Friday, August 15, 2008

Bikini Wax Babes: De-Fuzzing the Barely Fuzzed

A few months back I wrote a post that explored the way little girls are brainwashed into believing that their confidence and self-worth is derived from their looks. It touched on the "hot new trend' of Mamas taking their baby girls (as young as 6-years-old) for waxing. You know... legs, armpits, bikini area. Gotta be baby smooth for that trip to Chuck E. Cheese, after all. Have you seen some of the hairy girls crawling around in those Skytubes? Like a colony of hamsters they are.

When I wrote that post in April, the realization that mothers are actually subjecting their daughters to hot wax treatments - and the fact that unscrupulous salon owners are performing and profiting from it - was shocking, but in the back of my mind I held the small ray of hope that this was just a small trend that would eventually go away.

Well, no such luck. De-fuzzing the barely-fuzzed seems to be here to stay, and as one spa owner in Manhattan predicts, "In 10 years...waxing children will be like taking them to the dentist or putting braces on their teeth." -NY Post

Of course this is not news to informed Mamas, trend watchers and regular readers of Reign. However... it is certainly still creepy as hell.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Get silly with it! Connecting over absolutely nothing.

There's no doubt that there are many serious issues facing our girls today. For those of us with daughters, nieces, god-daughters, students, and other young women in our lives, staying informed about these issues is key to raising smart girls. However, staying informed can also turn you into one crazy statistic-spewing mama.

I've realized in the past few weeks that I can be the real-deal girl power crusader all I want. And I can instill solid common sense in my girl-child, too. But sometimes ... even the Mommy B's gotta lighten up.

I have a little bit of a phobia about (gulp) clowns. Never liked them. Don't get them. If I see one coming, I'm going the other way. So it's strange that the other night my girl-child and I got into a deep conversation about clown names. Yeah, clown names. Bozo, Flappy, Swirly, Patches, Bongo, Jingles, Boinkers. Bwwaahahahaha! ... Boinkers!

The names are hilarious! Of course that's what draws you in. The funny name makes you let your guard down. Then the horror begins (shudder). So anyhoo, a silly conversation about clown names was a nice way to end the night.

Sure I'd heard about this (an interesting look at the power of celebrity marketing. Thanks to Ypulse for the scoop).

And this (underage sex is advertising's new cash cow).

And this (a wonderful insight on boobies in Hollywood and society at large from Shaping Youth).

Of course, normally I'd open a dialogue about some of these issues with my daughter. But sometimes, it's just nice to connect over nothing, because those are the moments that really matter.

Boinkers would be proud (from a distance, hopefully).

Saturday, August 2, 2008

America the Beautiful's beautiful NYC opening

I caught America The Beautiful in it's NYC opening last night. I have one thing to say, Mamas ...WOW! The movie was truly amazing. Director Darryl Roberts touched on so many of the issues that drive me crazy here at Reign:
  • The amount of media we're all exposed to each day
  • The effects of media images (like flawless, sexualized images of the female body) on men, women, and kids
  • Eating disorders
  • Plastic surgery
  • Beauty products
  • The beauty standard as it pertains to race (i.e. darker skin being viewed by some as less attractive)
  • The dishonest practices of ad agencies and the beauty industry when it comes to selling dreams in the form of potions, powders and pretty-in-a-bottle
  • The questionable practices of the FDA and their reluctance to keep the American public ignorant of the fact that many beauty products are made from ingredients with questionable safety issues (i.e. phthalates and other toxins that have been linked to cancer)
  • Low self-esteem in girls
  • Men's view of women as sexual objects
He also included a heartbreaking interview with a 12-year-old girl who felt that she was ugly because she doesn't look like the models and celebrities who are idolized by our culture.

Whoooo! Goosebumps Mamas! Sheer goosebumps!

At the center of all this was the story of Gerren Taylor, a young model who took the industry by storm when she was only twelve, only to be discarded by the same fickle fashion world when her novelty wore off.

At the end of the movie the director took questions from the audience and actually brought out Gerren for questions...a very nice treat for the audience and especially my daughter who watches Gerren on BETs "Baldwin Hills" reality show. I could go on and on, but really you just have to see this movie. And please, take lots of other women and teens,too. It has an R rating, but only because of a few references to sexual anatomy and some graphic plastic surgery footage.

Visit the movie's website, send e-mails telling the director that you want ATB to come to your city.
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