Brownies pamper party AIBU?

(119 Posts)
lovesmileandlaugh Tue 23-Jul-13 09:55:45

My 7 year old DD went to the end of year Brownies 'pamper party' last night. She HAD to go in pyjamas to enjoy the fun and came home plastered in make up, red lipstick, glitter, painted nails, curled hair.

I'm annoyed for a few reasons.

1. Brownies (to me) is about developing skills and promoting positive female role models. Not dressing up little girls like WAGS for fun. What ever happened to a good game of rounders on a sunny evening as a treat? I would have expected brownies to provide more of an antidote to the early sexualisation of children.

2. The red lipstick was used on all the girls. I wouldn't use a lipstick that had been used by 30 different people before me, surely this is basic hygiene? One of DD's friends has cold sores and my DD has eczema on her face around her mouth, so I am concerned about the infection risk. Also concerned about headlice as there is an outbreak and they were going head to head with combs.

3. The girls are not allowed make up/ nail varnish etc for school, so it all had to be taken off when they got home anyway.

I really want to complain about this but I can't decide if I'm being a bit unreasonable!

Fluffyowll27 Tue 11-Nov-14 13:54:54

Oh dear, how unfortunate for your DD s Should have arranged to come to our pamper evening. Rather than a beauty night, it's more a relax, calm down, take stock evening following a hectic term. We have - built tents from newspapers, completed a science investigator badge, investigated how to navigate outside in the dark, had treasure hunts, made biscuits, been to a theme park, made paper poppies etc etc now we will have a fun evening with scented candles, bubbly foot baths (own towels brought to prevent cross infection!!) cucumber face packs, oatmeal moisturiser the girls can make and to complete some background music of Tibetan gongs and maybe a few whale calls for good measure. We do this yearly and the Brownies love it, the hall smells gorgeous and when the girls are collected its noticeable how calm they are. We larders however then spend half an hour cleaning up and go home shattered to prepare for work the next day!!!

TimeofChange Tue 23-Jul-13 18:50:27

YANBU:
Pamper parties are horrible (IMO).

My granddaughters Brownies and Rainbows go walking across fields in the dark (though not in July) and they all have to be able to do a crouching wee!

redexpat Tue 23-Jul-13 18:42:53

I wouldn't give up on Brownies itself, just this unit. As others have said, some of the girls wil have requested a pamper party. But your second post sounds more concerning to be honest. Can you contact the district commissioner, highlight your concerns and ask about other Brownie units? There should be some because it's the biggest section of GGUK.

True, the programme itself is neutral I suppose, the implementation varies unfortunately! As I said at the end, in both scouts and guides it all comes down to the units and their leaders!

RE being girl-led, I understand it, but I always took it to mean the same as I've been taught for scouting recently: You look to them for ideas for the programme and try to implement what you can, but at the end of the day, you cannot do everything they want and they need to learn that.

Funnily enough, our first ones with explorers are always "Ultimate Frisbee, play games and theme parks"!

Abra1d Tue 23-Jul-13 18:15:57

Brownies should be more about out of door activities and less about pampering. I wouldn't have been happy, either. I liked my daughter doing things like field craft, visiting farms and outdoor games. Little girls don't spend enough time running around outside, IMHO.

carabinacarabina Tue 23-Jul-13 18:13:25

pixie, I think that the Scout programme is gender neutral. The implementation of it is another matter! As you say, there are still Groups who refuse to admit girls, and it is only as good as the leaders making it happen. We have groups that are rubbish, just as Guiding does, I'm afraid.

This concept of "girl-led Guiding" has me baffled. From time to time we get our Cubs/Scouts to come up with a list of all the things they want to do. The top 3 answers are always football, play games and visit theme parks. If I ran with that, I'd be running a Youth Club, not a Scout Group.

So, we ignore most of that and then look at the sensible suggestions and implement them. They still get a bit of footie, they still play games each week and they might get to go to a theme park one decade soon but, just as with being a parent, I have to lead them in the right direction.

Even if the girls want to have a pampering party, the leaders should still be considering whether it is appropriate, not just blindly doing it.

OP, if any leader smoked in front of children or told them to "shut their gobs", I would haul them over the coals in a heartbeat. The pampering party is the least of your problems.

ReginaPhilangie Tue 23-Jul-13 18:09:33

their hair

ReginaPhilangie Tue 23-Jul-13 18:09:06

Little girls love to dress up and experiment with make up - that's a fact of life.

