Well I was going to talk about Scottish Independence, since it has been so much in the news this week. I was going to talk about how Alex Salmond cynically lowered the age of voting so that a more impressionable and patriotic youth vote might sway the balance, even for this not to work, according to the polls. That must have left egg on his face. Or more likely porridge.
I was going to talk about how the Scottish first minister doesn’t want Scotland to be governed by a load of ex -Etonian Tories in London. Well, since they failed to secure a majority of English voters, neither do we. So for that I have some sympathy. But if he really wanted to win a vote on whether Scotland should break from the UK, then he should let the English vote. Bingo.
That’s what I was going to write about. But then something was brought to my attention that I am actually interested in. And that something is the rise of the Little Girls Pamper Parties.
If you are unaware of these historic events, let me enlighten you.
A Pamper Party is ‘a female-oriented party where each guest receives beauty and massage treatments and generally spends time indulging and pampering themselves.’ And the Little Girls Pamper party is of course the junior version of this.
And they are happening everywhere. Just try typing it into Google to discover the endless pages of them. Princess Pamper Parties, Essex Pamper Parties (yikes!) Tinkerbell Pamper Parties, Little Divas Pamper Parties. Little Divas? You don’t say!
Now I don’t want to be a party pooper. I don’t want to be the one to flag up the tyranny of gender stereotyping. In my humble opinion, boys will be boys, and girls will be girls. Through no conscious pressure on mine, or her mother’s part, my daughter is as girly and pinkly princessy as they come. Seriously, if you came round to my house, you’d think my flat mate was Danny le Rue.
But it did make me uneasy to drop my daughter off at the latest of these pamper parties, looking like my lovely little nine year old daughter, only to pick her up looking like Dolly Parton.
Honestly, I was instantly considering the merits of the burka.
“Oh put a sock in it, you humorless, joyless prat. It’s only a harmless bit of fun.” I hear you cry. Ok, sure. Of course it is fun. And I’m certainly not trying to criticize the parents throwing these parties. Lord knows I’ve clutched at many a straw when wondering how to entertain a covenette* of screaming, e-numbering little girls myself.
But I’m not convinced it’s harmless. I’m just not. At worst it’s the over sexualisation and body fixation of little girls, who will all too soon find out the pressures of that for themselves. And at best it’s filling my daughters smart little head with endless glittery twaddle that is hardly going to get her a science degree. I’m not trying to be down on looking good. I’m all for it. To quote the great Ian Dury, as I think I have once before in this esteemed newspaper, “Every bit of clothing should make you pretty”.
And why not? I for one could tell you the exact shade of red lipstick Robert Smith of The Cure used to wear, and look at the heights I’ve scaled now! (ahem).
My point is not that wanting to look good and being smart are mutually exclusive. Of course they are not. My point is does it have to start SO young? Plus if I have to sit through another glitter-festooned film where my daughter provides a running commentary on what every female cast member is wearing or doing with her hair, then I swear, I shall be moving to Scotland, whether it’s independent or not.
*Here I was wonder what the collective noun is for a group of 9 year old girls, ampted up on pink icing sugar, coca-cola and nail-varnish fumes. Any suggestions welcome on my twitter!