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Drunk Elephant, Dear Hannah Prep, And Everything In Between About 2024 Tweens

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UCLA chapter.

There’s nothing the internet loves to make fun of more than tweenage girls. Even though I’m now in my 20s (scary to even type that out), I remember being a tween like it was yesterday.

So when my TikTok For You Page suddenly became populated with videos complaining about 10-year-old girls running wild in Sephora, I was instantly transported back to 6th grade. Except for the tweens of 2024, they aren’t just dealing with catty frenemies and a self-loathing internal monologue: they must stand before a digital jury who doesn’t care if they were playing with Barbies two years ago.

Don’t get me wrong: I understand where a lot of these TikToks are coming from. Like the video above, many posters are just trying to vent about their frustrating personal experiences. I 100% agree that some tweenage girls need to learn proper Sephora etiquette, like not making a mess out of the testers and respecting the employees and other shoppers.

With that being said, it feels like a lot of other people are taking this as an opportunity to drag tweenage girls for just wanting to fit in. It makes me sad to see just how quick many adult women are to mock tweens online. I remember how intimidated I felt shopping for clothes at “grown-up” stores like Urban Outfitters and buying makeup at Ulta for the first time. So even though these skits may seem funny, they can make normal tween girls feel constantly judged in these stores, regardless of whether they even know what Drunk Elephant Bronzing Drops are.

But why are these tweens even at Sephora in the first place? The answer is pretty simple: tweens love looking up to older girls. When I was in middle school, I thought Eva Gutowski aka MyLifeAsEva was the coolest person alive. Clearly, not much has changed: 2024 tweens seem to worship TikTokers like Alix Earle.

However, the type of content being made by these influencers differs vastly. Even though she was in her 20s, MyLifeAsEva made videos geared towards younger audiences about topics like DIY school supplies. I love Alix Earle’s GRWM TikToks just as much, but they are definitely more relatable for her own age demographic of older teens and twentysomethings. Nonetheless, tweens still make up a large portion of her fanbase: so naturally, they run to their local Sephoras and try to be just like Alix.

Sure, it’s easy to say that tweenage girls should go back to “being kids” now that they’ve been laughed out of Sephora. But for the tweens that try to “act their own age,” the internet seems to have just as much of a field day. Take the girls at Dear Hannah Prep. Dear Hannah Prep is a boutique specializing in tween clothing, selling items like neon hoodies and sparkly tennis skirts: think Justice, but for the 2020s.

Last fall, their TikTok became flooded by hundreds of comments poking fun at the store’s tagline, “it’s so preppy in here.” Since then, Dear Hannah Prep has shut off commenting on many of their TikToks, especially those featuring their tweenage store ambassadors.

Regardless of if they are trying to emulate their older TikTok idols or embracing their tween status, it just seems like tweenage girls in 2024 cannot win on the internet. The solution? We should empathize more with tweens and create spaces for them to explore their identities.

Even though tweens want to feel grown-up and wear makeup, they also still really love to play. As a result, tweens gravitate towards more tactile beauty products (and before you doubt me, think about just how much time your tween self spent testing bath bombs in Lush or spritzing body mists in Bath and Body Works).

The online discourse would be a great chance for makeup and skincare companies to branch out into making unique products specifically for tweens. I’ve recently become obsessed with the Youthforia color-changing blush, so I could see them making similar items but marketing towards tweens to make them feel included in the beauty industry.

The floor of a designated Sephora Jr. would probably be covered in Summer Fridays lip balm within one day, so I think beauty stores could instead offer classes for tweens on skills like building a skincare routine to let them experiment with makeup in a nonjudgmental, constructive environment.

Because I unfortunately can’t just call up the CEO of Sephora, I can say that the best thing we can do right now is to be patient. Whether they would rather make “skincare smoothies” or slime, try to treat tweenage girls in a way that would make your inner 10-year-old smile.

Mallory is a second year English major from Los Angeles, California. She loves thrifting, traveling, and listening to Taylor Swift.