I heard on the news recently about a woman who gave her 8-year-old daughter Botox injections. Botox! This comes on the heels of the announcement that Abercrombie & Fitch is now selling push-up bra tops for little girls.
What is the matter with parents today?
When I was a kid, all that mattered was that our private bits were covered, and that we were reasonably clean and neat for school and church. Anything more than that was gilding the lily, and would make a child vain and uppity.
My mom cut my hair, as did the mother of every other girl I knew. If your mom used styling aids such as a bowl or tape to get the bangs straight, you were skating dangerously close to “well, la-di-da!” territory.
On haircut day, Mom would line us girls up for a turn on the stool, towels around our necks. We all had bangs, and they were tricky to cut. Mom combed them down; snip, snip, and then stood back to assess her work. Invariably one end was higher than the other. Back she came; snip, snip, and then a new assessment.
This went on until you had about ½ inch of hair sticking out of your forehead. Then you were done. Not because the bangs were even, but because Mom had run out of raw material.
If anyone suggested you take your kids to a stylist, they would be suspected of anti-American subversion. Children didn’t go to the beauty salon, for God’s sake! Only grown women went there, once a week, to get away from their kids.
Having a lousy haircut was seen as character building. Every year’s school picture was a testament to the high level of my character.
My Dad took the boys down the basement to his workroom for their turn with the stool and the towel. Instead of scissors, however, Dad used the electric razor. A few passes over their heads and they were good to go. ½ inch of hair all around was the de rigueur summer haircut for all boys.
We girls couldn’t resist the rough/soft feel of our brothers’ newly shorn heads, much to their disgust.
The basic setup was the same when Dad took the boys down the basement for “The Big Talk” about the facts of life – minus the razor. I guess Dad felt most comfortable taking care of father/son business among cans of nails and half-done repair projects. Mom wouldn’t let us eavesdrop, but I understand “The Big Talk” was short on mechanics and long on responsibility, all summed up by the pithy command to “keep it in your pants”. Words to live by.
Children today might benefit from some one-on-one stool time with their parents.
Botox wears off, $120 highlights grow out, and sexy lingerie is thrown away. Encouraging thriftiness, personal responsibility and an appreciation for oneself that goes beyond the cosmetic may be a better investment.
Good character lasts forever.