Kids’ beauty parlour gives makeovers to 3-year-olds

A beauty parlour for children offering mock tattoos and non-alcoholic champagne to children as young as three has attracted fierce criticism.

Tantrims & Tiaras, in Whiteinch, Glasgow, is the first children-only beauty salon in Scotland and is modelled on junior beauty parlours in America.

The shop offers nail painting, hair styling and mock tattoos to children while they watch cartoons on TV screens.

The service has been heavily criticised by politicians and children’s charities.

Sandra White, the SNP MSP for Glasgow, intends to lodge a parliamentary motion condemning the salon.

She said: “The message that this business, and others like it, sends out to very young children is that image is everything and they should be expected to look and act like mini adults.”

Margaret Mitchell, the Conservative MSP, said children’s innocence was being stolen from them.

“Why can’t children be allowed to be children without having to worry about their image, hair and make up? Who in their right mind would want their toddler to look like a grown-up woman?”

And Anne Houston, of Children 1st, a child welfare charity, said she was particularly concerned that children were being given mock champagne.

“The mimicking of drinking alcohol is concerning especially in light of recent reports of serious liver damage among young people,” she said.

But Mary Abbott, who owns the salon, said it was “harmless fun”.

“It is a natural part of growing up and nothing more than harmless fun,” she said. “I certainly remember wearing my mum’s high heels when I was little girl and wanting to put her lipstick up on.”

Mrs Abbott added: “Usually girls want to look like their favourite pop star, with Miley Cyrus being the most popular.

“We thought the bubbly would go down well, but so far the kids don’t seem to like it very much. They usually prefer sugar-free juice.”

Mrs Abbott said she turned away one customer who had asked for a facial for two six-year-olds.

The news comes a week after Dr Catherine White, director of a centre for rape victims, said sexy t-shirts for kids and explicit music videos are putting children at risk by changing what they deem unacceptable.

Dr White warned that the increasing use of adult images in youth culture is eroding society’s values and making it difficult for young people to say “that’s not right”.

The NSPCC warned in 2008 that children are being sexualised by magazines, television programmes and dolls dressed in fishnet tights being marketed to five-year-olds.

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