: Herald Sun.
PRIMPED preps, plastered with lipstick and eyeshadow and wearing skimpy clothes, have forced a crackdown by schools.
Some girls have been banned from wearing make-up and are even having cosmetics confiscated in the classroom.
It comes as a parent of a prep girl has revealed his shock at seeing a gaggle of six-year-old girls at a school disco last week with fully made-up faces.
The dad was stunned to see his daughter's fellow Yarraville West Primary School classmates dolled-up like teens.
"I was shocked: They had blue eyeshadow, lipstick, blush. They looked like they should be in Toddlers and Tiaras," said the parent, who declined to be named. "It looked like their mums had put it on."
The school did not return telephone calls from the Herald Sun.
Child development experts worried about the sexualisation of children warn there is a difference between kids playing dress-ups or being styled as adults.
Louise Newman, Professor of Psychiatry at Monash University, said childhood was being eroded as kids were being pressured to grow up too early.
"Children in primary school are already worrying about their appearance, having the right look, the right clothes," she said.
"Parents might think it is beautiful and cute but might not think about the implications."
Berwick Lodge Primary School banned make-up and revealing clothing after discussions with parents and the school council.
Principal Henry Grossek said the school acted after a group of girls aged eight to 10 turned up to school in skimpy outfits and lipstick.
"The whole issue of the sexualisation of kids too early is one the school council and I are concerned about," he said.
"And there is greater interest now at a younger age to form relationships. It's all tied up in the tween culture."
Anti-child exploitation web group, Collective Shout, has been contacted by parents of primary school children going to parties where other girls were in full make-up.
Spokeswoman Melinda Liszewski said children then put pressure on parents to let them follow suit.
Mum Gillian Southan, of Essendon, said her daughter Annabelle, 6, was "obsessed" with her make-up collection, but she would not let her wear it in public.
"She took one of my Estee Lauder lip glosses to school and she got caught by the teacher putting it on who said, 'I don't want to see this again'," she said.
"We had a laugh but both agreed it wasn't appropriate. I don't think they should wear it seriously until they are teenagers."
I thought this might be more appropriate for Ladies Only, but I also wanted to hear views from the male population: fathers, brothers, teachers, or simply as general members of society.
It's a conversation topic that comes up once in a while when I'm chatting with my friends about high school, music videos, or teeny-bopper musicians: makeup, and the prominent sexualization of popular social icons in teen culture. Outfits in music videos are getting skimpier and skimpier; teens wear more and more provocative outfits at a younger age; makeup is promoted to the younger masses; and so on.
Whether that trend was true when I was that age and I simply didn't notice, I do not know. However, I do know that at least these days, it's making headlines (whereas when I was in high school, it wasn't that big of a deal). While I am all for makeup (used moderately or lightly) as a form of creative and personal expression for girls in high school, I am more iffy on its use for middle school girls, and a bit shocked to hear that elementary school girls would be made up (by their parents, no less!) at all.
Most schools have at least some form of a dress code in place, and enforced to varying degrees. Do you think makeup should be part of that dress code? Should schools have policy in place to restrict or even ban the use of makeup (and if so, which level(s) of educational institution)?