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The Death of the Tween Girl

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at NCSU chapter.

Generation Alpha is growing up, some would say a little too fast. With the rise of social media, especially TikTok, we are seeing the first generation who didn’t know life before the smartphone. Young kids are starting to follow the trends just like their adult counterparts, which has become more obvious with Stanley Cups. During the last holiday season, videos online were going viral of moms showing their daughter’s Christmas lists that usually included skincare like lip masks or products from the brand known as Drunk Elephant. Now, there are videos of people working at beauty stores like Ulta or Sephora, showing the damage nine-year-old kids are causing with the testers and products. 

Whose fault is it that this is such an issue, is it the parents? Is it the internet, specifically TikTok? The answer to this question is rather relative as it is a mixture of both. There is a decline in the American pre-teen due to the rise of TikTok, being raised on the iPad, and a postmodern world filled with immense consumerism. 

One thing that Generation Alpha is known for is the phenomenon of the “iPad babies”, which is a term to describe the kids who grew up using smart devices since their infancy. We have to keep in mind that consumerism was pushed onto them since the beginning of their life since many millennial parents relied on technology to manage their kids. They grew up with influencers sponsoring or endorsing various products, so now they are buying them. We are seeing just the beginning, as most of these kids aren’t even teenagers yet. 

Parents need to not allow their children to cave into trends like this, especially regarding skin care. All these skincare products are not targeted towards them and can hurt their skin if misused. Dermatologist Dr. Harold Lancer told The New York Post that, “The skin is the largest and most complex organ and if the wrong products are used or introduced too early or for the wrong skin type, you can end up having more problems than originally were present.” Another important thing to mention is that a video made by TikTok user riannasmithh has gone viral for sharing her personal experience with these “Sephora Kids” as a former Sephora employee. The term “Sephora Kids” was coined to describe the young children wreaking havoc at beauty stores, most of them being Sephora. Rianna speaks of fifteen-year-olds coming in with chemical burns from using too many skincare products, along with a nine-year-old coming in with her mom asking for BabyFacial claiming she uses it daily. Keep in mind, that BabyFacial is an extremely strong chemical exfoliant. 

It is unfortunate how Generation Alpha is skipping a lot of normal childhood experiences. Toys meant for young children are not as popular as they used to be. Young girls wanting Drunk Elephant skincare products or Stanely Cups is tragic. It is becoming clear that the Tween, especially the Tween Girl, is becoming a thing of the past. There are a lot of factors at play, but parents relying on technology too much and corporations manipulating today’s young minds are a part of it.

In high school, Kaitlyn Potts wrote interviews and movie reviews for a magazine run by her childhood neighborhood. Before she even applied to NCSU, she started to write for The Free Pack in October of 2022. New to the chapter, she is grateful for the opportunity provided by Her Campus and is looking forward to writing for the online magazine. She is also a Staff Writer for Up & Coming Weekly, and an Editorial Intern for Kidsville News. Kaitlyn plans to write about her interests, experiences, current events, and whatever comes to mind. Kaitlyn is a non-traditional transfer student who enrolled at North Carolina State University in August of 2023. In July of 2023, she graduated from Fayetteville Technical Community College with an Associate in Arts degree. At FTCC she joined The National Honors Society of Leadership and Success (Sigma Alpha Pi) and Phi Theta Kappa, a prestigious honor society for community college students. Right now, Kaitlyn is studying to receive a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy, and intends to Minor in Chinese Studies. She is also in NCSU's Honors Program and was accepted the first year that NCSU allowed transfer students into the program. To summarize her interests, Kaitlyn enjoys music and singing. Music she enjoys includes Korean Pop, Metal, Indie, Alternative, Dance, and Oldies. She appreciates a diverse range of material in the horror genre and macabre. Kaitlyn also enjoys adult cartoons such as King of the Hill and South Park. Kaitlyn is an ISTJ under the MBTI Indicator. For those who like Astrology, she is a Scorpio.