Trendy Monkeys, a salon in Brentwood that targets pre-teens, opened its doors on Saturday, adding to the increasing concerns over the sexualisation and commercialisation of young children.
It has been reported that this is the first salon in the UK to cater for under-13s, and one of the first customers was only 16 months old.
“I think there’s a real market for it out there. In this day and age we like to give our children everything they want,” said owner Michelle Devine, reports the Mail Online. Michelle insists her salon is just “a bit of fun”.
Michelle, a 28-year-old single mum of two daughters, believes that her salon will allow girls to “exude confidence, glamour and the desire to look her best at all times, regardless of age.”
Treatments on offer include fruit smoothie facials for £5; mini pedicures, manicures or make-up applications for £7 each; hair up-dos for between £5 and £10; and shampoo, haircut and styling, costing £21. Michelle is also looking into including ear piercings and will do spray tans if asked by parents.
There has already been 15 bookings for the Princess Pamper Party, which costs £300 for six people, which involves the group being picked up in a pink limousine and going to the salon for various treatments.
“It’s ok to make believe and put on mum’s high heels – we want to encourage fantasy play and role play. But it is actually being seen as part of the mainstream. I think it’s pretty sad. Children are having part of their childhood taken away from them. There are dangers in this because they are being sexualised,” child psychologist Professor Judy Hutchings said.