Sunday, July 19, 2009

When can you do it?

Apologies, I have been a tad irregular with my posts off late. I am working on a big deadline, and I just haven’t had the time or energy to pen my thoughts in the ‘Pandora’s section.’ One fine day, I recognized my over-commitment, and decided to give myself a pamper-session -- in a girlie sort of way. I decided to go to a nail salon and indulge in an invigorating manicure/pedicure. Ironically, I was editing some material while getting a pedicure. Talk about tragedies.

Anyways, enough about me. At the salon, I saw a mother-daughter duo waiting their turn. From the conversations, I found out that the girl was about eight years old, and the mother was a business executive. I assumed the kid was accompanying her mom and updating her on stuff at school. But apparently that wasn’t it. The mother had brought her daughter, to the salon, for a manicure and pedicure. The hoity-toity daughter picked out nail polishes for herself – a different color for her feet and hands. It didn’t end there. I almost died when the mom told the manicurist that she’d like to pay for a thirty-minute massage session for her daughter. I told myself that the aforementioned case was probably an aberration and not the norm.  But I was wrong. The salon owner shared that she has several female clients, who prefer to spend their Saturdays, with their young daughters, getting a French manicure and massages. What? What? What? What stress does an eight-year old have? What muscles could she have injured? What toxins does a kid, on three-month summer break, need to release?

I have heard of spas for children. But then I have seen spas for dogs near my office. I always figured degenerates with too much time and unaccountable wealth use such facilities. Not regular people. I remember watching this documentary once that delved into how in some parts of bucolic America, moms celebrate their pre-teen daughter's’ birthdays at child friendly spas. They take their own kid and the daughters’ friends for a session of manicure and pedicure. And maybe throw in few extra frills with special massages or chocolate covered pedicure etc. etc. I saw a kid lick the gooey decadence from her own face once. Ummm. What else do you expect from someone who hasn’t even hit biology books at school yet?

What happened to good ol’ baking and reading a book together to strengthen the maternal bond? Or throwing a theme-based birthday party or taking your kid’s friends to the movies? I understand mothers today are busier than my mother’s generation (given most women from my generation work and lead an individual life and manage homes and don’t stop being a person etc. etc.), but that’s no reason to compromise on how you spend time with your family. It’s like taking your six-year old to an adult Saturday night party and giving her a beer because you are drinking wine and trying to make the most of your time—with friends and family. How bizarre is that?

At eight, I was a chubby kid, who wore a frock my Mom had picked out for me. I had food and extra curricular activities on my mind and not boys. And part of the reason was that I wasn’t ever introduced to mantras like ‘beauty’ and ‘pretty.’ I appreciated my ignorance. Why should a child feel conscious of their looks? Having a say in what they wear is one thing; but I feel what’s happening now, is scary. It boggles my mind that parents think it’s okay to familiarize their daughters with vanity at such a young age. These pre-teens have their entire lives to beautify themselves and look attractive, but isn’t eight a little too soon? But then again, what is the apt age? Are we taking Oscar Wilde’s words too seriously: “To me, Beauty is the wonder of wonders...It is only shallow people who do not judge by appearances.”

More until next time.


Copyright © 07.19.2009


Anonymous said...

Awwwwww...poor kid...don't u remember always wanting to wear nail polish as a little girl, just like your mommie did or play "beauty parlour - beauty parlour"...i do ;) maybe the mom does spend time reading, maybe baking isn't her thing. Who are we to be judgemental- it's their afternoon off, their choice. Maybe the kid just recovered from leukemia and mom wanted it to be her day out...who knows...

From Venus said...

Sounds very 'Gossip Girl' and entirely believable. I bet the girl was also toting a designer handbag, or maybe a backpack, given her age!