Would You Spray Tan A 2-Year-Old?

With kids more image-conscious than ever before, salons are seeing an increase in younger clientele. So how young is too young to give someone a beauty treatment? 

A cherub-faced two-year-old stands in her shower cap, squishing her face up, preparing for the spray tan gun to turn on.

When this Instagram image of media mogul Roxy Jacenko’s two-year-old daughter, Pixie Curtis, appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald earlier this year, it set off a backlash that ultimately resulted in the mini-Instagrammer’s account being shut down.

Children’s beauty treatments have become big business.

As it turned out, the image was merely a spoof. While a tanning gun had indeed been pointed at the child and turned on, it had been nothing but hot air. Literally. However the icky message underlying the stunt was no joke.

With an increasingly image-obsessed culture as their reference point, today’s kids are more body conscious than ever, and children’s beauty treatments have become big business.

Bikini waxes for…nine-year-olds?

A waxing salon ad offering 50% off for girls under 15 (unikwax.com).
A waxing salon ad offering 50% off for girls under 15 (unikwax.com).

When UK charity, Jeena International, founder Rani Bilkhu instigated an independent investigation into child bikini waxing in July this year, posing as a mother looking to book the treatment for her nine-year-old daughter, Bilkhu was shocked to discover only four per cent of salons refused to give a nine-year-old a bikini wax.

Only four per cent of salons refused to give a nine-year-old a bikini wax.

It wasn’t the first time the industry had been made aware of such practices. New York City salon, Wanda’s European Skin Care Center, has pulled its website advertising for discount waxing of ‘virgin hair’ for children eight years and older, which contained the statement:

“Virgin hair can be waxed so successfully that growth can be permanently stopped in just 2 to 6 sessions. Save your child a lifetime of waxing.”

Toddler treatments

And it doesn’t end there. Google ‘beauty treatments for toddlers’ and you’ll get some two million hits, including websites of salons entirely dedicated to children and ads for kids ‘salon parties’, a trend that’s recently taken off in the beauty industry.

“Our company specialises in pamper parties for girls aged 3-16 years,” says A Touch Of Glitz and Glam manager, Dimitra Rougalas.

Tween girls enjoying facial treatments at an A Touch Of Glitz and Glam party.

“Parents want nothing more than to see their daughters smile on their special day, and have them feeling like a princess. We give the girls the opportunity to have a bit of fun with some glitter and gloss. Everything is kept age appropriate and products are gentle on young skin so there’s no harm and nothing is permanent.”

Have your say: Do you think kid’s beauty treatments are harmless fun, or do they send the wrong message to young girls? What’s the youngest client you’ve treated?


2 thoughts on “Would You Spray Tan A 2-Year-Old?

  1. I think that salon owners need to be aware of the law in their country and area on this. I would personally want to get an opinion from a lawyer, a child psychologist and the Department of Human Services Childrens Services staff. The issue discussed is how we feel about it. But what about what the law can do about it? As individuals, we have to decide if this fits our personal morals and ethics. But as business owners providing a service in exchange for money, we are answerable to the laws that protect children and their sexuality. We need to investigate this further as an industry.
    I would like to see a follow-up article in Professional Beauty, including comment from HABA, lawyers and Child protective services.

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