My little girls don't! They both hate make-up and if I didn't pin them down to brush their they'd both be quite happy to run around looking like banshees. Also neither me or my sister were the least bit interested in make-up until we were in our early teens.

OP YANBU. If either of my dds had been at that party they both would have come home in a huff because they wouldn't have wanted to take part in any of it.

Wbdn28 Tue 23-Jul-13 17:53:51

YANBU

Groovee Tue 23-Jul-13 17:35:56

Do they still do a hostess badge, or whatever it was called, at brownies?

Yes, our girls did it when they did a pantomime as part of the entertainer badge and then the hostess part afterwards. They made invites for their parents and guests. They had a ball. I did think the week before that the pantomime would be a disaster but they pulled it our of the bag and were fantastic.

We're off to a local venture where they do health and safety in september to do fire safety and crime prevention.

If you are unhappy with aspects of the unit, then find out who the District Commissioner is and take it up with them. Maybe the guiders need some support with how to run the programme.

But my friend has had an issue with guides and had escalated a complaint but the DC wasn't that nice and it's resulted in guiding losing a girl who had so much potential sad

cazzybabs Tue 23-Jul-13 17:32:40

To me Brownies is about doing things they couldn't do at home ... so i don;t have such things at home so playing with make-up as a once-off would be fine by me!

Plus at my dds brownie pack they ask them .. mayne the girls choose this?

TBH it wouldn't bother me

I know that in scouting, smoking in front of our lot (explorers! A few of who smoke themselves!) is considered 'sackable' of sorts, we would be given warning at the very least! So I'd take the smoking to guiding head office if I were you.

YANBU about the pamper party, I hate the bloody things, but as others have said, it would be in context to what else had happened through the year. It would also depend on how it was carried out. A lot of leaders on here are saying that they'd have the girls make the scrubs/masks/etc and then use them, that's all well and good, but I'd be uncomfortable with a full on pamper party which had nothing like that but purely focussed on make up and 'looking good'.

As for all girls want to experiment, what a load of tosh, not all girls do. Not only that, but it's not only girls who would experiment with make up anyway, boys should be allowed to if they really fancy playing with it as well.

& whilst the guide movement is supposed to be girl led, it's not always going to be, it's the same in scouts and I've met both guiding leaders and scouting leaders who admit to doing the program last minute or not bothering to consult the participants before doing it themselves. It depends on the leaders involved!

"^Essentially, the scouts can do whatever they like, and the guides have a tight risk management policy in place. It doesn't stop you doing anything, but you have to plan in advance for safety. The cubs just get in a canoe in a flood zone.^"
Completely disagree with that. It's absolute bollocks, I assume that we have very similar practices to guiding in that respect. I agree with carabina.

Though I disagree that scouting is gender neutral. I think where I am now it is very gender neutral and great for both sexes, but in my hometown it's very much a girl/boy divide in guides/scouts.

I was actively stopped from being in scouting, in cubs and scouts, the leaders refused to take on girls, even though I know now that they weren't allowed to refuse. I got into an explorer troop a half hour drive away eventually but they were not ideal either. Whilst I loved being in the guiding movement, my troop categorically did not do any "boyish" things apart from our one adventure holiday a year. They are still like that as well and the scout troops are still as sexist as ever though at least accepting girls. The last time I tried to join there was ten years ago, so not that long ago!

Essentially, imo, in both scouting and guiding, it depends on the troop/unit and their leaders.

Turniptwirl Tue 23-Jul-13 17:14:51

All the good guides I've met would rather your dd left their unit and went to a different brownie unit or cubs than left the guiding/scouting movement altogether. So please don't yank dd out altogether, especially if she enjoys it.

The other behaviour mentioned is definitely not the right attitude from the leaders and should be addressed. Try and find their district commissioners details (possibly on a reginal website or via the main website) so it can be raised properly.

If it was one girly evening in a mixed program of crafts, outdoors, pack holiday, etc then ywbu to leave over it. But it doesn't sound like a great unit in general tbh. As a new guider I am genuinely sad for your dd coz I'm sooooo excited about what guiding can offer to girls!

AbbyLou Tue 23-Jul-13 17:10:18

I do sort of agree. Thin yourself lucky though - my DD had a make-up night at Rainbows! She was 5! Granted she loved it but it was too much for me. They were asked to take their own make up. Dd doesn't really have any, just a couple of lip glosses she's been bought as presents. She took those and I bought her a nice baby pink nail varnish and some glittery bobbles.
The Guides were in charge of the 'makeovers' and dd came home with awful bright pink nails and lips. She also had tattoos on. Don't even get me syarted on little girls with tattoos - that's a whole other story.....Some of the girls looked far worse and were plastered in eye shadow and blusher. It felt a bit like the Guides treated it as a session to make over little dolls. I didn't complain because I am too easy-going and dd had a great time but I wasn't keen. They do do a whole range of activities so in the grand scheme of things once a year doesn't hurt I guess.

