The negative effect of the fashion industry on children


By Jeanett Mari Gibson Short Nilsen

Today’s children are growing up too fast and are wearing makeup at earlier ages than ever before. Girls as young as six are wearing makeup and the age of consumers of makeup products is getting younger each year. Due to the makeup and type of clothes they wear, children and teenagers look older than they really are. This is causing the current generation to grow up in a shallower world where looks are more important than personality and skills. Children should not be concerned with how they look. They should be to enjoy their childhood and just be kids, rather than worry about fashion or makeup trends. Encouraging young girls to look and dress older than their age can lead to many problems. Girls can easily find themselves in horrible situations, as they may be mistaken for mature adults when they are not. Moreover, statistics show that teens are engaging in sexual activities much earlier than the previous generation which may be attributed to the fashion industry’s effect. 

Children who start wearing makeup at an early age are also at increased risk of developing cancer, specifically breast cancer. Girls and boys are equally vulnerable to the toxic ingredients used in cosmetic products. The fashion and makeup industries are working hard to keep us blind to the dangers they pose. Many cosmetic companies, such as The Body Shop, claim to use only organic ingredients in their products. However, most of the products contain only two or three organic ingredients, while the rest are dangerous and pose health risks.

It is a harsh world we live in and we need to take a stand for what we believe is right and protect the young. They should be taught the value of self-respect and love for themselves, their natural selves, before they start hiding in makeup. If we are not careful, the innocence of our children will dissolve due to the overwhelming pressures of the makeup and fashion industries to look a certain way. People also need to be more aware of the toxic ingredients lurking in most cosmetic products we use; everything from toothpaste to hair color. Lastly, there should be laws as to what ingredients can be put in cosmetics and they should be treated as strictly as food and drug laws.

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