Trib readers react to the news story ” Girls are wearing cosmetics at younger ages ” (Feb. 14 and TribLIVE.com):
Michelle Naccarati-Chapkis, executive director of Squirrel Hill-based Women for a Healthy Environment ( womenforahealthyenvironment.org ) — As a mother of tweens, and someone working on environmental health and gender equity issues, I’m concerned about marketing cosmetics to this younger audience. Studies show that chemicals in personal care products, including cosmetics, enter our bodies. Many of these chemicals are linked to serious health effects including cancer and endocrine disruption, which can cause adverse reproductive, developmental and neurological effects. Why aren’t girls perfect in their own natural skin, sans cosmeticsâ¢ So many regional groups are working to promote self-esteem in our girls and help them overcome obstacles. We need to equip and empower our young girls, our next generation of leaders, with resources and great role models, not makeup.
Patricia M. DeMarco, Forest Hills — My little granddaughter is only 4. The thought of her wanting to wear makeup to be pretty makes me very sad. There is nothing more beautiful than a young girl smiling, confident, secure and happy. Indeed, all the cosmetics women begin to think they “need” strive for that innocent, inherent loveliness — the “polished natural look.” Girls in the transition to women should learn basic care and protection of their skin, for all of their life. The cosmetics industry has convinced us that we need “enhancements” to be attractive. All we really need is the confidence and common sense to wear a bare face!
Sarah Alessio Shea, South Side Slopes — As an environmental educator who often speaks on the chemicals and toxins we humans are exposed to every day through our personal care products, I was amazed by the article! A lot of makeup products contain chemicals that can be harmful to our health as adults, let alone young children who are still growing. Starting a routine of wearing makeup at a young age could increase exposure to endocrine disrupters, carcinogens and other toxins over one’s lifetime. Let’s let our kids be kids and show them how beautiful they are without the need for mascara, blush and eye shadow!