Scruffey Tue 23-Jul-13 16:55:45

I would just forget about it. You can have a far greater influence on your dd than this one session.

Hulababy Tue 23-Jul-13 16:54:11

Oh - and they did PGL each year plus at least 1 or 2 other brownie "camps" offered each year too. At PGL DD did rafting, climbing, high ropes and the likes.

DD's group definitely wasn;t all girly.

Hulababy Tue 23-Jul-13 16:52:53

To apply makeup without permission isn't on imo.

And although I have no issue with DD playing with makeup at home and I'd have no issue with DD going to a friend's pamper party if she chose to - I don't think Brownies is the right place for this and isn't really what they show be about.

DD did do brownies but her group did things like climbing, bouldering, campfires and campfire cooking, orienteering, bowling, swimming, etc. DD's favourite night was when a couple of consultant surgeons came in and they all did some challenges using the key hole surgery equipment.

carabinacarabina Tue 23-Jul-13 16:48:09

I know of around ten Guide groups and I would say only half of them fit the profile you describe, Dino. The rest are quite sedentary and rather pink.

One certainly shouldn't generalise from one meeting, but I wasn't surprised by the thread, I'm afraid.

DinoSnores Tue 23-Jul-13 16:48:03

If anyone is interested, here is the complete collection of Brownie badges we currently offer. Brownies can do these at home or sometimes we do a badge over a few meetings.

www.girlguiding.org.uk/brownies/badges/index.asp

DinoSnores Tue 23-Jul-13 16:36:40

I love the way that people are just making a massive generalisation about the whole of Girlguiding based on one meeting of one unit!

In the last year, we've done canoeing, campfires, science experiments, archery, baking, Scottish dancing, crafts, been visited by a Guide dog, learnt some BSL, been visited by a paramedic, the Entertainer's badge (they put on a show for their parents, the one girl who didn't want to perform did calligraphy for the programme)...

carabinacarabina Tue 23-Jul-13 16:34:49

I may be biased, but I feel that Scouting is about as "gender neutral" as it is possible to get.

Guiding is not gender neutral, and that was very much an active decision. What worries me is that some aspects of it reinforce female stereotypes. Badges such as Hostess, Party Planner, Confectioner and "Chocolate" (why, just why?) feel to me as though they belong in the 1950s.

Add "pampering parties" on top of that and there is a risk that the parts of Guiding are a long way from being "the ultimate feminist organisation" that the new Chief Exec declared it to be.

Not every Guide Group is like that, of course - some are just as adventurous as Scout Groups, but unfortunately quite a few are.

It is telling that we get a lot of girls asking to join Cubs & Scouts at around the age of 9/10 years old. The reason is always "she's had it with all the pink stuff". We never, ever lose a girl in the opposite direction after the age of 6.5.

FourGates Tue 23-Jul-13 15:42:27

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Eyesunderarock Tue 23-Jul-13 15:33:53

I agree, carabina. As I said, my DS is an Aspie, and whenever I've asked to see the RI for a trip to see if it covers him specifically, it's always been up to my exacting standards. I'm also a primary teacher, so I know what I'm looking for.
You shouldn't need to clutch the RI along with your pearls BTW, you should know it, as should all your adult volunteers. Perhaps that explains some of the discrepancies? Excessive caution?

carabinacarabina Tue 23-Jul-13 15:02:14

<Essentially, the scouts can do whatever they like>

Sorry, that's tosh, prissy. In Scouts we have to risk assess everything constantly, there are thousands of factsheets on how to run adventurous activities and many of them require a trained permit holder to lead the activity. We don't just "jump in a canoe in a flood."

What we do is run challenging activities safely. If risk assessments are holding Guiding back then the leaders are not risk assessing properly.

"Child might fall in the water, don't go sailing" is not a risk assessment.

"Child might fall in the water, ensure lifejackets worn" is.

titchy Tue 23-Jul-13 14:48:25

grin you're so right prissy! Guides and Scouts do exactly the same here as well, with the one difference that the Guide leader does the activity clutching a piece of paper entitled 'Risk Assessment'!

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