My daughters and I got to be 'ladies who lunch' yesterday. We went to the local shopping mall and looked in stores and then had lunch at the Rainforest Cafe with my mother, who is probably the World's Best Grandmother (this is no surprise because she is the World's Best Mother). The lunch worked out well, I was a bit nervous that the 2 year-old might be spooked -- for those unfamiliar, the Rainforest Cafe is heavily decorated and creates the look and feel of being in a (simulated) jungle. There are large, realistic animals that move and make noises at various intervals during the meal. Luckily, we were not seated near any of these and were in the front of the restaurant where we did not feel completely immersed.
I couldn't help but notice a table of young girls, perhaps 8 years-old. They were clearly having a birthday party and all had their hair done up like Greek goddesses -- which was a curious juxtaposition with their sweatpants and otherwise sloppy attire. I took a peek at the goody bags as they passed to see the words Libby Lu. Interesting, I thought, a makeover party accompanied by lunch. I'm a no fuss kind of birthday party hostess so it was like a glimpse into another world.
When we returned to that mall after lunch, we wandered past Club Libby Lu, the place that spawns the mock Greek goddesses. Only this time it was spawning mock Britney Spearses. [UPDATE: apparently, the mock Greek goddess look has been dropped in favor of the rock star look; the website no longer shows the flowing ringlet hairpieces that were once offered] There were a half dozen midget divas with punky styled hair, glittery faces, dressed in short, tight, black sequined dresses, some of which bared midriffs. These kids were vamping it up to pulsating music in the front of the store at the direction of one of the employees. The proud mama and papa of the birthday girl were joining in the fun, with papa asking the girls 'how low can you go?' and snapping photos. I tried to picture my DH doing this but could only come up with a vision of him filling out application forms to send our girls to Catholic school.
As the mother of a 4 1/2 year-old, I realize that we haven't yet reached the age at which Club Libby Lu has become a driving need. However, I cannot help but wonder whether this is a harbinger of the decline of our civilization or whether I've just lost my sense of humor. Is it simply just a public form of playing dress-up or are we paying to have our daughters sexualized at a young age? Is this no big deal or is it the modern version of child sacrifice to our gods of consumerism and materialism?
I need chocolate.