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Is it usual for 12 year olds to be into shopping, nails, appearance etc?

13 replies

gandalf456 · 01/08/2016 12:19

My DD goes to an all girls' school. Suddenly, they all seem to be into the above, with some spending money on nail varnish I wouldn't spend on myself and making weekly shopping trips for fun.

DD is a very young 12, both in mind and body and says she feels lost and misses Junior school because no one is like her now. She used to have lots of friends but is struggling now.

It's an affluent area. The school is great academically but wonder if it's the wrong school or just an age thing?

OP posts:
leccybill · 01/08/2016 12:26

I work in a bog standard town centre comprehensive school. Some of my Year7s and 8s are into hair and beauty but a great many of them aren't, they are still into drawing and going out on their bikes and playing games.

I always play down all the grown-up talk and when we took some end of term photos, I wouldn't let any of them do a duck face or a peace sign Smile

GummyBunting · 01/08/2016 12:26

I don't have a DC yet but I have a 14yo sister, and yes she got into this sort of stuff very soon after going to secondary. She's not into it as some of her peers, but I'd say it's very normal.

For my sister it coincided with her starting her period. I think young girls to mature very suddenly, because they have a very real signifier that they're entering 'womanhood'. They try to emulate being a 'woman' and at that age it's makeup, shopping, boys etc.

Myoption · 01/08/2016 17:50

I think this happens with allot of people around that age mark (me included I should admit), I mean i'm not that clued up on it, but I can kind of relate in a way as I am still only in my late teens, and a very close relative of mine has two daughters aged 12 and 14, of which we all talk about them fairly often (what there up to, etc), and of which I see usually at least once a week or so. So I can get a bit of insight from it I suppose.

I think it's just really to do with "growing up" and becoming more "aware", and getting more independence in day to day life sort of thing. I think it usually starts around age 12-13 or late year 7-early year 8 in school, as they are now in a more grown up secondary school and there are allot of older 14-18 year old's there that they may see and "look up to" in a way, on top of this they may also have older siblings that they want to follow. Also becuase at primary school in year 5-6 they would have been the oldest ones there, with only much younger children about.

There is nothing massively wrong with doing these things at that age, but I would still try to keep them "child like" (as they are 12, not 18) for as long as possible and remind them that there is more to life then just make-up, going out and clothes (as it can be easy to get carried away at that age). Same with boys as well.

ShelaghTurner · 01/08/2016 18:02

Yes 13 year old niece has been well into this for the last 18 months or so. It's all make up, hair, clothes, coffee shops etc.

Hulababy · 01/08/2016 18:08

I think it can become very common for younger teens (and almost teens) to suddenly get into the whole going into town thing. For many it is a time when they find themselves with more independence and freedom, often a bit more pocket money and when socialising with friends becomes really big.

They also see the older ones at school looking and acting more grown up. Once a secondary school they become the youngest of the school again, and so start to look up towards the older years and emulating what they see as the 'grown up' behaviours, etc.

DD is 14y and does sometimes go into town or the shopping centre with friends. They do shop, and they look at and buy make up, etc. They go to Starbucks or Costa for frappancinos and the like. Or get a Boots meal deal and sit in the 'gardens' in town near the fountains and chat.

However, she still socialises in other ways too. It isn't all about shopping and make up, etc. Most of the socialising is still at each others houses, listening to music and chatting. Sometimes it is trips to the cinema or swimming, and a wander up to the park, etc.

But its not new. It has always been the time when kids, boys and girls, start to grow up and change how they interact and socialise.

hmcAsWas · 01/08/2016 18:14

My dd has just finished year 9 and has just turned 14. She has been very into hair, make up etc since around the end of year 7 / start of year 8. We recently went on holiday and her suitcase was 50% clothes, and 50% beauty products (cosmetics, skin care, hair straighteners etc)!! She watches you tube tutorials on make up and can take 45 minutes to get ready when we are going out somewhere 'nice'. She hasn't got it from me - its a good day when I run a brush through my hair!

She attends a small independent school, studies hard, plays a lot of spot and doesn't give me any cause for concern so I don't worry about it. Just a bit irritated by some of my friends though (mothers of boys only) who make such a fuss about young teenage girls wearing make up. Yes I know it wasn't the norm in the 1980's when I was a teenager but its pretty much the norm now and I'd like to see them taking a firm stance if they actually had a teenage daughter.

