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Sephora Kids Are Living Proof That Our Generation Hates Awkward Tweens.

It's definitely not big news that times change. Children behave differently than how they used to in the 80's, 90's or 2000's and there is nothing particularly wrong with that. It's a natural process. However, people now have the right to bring up the good old "when I was your age" argument, as we are closer than ever to eliminating childhood as a whole once the line between toddler and adult is strained thinner by the minute because of us making children into the new adults and adults into the new children.

Undoubtedly, events ongoing worldwide nowadays are spread all over the internet, from insignificant opinions to captivating news. We, as grown-ups (hopefully) already know what the world is like and were naturally developed to be exposed to information such as minecraft YouTubers being cussed at by voice actors from kids shows. Yes, I know, very slick and discrete. These sorts of trends, news, influences and opinions are now being exposed to children, inevitably making them into arrogant little gremlins called Sephora kids.

Before I begin, here is a quick introduction to what Sephora kids are exactly; " 'Sephora kids' refers to the children and tweens who shop at the beauty retailer, sometimes posting videos of their hauls and skin-care routines online, much like the influencers they may follow", according to CBC. Sure doesn't sound too bad since kids have the liberty to shop at makeup stores, yet what comes with the rise of the young shoppers at adult stores are huge consequences and it is our fault.

At this day and age, generation X and those who are parents nowadays attend to a parenting tactic called soft parenting or gentle parenting. Guidepost Montessori defines it as "a parenting approach that encourages a partnership between you and your child to make choices based on an internal willingness instead of external pressures. This parenting style asks you to become aware of the behaviour you model for your child, encourages compassion, welcomes emotions and accepts the child as a whole, capable being." This approach, of course, sounds wonderful and a complete 360º from how millennials and boomers have raised their children and passed down generational trauma, being neglected or too harsh on raising their kids. The gentle parenting style, however, is often misunderstood for letting kids do whatever they please , disrespecting others, giving them an iPad of their own to shut them up and pretending that they are the voice of reason in unreasonable situations. With this messed up perception of gentle parenting, generation alpha is being raised by twitch streamers and vulgar kid influencers instead of having their own parents be there for them. 

Kids, being at an impressionable age, will do whatever someone tells them to so as long as they are respected and admired by the kid, children do whatever they see others do and mirror the sort of behaviour that they see around them. If a kid is given the internet, they will BECOME the internet.

With the recent recurring trends of following specific aesthetics which are based around sole products and lack identity or personality, young children will be driven to this state and follow whatever Kim Kardashian's 9-year-old daughter, North West, does in her social platform. The never ending flow of beauty trends, standards and products floating among the internet just helps pinpoint the pressure on young women to look like they're at their golden age at all times, act perfect, look perfect and have the perfect life and it affects these little girls in a way that will make them want to grow up faster than ever. This is also causing adults to want to adapt cute products, colourful clothing and childish items into their lives in hopes to get back the childhood which they missed, due to their past worries of growing up so fast. 

With young influencers like Alabama Barker, Jolie Woods, Kardashian children and Jenner children, kids already feel the pressure to grow up faster than ever and fit into the norm without having enough time to develop a personality of their own, which is a painfully embarrassing period of our lives to which we call the awkward phase; awfully painful when you look back at it, yet nothing more than essential for growth.

I'm sure we're all familiar with the awkward phase, right? Spoken entirely from those old pictures of 10 year old us with neon pink Justice leggings, a shirt with the picture of a random pug accompanied by a relatable tumblr quote and missing a tooth, probably making their own original My Little Pony persona and posting their creations on DeviantArt. I'm sure many of us look back at those questionable fashion choices and hobbies with endearment because it is what brought us to this point in life after all. The tween era of our lives may be full of acne and posters of fictional crushes, yet after growing through that comes a blooming of our authentic style and a sense of unique personality.

