Unethical Quote of the Week: Walmart


“The geoGIRL line was developed in partnership with our customers to give parents a healthier, age-appropriate option for their tween girls who ask about wearing make-up. The decision of what is age appropriate to wear makeup rests solely with the parent. The line will be marketed to parents and targets a certain life stage as opposed to a certain age of girl so parents can make informed decisions whenever they feel it’s appropriate for their child to wear makeup.

—-Walmart, in a statement addressing criticism of its new makeup line called geoGIRL that targets “tweens”–or 8-12 year old girls.  The products include a cleanser, blush, eye shadow, mascara, and more.

Translation: “The geoGIRL line was developed after we realized that the culture’s sick obsession with impossible standards of beauty together with the power of the media to undermine the self-images of young women presented us with an opportunity to make a buck. We also were aware that there are a lot of irresponsible parents out there with money to burn, who will willingly begin sexualizing their daughters at one-digit ages, making child porn afficianados nation-wide drool in anticipation. We are marketing the make-up solely to parents, since only a parent would be idiotic enough to think that a 9-year-old would need moisturizers, antioxidants, exfoliations, and “age-defying ingredients.” We think such parents will be glad to have an exciting, new, stupid  option, when their daughters ask about make-up, beside the obvious and sensible reply “You’re much too young for make-up,” that option being, “It’s never too early for a female in America to start worrying about hiding her many flaws and trying to attract the sexual attention of men,so let’s get you started right away!” We’re betting that enough parents will choose that option and make their daughters so insecure about their appearance that they will wear this stuff, create peer pressure on their classmates to do the same, and before long every fourth grade will be full of Jon-Benet Ramsey clones while we make a frick’n fortune.”

5 thoughts on “Unethical Quote of the Week: Walmart

  1. This is a confusing situation, Jack. Often in the past, Walmart is been among the best retail outlets in keeping R-rated DVDs, games and other items out of the hands of children. They’ve even promoted family films with their direct sponsorship. Yet, this new clothing promotional would seem to directly counter every previous responsible action they’ve taken. Is this, perhaps, a case of the left hand not knowing what the right hand’s doing in a major, multi-faceted corporation?

    Regardless, this sort of thing is repugnant by nature. We’ve all seen other clothing lines for kids that reflect this sort of thing, to include sexy lingerie for little girls. This is unrelentingly vile, as it not only sexualizes children further in the eyes of predators, but that it normalizes it in their own developing minds. This is the same argument, of course, that I’ve long employed in my opposition to films employing child actors in R-rated performances. And, I maintain, just as valid. In other words, this is a case of pedophile bait.

    That slickly worded announcement from Walmart that you quoted even resembles that of filmmakers who present such things. The bottom line is profit… regardless of means. The excuse is in shifting the onus onto the parents who, while distracted by other items, will absentmindedly consent to their children (who have been attracted by some colorful, glitzy item- as children innocently are) and indulge them… only to later discover (maybe) the true nature of what they’ve bought. But the damage will have been done.

    • You know what? I agree with your overall point so much, I see no need to pick a fight over some of the tertiary things you mention. I’m even going to skip the previously threatened caveat.

      Marketing makeup to 8 year olds? Not cool. Trying to make it seem responsible? Horrible.

    • Like tgt, I could start an argument over some of the side points, but I too agree with the conclusion to an extent that I don’t want to detract from it. Not cool, not responsible, and a net loss for children, future women, and society.

  2. Reminds me of child beauty pageants. Deplorable at best.

    I wonder when the line will be drawn? People say our society is not circling the drain. I feel it is. I see our country winding itself down towards a path the Romans took. A life of excess and self-destruction which allowed an army to approach what used to be the most powerful military might in the ancient world without so much as a, “Why are you marching towards Rome?”

    Things like this reaffirm it for me. So do banning red pens in school, everyone is a winner in sports, winning million dollar settles in court because you sued a corporation for smiling at you, etc.

    That’s just how I feel. When luxury comes first in people’s life, sad things happen to society.

  3. Good God. The liberals are agreeing with me! Time to recheck myself!!

    But seriously… having been involved in child protection for as long as I have, I’ve found that, if there’s one point that left and right CAN occasionally come together on, it’s the sanctity of childhood. That one strikes a deep chord in anyone who hasn’t had their paternal or maternal instincts surgically removed.

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