Moms are arguing that the lack of old school tween stores has led to ‘Sephora kids’
Being a tween or young teen can be difficult. You’re stuck between feeling more grown up than you are and being a child too young to do many things older teens are doing. It can be a confusing place to reside for a few years and if you’ve been on social media in the past few weeks, you’ve noticed an influx of women talking about “Sephora kids.”
These are the young girls that have received gift cards for the beauty supply store and are being left unsupervised while some of them essentially run amuck. Several women have complained about girls as young as 10 being in the chain being disrespectful to staff and adult customers looking for expensive skincare products by Drunk Elephant.
But there are a group of moms that have a theory on why these tweens and young teens are finding themselves in adult beauty stores–tween stores are extinct.
How many of you remember waiting for the mail to run so you could get the latest Delia’s or Justice catalog to circle all the things you wanted? In the 90s we had stores like 5-7-9, Limited Too and Delia’s. Then Justice popped up and eventually 600 Limited Too stores decided to covert to the Justice brand which was a lower priced competitor for the retail store. Those stores were a tween girl’s haven where the models in the pictures looked their age and dressed like 9-14 year olds.
The stores were brightly colored with lots of sheer, glossy and lightly colored lip glosses, eye shadows, blushes and perfumes surrounded the cash registers. There was also toys mixed in with the tween/young teen selection, giving kids a chance to fully embrace the in between of being a child and an adult. There was even the boy equivalent to Justice, named Brothers, that offered boys much of the same experience as the girls, minus the light make up options.
It seems the only store still around that could double as a tween oasis is Claire’s, which is an accessory store. Samantha Sophia argues that there was once a whole tween market that’s simply gone outside of stores like Rave and Baker Shoes. This spills over into nearly all areas of tween culture because that group grew up with the last generation. Hannah Montana is now just Miley Cyrus. The Jonas Brothers are no longer singing about puppy love.
is the next generation growing up too fast? #grwm #generationz
One mom explains, “We had all of the things for teens and tweens…they have nothing! I think it’s both. They’re going from “Baby Alive–>ULTA” there’s no coming of age era.”
Another commenter says, “Interesting. Childless in my 40s, I didn’t see this hole in the “market,” but wow, it’s so clear. There is something deeper here to unravel. I’m very nostalgic over Delia’s, Limited Too and Claire’s. Those were OURS. What do tweens have now they can own?”
Replying to @ash mccormack we are failing our tweens. #sephorakids #parentingtweens
It doesn’t seem like there’s a comfortable place for tweens to stretch their legs to get a lay of the land on their way into adulthood. So while other people may think it’s a lack of supervision, parents spoiling their children or worse, parents only having children for accessories, it could simply be that tweens don’t have their own space.
“Like y’all don’t understand. The kids are alright. The Gen Alphas, they have boundaries. They don’t want to be adults, or they are so in this twilight zone of TikTok and social media consumption that they don’t even realize that they are being adultified by the way we formed our society, Samantha says closing out her video. “And I’m so sad for them because even though it doesn’t feel like it, it’s such a beautiful time in their lives in their age. And every day I’m fighting for my kids to feel that, and experience that and enjoy that.”
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