The aspect of trends and latest hot things has been a recurring theme along the centuries when it comes to children. Don't tell me you've never begged your parents to buy you a bracelet making kit at a Toys "R" Us or thrown a tantrum over Shopkins, right? What has been going on with these Sephora kids recently is no different from what we have been doing for ages ever since marketing was a thing. The only issue is that the industries appealing to kids nowadays aren't really… for kids. Is it really that reasonable for Drunk Elephant to be the new LPS?

Children, in the process of growth, tend to develop their intellect and interests through toys, hobbies and sensory activity. Toys, trading cards and DIY kits are great products that keep your kids busy, help them interact with others and build interests of their own, but tell me how a kid would be able to base their personality on brands. There is absolutely no issue with a kid enjoying taking care of their skin, sitting down to play around with fragrant liquids and slap everything on their face. I don't blame them, it feels nice and is pretty fun. However, kids don't really know what they're getting themselves into, they just hear about it and want it, simple as that. Without the supervision of parents or even under the encouragement of their parents (hence the existence of gen alpha influencers whose account is 'run by mommy'), kids spend hundreds of dollars on stuff that they either don't need or can't use at all. Is nap time giving kids wrinkles? If they use anti-age serums, then just what would they just revert back to? Foetuses? 

Jokes aside though, these products advertised to kids are meant for an adult audience and the media is beginning to eliminate products that only promote worries that grown women should have instead of hobbies to which children should be developing. Of course, makeup is very much a hobby, yet the makeup being used by these kids partake in the same industry and use the same overall branding as adult products. Parents can't even prevent kids from buying stuff that they shouldn't because kids makeup from Claire's is not a thing anymore, adult makeup is starting to become the same as children's makeup and vice versa. This will soon enough numb a kid's uniqueness and whoever doesn't have the latest cosmetic brand will get made fun of, ripping away at whatever is left of their personalities because being different is a reason for ridicule. Because of this promotion in the media, children won't feel safe in their own skin anymore, it reinforces the idea of hiding away your personality to stay safe.

This mix-up is causing kids to run into adult cosmetics stores and, well, do what kids usually do: mess around with testers and make a mess. Now, for context, the brand Drunk Elephant encourages what is called a "Skincare Smoothie", which is using the top of a flat surface of their packaging where you just squeeze the lid to get product out and basically use it to mix up a bunch of other products of their brand. Keep in mind that this can only be done with their products as the company designed their products to do exactly that, it should never be done with any other brands. So when these skincare smoothies are made on testers, kids leave a huge mess for the employees of the place to clean up and mind you that this is a store for adults, so the mess is a sight for other adult customers to have to deal with and it just looks absolutely disgusting.

Although this is pure disrespect to Sephora's employees and adult customers (aside from talking rudely to employees and other customers), kids are curious about mixing around fun components. It's basically like doing one of those shower potions with everything in the shower shelf when we were younger or why slime exists. However, that is a practice that should be kept out of Sephora stores at all costs.

With the encouragement of these brands to cater their products towards an influential target audience, they can pull money out of these kids since they couldn't care less about the moral consequences that come with it. This whole scheme of brainwashing these children into buying their products was entirely intentional since it is more likely for kids to be customers instead of adults. Not because of the branding, but because of this scenario: kid sees other kids using product X, kid asks mom for product X, mom refuses to buy product X, kid throws a tantrum, mom doesn't want to deal with the tantrum and buys her kid product X. Surprisingly, this happens more often than not. 

Gosh, this article is pretty long yet there is so much to say about the issue about to pass down from generation alpha! Yet if we gather our thoughts, it's only reasonable to conclude that all of these effects prove that we as a society have done our children wrong. From letting them roam around and disrespect minimum wage workers to looking like mini Angelina Jolies at the ripe age of 12, their freedom is being taken away by the internet and we are the ones giving them this access. Instead of acting like parents, the only thing raising them are shining rectangles which expose literally anything and everything to our children.

As a consequence, the children of our children will not have any time to flourish and will never get the careless and naive childhoods that they deserve or be able to express themselves ever again if this practice is not interrupted. 


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