I'm sorry that your dd feels a bit fish out of water with it all - she must be able to find other areas of commonality with her friends? I can't believe its their sole topic of conversation? Like I said, whilst my dd is very keen on beauty products she also enjoys discussing football, netball, athletics, Five Seconds of Summer, politics and news (to a certain extent), boys and which teachers are being a PITA

BITCAT · 01/08/2016 18:21

Yes my dd1 has been into make up and appearance since around 11. She started her periods quire young at 9 and has matured very quickly from then onwards she is now 14, 5ft 6 very busty for a 14 year old 36dd. She acts and behaves more like a 16/17 yo. But on the flip side my 10 year old is still into dolls and pushchairs..she 11 in Dec and is nothing like dd1 at that age.
OP might it be worth speaking to the school about your concerns they might be able to help or give some advice.

gandalf456 · 02/08/2016 13:40

I do remember vaguely at 12.5, getting interested in appearance but it was more because everyone else was. I was moving away from more girly, pretty pretty dresses, just as DD is. I don't have a problem with that aspect.

However, DD's friends are posting pictures up of their new £15 nail varnish, whereas, I'd probably make do with Rimmel for a fiver.

Another couple, who are now pushing DD out of their group, have created a YouTube channel of their 'shopping haul.'

For a start, I cannot afford to send DD on a shopping trip for fun every week (nor do I want to afford it) and I do think shopping as a hobby - especially at this age - is such a waste. I wouldn't mind if she were, say, wanting to play tennis or go skating or to the cinema.

I suppose I am a bit anti this level of consumerism and I know a lot of adults who are into this stuff who struggle with credit card debt now. I don't think it's a good habit to get into and I think a lot of encouragement comes from the parents about this kind of thing. One of my friends was posting a picture up of her eight year old with mum and daughter face packs. Surely, the idea cannot have come from the eight year old? There just seems to be so much more emphasis on appearance and I am not comfortable that it should define us as people and our friendships should not depend on it. I did have a chat with DD about it and said, well, maybe they're not really your type.

OP posts:
strawberrybootlace · 02/08/2016 13:57

I completely agree with gandalf.

InternationalHouseofToast · 02/08/2016 14:05

Gandalf, can you suggest that your DD step back from her peers at school over the holidays and see how the land lies when they're back next term? I only have a boy, but wouldn't buy a £15 nail varnish for myself, with the possible exception of a Chanel rouge noir if mine ran out but to me that's a classic purchase and will last years, not a spontaneous purchase of a colour I'll dislike in 6 months.

I'd be encouraging a DD in your DD's place to make more friends away from school where they can be interested in other things, shared activities, politics etc. in place of nail polish.

gandalf456 · 02/08/2016 14:28

Thanks, Toast. I have done so but, unfortunately, they've taken a step back from her but looking at the situation, it's for the best though she doesn't see it like that. I am discouraging her from chasing them and finding a more like minded group.

She does do Guides and a Youth club and has made friends there too

OP posts:
Sequentialchoring · 02/08/2016 14:37

I'm with you re: the consumerism gandalf

I have a just-turned-13-year-old and its a funny age. One minute she is in to playing games with the dog and getting covered in mud and the next thing she is staring at herself in the mirror and taking selfies.

Most of the time I have to remind her constantly to wash and brush her teeth and hair etc. But occasionally she will spend hours getting ready to meet friends etc ( and they do all look a lot older than their years when they dress up!)

It's as though she is 9 yrs old one minute, and 17 yrs old the next in behaviour as well as appearance.

I personally wouldn't encourage weekly shopping trips - I don't think there is any need for them at that age - and encourage, like another poster said, more sporty/hobby-based things (but I am probably old fashioned that way).

BITCAT · 02/08/2016 18:02

I give my daughter money maybe every 3/4 months to buy new clothes for a new season..I certainly wouldn't expect her to be buying make up with it. She has her pocket money for that. And she does actually buy clothes so it's all good. But every week no..I couldn't afford that and I don't know many parents that can.

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