Kotex’s Glittery Pads Are A Way To Torture Mothers Of Tweens
Kotex has made a new branch of their website dedicated entirely to tweens and menstruation. The first line reads “Some girls get their periods as young as 8. Have you had the talk yet?” As if mothers of tweens don’t have enough things to stress about with their daughters. Now pads are a fashion accessory!
These little pads are designed to be narrower and, in addition to the glitter doused boxes, have little stars, hearts, and doodles on the pad themselves.
While the idea of an eight-year-old shopping for pads may be a little irksome for mothers, research does indicate that young girls are hitting puberty at younger ages than ever before. Fifteen percent of American girls are now beginning puberty by age seven. One in 10 Caucasian girls begins developing breasts by that same age, which is twice the rate seen in a 1997 study. Twenty-three percent of African American girls hit puberty by age 7.
Yet, experts don’t have solid explanation as to why this is happening. Some point to increasing obesity rates as body fat does produce estrogen, which triggers puberty. Other experts cite environmental exposures to BPA (Bisphenol A), an explanation that indeed needs more study.
Kotex’s willingness to ruthlessly capitalize on this 15% of menstruating eight-year-olds isn’t surprising, but the tactic seems a bit ineffective. Why a child that young can’t use the same products that other women use, especially considering her parent will be buying them for her, goes unexplained. Perhaps using the glitter and the doodles is a way to get girls excited about other products now being pumped into the tween market, like makeup and panties.
“Over the last 30 years, we’ve shortened the childhood of girls by about a year and a half,” said Sandra Steingraber, author of a 2007 report on early puberty for the Breast Cancer Fund, an advocacy group told The Daily News. “That’s not good.”