How young is too young for a vanity? A Scrupulous Dilemma

I was out shopping for a job one day needing to outfit a bunch of kids for a health care advertisement. I needed things on the cheap, so I was scouring Burlington Coat Factory.

As I was walking between the baby and toddler’s sections, IT caught my eye. Up on the top shelf above the clothes were the various child size toy home appliances. And I saw IT. A little pink plastic vanity.

Well, I just so happen to have a niece on the way and knew instantly that I wanted to buy it for her. But alas she hasn’t even been born yet, so it will be a while before it will be of any use, so I kept trucking on the shopping job and figured I would get it for her in a few years.

When I thought about it later, I started to have scruples about it. I can be a little overly PC on the treatment of little girls and putting too much pressure on them at such a young age to be pretty. As adults, we put plenty of pressure on ourselves to be attractive and do I really want to be a part of the bombardment of stimulus already thrown at her from every angle? Do I want to encourage my niece to spend more time on her outside than on her inside? As a little girl she should be developing her mind and encountering the world, not brushing her hair and putting on my sister’s perfume, right?

Then I remembered something that I had tucked away in my memory and long forgotten. My parents got me a vanity when I was in elementary school. I had completely forgotten! It was this little white wicker vanity that was part of a bedroom set complete with bed headboard and dresser drawers. I was instantly taken back to sitting in front of that vanity so early in the morning that the sun wasn’t even out yet, blow drying my hair and curling my bangs before I went to catch the bus. I must have been about 8 or 9 years old.

So I started thinking. I had my first vanity when I was a little girl. And I didn’t turn out half bad. I have a very healthy self image and like what I see in the mirror. I graduated cum laude, have developed and grown my own company and written a book, all by the age of 31. My little white wicker vanity did not undermine my development into a happy, stable adult. So my conclusion is……


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  1. I always wished I had a vanity.

    But with 5 siblings I was lucky if i had 5 mins in front of the mirror.

    She will be a lucky girl to have one.

  2. Yay for you! One of the most exciting things about being a girl is getting to have a vanity to decorate as you wish. I wouldn’t part with mine for all the money in the world. 🙂

  3. Dang straight that one!

    I’ve just decided to paint our master bedroom a peachy pink. My hubby at first recoiled, our adult son made comments about threatening masculinity with that bedroom color.

    Funny…I don’t remember anyone saying my feminity was at risk when the bedroom was painted a “masculine” brownish beige…

    Feminine women can be powerful and smart both. And still use a vanity as part of their world.

  4. I love your reasoning.

    Rejoicing in one’s femininity is not BAD. We were created as female, doggone it!

    Here’s one for “Thoughts on Life and Millinery”:

    What is the bedroom for? Sleep, rest, and romance, right? If a woman feels more feminine doesn’t it translate to happy things for the man?

    Bring on the pink!


  5. I had a vanity that matched my gold and white French provincial bedroom set growing up. I loved it!

    And now I have beautiful 50’s metal & glass kidney shaped one.

    I think the whole idea of “postfeminism” is being able to rejoice in your femininity if you chose, but also being able to chose to play football if you want!

    I think any little girl would be THRILLED to have a pink vanity.

    That JMHO since I’m a 10 year old girl trapped in an adults body ;-).

  6. I can understand the dilemma; if I were a mother I would be hesitant to buy my daughter gender-specific items. I think the key is to emphasise the fun of the item in question, an adorable vintage vanity is afterall a far cry from children’s beauty pageants. I know my five year old self would have filled it with watercolours and books, and my brother would have envied me my nice bedroom article.

  7. I am so glad you got it! I agree that it won’t hurt. My girls are sooo girly by nature, and I feed it because, well…I am sooo girly by nature. That never took away from my intelligence and it doesn’t theirs. It just is what it is. Why not grow them as the whole package of brains and beauty?

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Welcome to the Bobby Pin Blog! I am Lauren Rennells and as a hairstylist, makeup artist, writer, and generally artistic over-achiever, the Bobby Pin Blog is my outlet for thoughts and research about vintage hair and makeup trends and how to recreate them today. Thank you for stopping by!

As an Etsy and Amazon associate I earn from qualifying purchases. As an independent blogger, I link these items because of my own opinions and not because of the commission I may receive.



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