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Last Updated: Wednesday, 8 September, 2004, 12:57 GMT 13:57 UK
Make-up machines idea for schools
Pic of girls looking at lipstick
Girls check out the latest make-up
Vending machines selling make-up should be installed in secondary schools, a survey suggests.

Bowling alleys and cinemas are other outlets where suppliers could tap into the teen cosmetics market.

The survey, by consumer analysts Mintel, states that most young girls use make-up, even those in primary school.

But teachers have dismissed the idea of selling make-up in schools, describing the idea as ludicrous.

The survey, for which nearly 6,000 females aged seven to 19 were questioned, found that more than 60% of primary school girls regularly wear make-up.

By the time they reach 14 years old, nine in 10 were regular users of cosmetics.

Teen magazines

As well as copying their family and friends, the vast array of teen magazines on the market which promote make-up is believed to be another factor in the high level of use.

The survey found that 63% of seven to 10-year-olds wear lipstick while 44% use eyeshadow or eyeliner and 23% mascara.

Perfume is worn by 58% of girls in the age group.

Claire Hatcher, a senior consumer analyst, said: "Long before girls become teenagers, they use a wide selection of cosmetics as well as other skincare products and toiletries.

"Their interest is fuelled by teen magazines and by swapping ideas and recommendations with their peer group and, of course, watching what their mothers use."

The survey says that three quarters of girls in the 11to 14-year-old girls use eyeshadow, 71% mascara and 81% apply lip gloss and lipstick.

Teenagers, in particular, are susceptible to feelings of worthlessness and low self-esteem because they cannot measure up to the perceived ideal of air-brushed perfection.
Claire Hatcher, consumer analyst
Just over half of those surveyed in the 11-14 age bracket wear blusher and 39% foundation. Fake tan is also popular with 11-12-year-old girls.

The report concluded that vending machines could be installed in places frequented by youngsters.

The idea of placing vending machines in schools was condemned by teachers, with some schools already banning cosmetics.

A spokeswoman for the NUT said: "It's a ludicrous idea - schools are for education, not to give children an opportunity to increase their sex appeal.

"Vending machines are about providing food food and drink.

"Whether or not pupils wear make-up out of school is a matter for the parents, who should ensure their children do not come to school wearing make-up."

Chris Keates, the acting general secretary of the NASUWT, said: "It's an extraordinary idea for anyone to come up with.

'Unobtainable perfection'

"Do people want to lose the focus of what school is about?"

The sexualisation of young girls and their use of make-up has been a controversial topic in recent years.

The Association of Teachers and Lecturers has called for age restrictions on certain teen magazines because of their sexual content.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, said consumerism corrupted children and, during Paris Fashion Week, scantily clad girls aged nine were used.

The survey found that many girls were not happy with their looks and the survey warns against using celebrities as examples of the way women should look.

Ms Hatcher said: "Teenagers are susceptible to feelings of worthlessness and low self-esteem because they cannot measure up to the perceived ideal of air-brushed perfection.

"Manufacturers of make-up and fragrance should therefore be wary in overpromoting celebrities in the belief that all young teenagers aspire to a notion of perfection which many do not realise is unobtainable."




SEE ALSO:
Teens going 'under the knife'
21 Nov 03  |  Magazine


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