Cocktail parties in stretch limos, catwalk shows and fake tattoos: The disturbing sexualisation of little girls revealed


The ‘pamper party’ organisers offer everything from facials and manicures to eyebrow shaping, body glitter and temporary tattoos.

And the grateful clients undergoing these makeovers? Girls as young as three.

A Daily Mail investigation has highlighted a burgeoning beauty industry targeting children of primary school age and even younger.

A toast with pink pop: The Pretty Girl Parties website show these youngsters in a stretch limousine

A toast with pink pop: The Pretty Girl Parties website show these youngsters in a stretch limousine

Yesterday the man advising David Cameron on the sexualisation of children promised to investigate its worrying findings.

‘I am disturbed by this trend and I suspect I’m far from being alone,’ said Reg Bailey, chief executive of the Christian parenting charity the Mothers’ Union.

The Mail has found that, from Aberdeen to Devon, specialist businesses are offering ‘pamper parties’ and cosmetic tips previously confined to the adult market.

The website also shows a picture of a girl in heavy make up

The website also shows a picture of a girl in heavy make up

Services also include pedicures, nail painting, moisturising masks, make-up lessons and stick-on ‘tooth gems’.

A number of businesses also offer post-makeover glasses of ‘kids’ bubbly’ and non-alcoholic cocktails.

Young girls are also being targeted by firms offering ‘Lipstick and Limo’ parties and U.S.-influenced ‘mini-model’ fashion parades, complete with pageant-style tiaras and scaled-down catwalks.

Mr Bailey, a 60-year-old father of two, is preparing an independent review for Mr Cameron into the sexualisation and commercialisation of children.

He has asked parents to contribute with evidence of the pressures on children to grow up too quickly.

‘In particular, I want to know whether parents think that there is too much sexualised imagery day to day, and if this makes it seem like the norm to children,’ he said.

‘I think that many, many parents will be concerned by the prospect of children not being allowed to be children and being expected to grow up way before their time.

‘I cannot believe that it is healthy for children to build up an awareness of themselves that is solely based around their appearance.

Dolled up: The man advising David Cameron on the sexualisation of children promised to investigate its worrying findings.

Dolled up: The man advising David Cameron on the sexualisation of children promised to investigate its worrying findings.

‘We need to give our children a sense of confidence and meaning to their lives which is not just simply about how you look and what you own. The saddest thing to me, as a parent, is what this is saying to children – that they only see themselves as needing to look pretty.’

He was backed by Dr Katherine Rake, chief executive of the Family and Parenting Institute.

Tattooed: A young Pamper Parties customer

Tattooed: A young Pamper Parties customer

‘This type of activity is giving girls an image of themselves which is based solely around their physical appearance,’ she said. ‘That puts huge pressure on them to conform to some kind of unachievable standard.

‘This results in low self-esteem, eating disorders and all sorts of psychological and health issues.

‘The Government should provide some leadership on this issue and reflect the concerns that parents are feeling.’

However, Lisa Burgess, who organises makeover parties for girls aged between six and twelve, insisted the criticism was unjustified.

The owner of Pamper Parties, based in Canvey Island, Essex, said: ‘Little girls have always loved to play with make-up and it’s a natural part of growing up.

‘We don’t go over the top and the children enjoy themselves.’

Youngsters attending the parties are offered hair styling, make-up and nail varnish, as well as hair and body glitter, non-alcoholic cocktails and body art ‘tattoos’ – with WAG-style Chinese symbols being a favourite.

Miss Burgess said: ‘The cocktails are really popular because they make the girls feel that little bit more grown-up.

‘They have them in plastic champagne flutes with the little stirrers and umbrellas.

‘It’s just like the grown-up drinks but without the alcohol.’

Reg Bailey, from Mothers' Union: 'I want to know whether parents think that there is too much sexualised imagery day to day, and if this makes it seem like the norm to children'

Reg Bailey, from Mothers' Union: 'I want to know whether parents think that there is too much sexualised imagery day to day, and if this makes it seem like the norm to children'

'Little girls have always loved to play with make-up and it's a natural part of growing up.'

'Little girls have always loved to play with make-up and it's a natural part of growing up.'

Other companies offering such services include:

■ Bedford-based Pretty Girl Parties. ‘Lipstick and Limo’ party packages to girls as young as three. They receive facials, manicures, makeovers and are then taken on a 30-minute limousine ride where they can ‘indulge in non-alcoholic pink champagne and chocolates’.

■ Candy Girls, Wirral. The ‘ultimate pamper party’ for girls aged four and older. A ‘fabulous disco setting, cocktail bar and large stage which converts into a raised catwalk for you to parade your finished look’. Youngsters are offered make-up, body painting and ‘princess cocktails’, with the birthday girl being ‘crowned’ with a beauty-pageant-style tiara and allowed to sit on a miniature throne.

■ Party Princess, Liverpool. Girls aged seven to 14 are ‘transformed into perfect princesses’ by professional beauticians. They attend a ‘glamorous cocktail reception’ before taking part in a mini model show or princess parade. The firm’s website states: ‘See them strut their stuff on the catwalk. A great confidence builder. A great opportunity for them to model their new look.’

■ Sisterz Beauty Salon, Gwent. Children as young as four can receive mini facials, eyebrow shaping, temporary tattoos and stick-on ‘tooth gems’.

■ Pink Parties UK, central Scotland. Girls of three to seven given ‘sparkly makeovers’ with eye-shadow, lip gloss and blusher, ‘glitzy nails’, fruit-based ‘pink cocktails’, pageant-style tiaras and an award ceremony.

■ Girlie Girls Parties, Portsmouth. Girls of three upwards given pamper sessions featuring ‘rock chick’ tattoos and ‘rhinestone nail designs’.

■ Mizz Glitz, Derby. Girls between three and six given ‘Lil’ Mizz Glitz’ makeover packages which feature mini-manicures, nail art with sparkle finish and ‘glitter make up and jewels’.

 

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