20,000 annually. Um. Wow.

Zara’s most popular YouTube video is “Transforming Into My Mom!” which has received more than 3.4 million views. “I look like Beyoncé!” crows Zara in it. “Girl, don’t push it,” her mom responds.
But is there a dark side to all this colorful modeling and adultification (and, arguably, sexualization)? In the same article, the Post quotes Diane E. Levin, professor of applied human development at Boston University and author of So Sexy So Soon

“The risk is that little girls focus on appearance, buying the right things and looking the right way, instead of developing a broader range of interests and skills,” Levin told the Post. “Developmentally, they’re objectifying themselves.”

And there are other concerns as well. “One of the dangers is interacting on the internet with trolls and escalating problematic sexualized behaviors,” Levin states. Urgh.

By the way, we’re aware there are plenty of little boys who also love makeup — it’s just easier to find the girls on social media. And we’re not sure what to make of any of it. Harmless and possibly lucrative fun? Scary premature dive into adulthood? There’s something just… alarming about a second-grader with a full face of perfect makeup. Or is that just us?

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