Generation Alpha, the cohort born after 2010, is often stereotyped as spoiled, entitled, and poorly behaved. They are also seen as obsessed with appearances, spending their time and money on beauty products and services. But is this fair? And what are the underlying causes and consequences of this obsession?
In this blog post, we will explore the factors that drive Gen Alpha’s interest in beauty, the role of social media and influencers, and the impact of beauty culture on their mental health and well-being. We will also discuss what we can do to help them develop a healthy and balanced relationship with beauty.
The iPad generation: How technology shapes Gen Alpha’s beauty habits
Gen Alpha is the first generation to grow up with technology as an integral part of their lives. They have access to smartphones, tablets, laptops, and smart TVs from a very young age, and they are exposed to a plethora of online content, including beauty-related videos, images, and articles.
Technology has enabled Gen Alpha to learn about beauty products and trends, compare and review different brands and items, and shop online or in-store with ease. Technology has also given them the opportunity to experiment with different looks and styles, using apps and filters that can alter their appearance, such as Snapchat, Instagram, and TikTok.
However, technology also has a downside. It can create unrealistic expectations and standards of beauty, as Gen Alpha is constantly bombarded with edited, filtered, and curated images of celebrities, influencers, and peers. It can also foster a culture of comparison, competition, and validation, as Gen Alpha seeks likes, comments, and followers for their beauty-related posts. Technology can also be addictive, distracting, and isolating, as Gen Alpha spends more time on their screens and less time on other activities and interactions.
The influencer effect: How social media shapes Gen Alpha’s beauty preferences
Social media is a powerful source of information and inspiration for Gen Alpha, especially when it comes to beauty. Gen Alpha follows and trusts beauty influencers, who are often young, relatable, and charismatic, and who showcase their beauty routines, reviews, tutorials, and hauls on various platforms.
Beauty influencers can have a positive influence on Gen Alpha, as they can educate them about beauty products and techniques, encourage them to express their creativity and individuality, and promote diversity and inclusivity in beauty. Beauty influencers can also inspire Gen Alpha to pursue their passions and careers in beauty, as they demonstrate the possibilities and opportunities that the industry offers.
However, beauty influencers can also have a negative influence on Gen Alpha, as they can create peer pressure and FOMO (fear of missing out), as Gen Alpha feels the need to keep up with the latest products and trends that their idols endorse. Beauty influencers can also expose Gen Alpha to inappropriate or harmful content, such as cyberbullying, sexualization, or misinformation, on social media or in the store. Beauty influencers can also manipulate Gen Alpha’s purchasing decisions, as they may not disclose their sponsorships, affiliations, or biases, and may exaggerate or falsify their claims and results.
The beauty trap: How beauty culture affects Gen Alpha’s mental health and well-being
Beauty culture is the set of beliefs, values, and norms that shape how people perceive, evaluate, and enhance their appearance. Beauty culture can have a positive impact on Gen Alpha’s mental health and well-being, as it can boost their self-esteem, confidence, and happiness, as they feel more beautiful and comfortable in their own skin. Beauty culture can also foster a sense of community and belonging, as Gen Alpha connects with others who share their interests and values.
However, beauty culture can also have a negative impact on Gen Alpha’s mental health and well-being, as it can cause stress, anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem, as they feel insecure, inadequate, or unhappy with their appearance. Beauty culture can also trigger or worsen eating disorders, body dysmorphia, or cosmetic surgery addiction, as Gen Alpha resorts to unhealthy or extreme measures to change or improve their appearance. Beauty culture can also alienate or discriminate against those who do not conform to the dominant or ideal standards of beauty, such as people of color, LGBTQ+ people, or people with disabilities.
Here are some frequently asked questions about Gen Alpha and beauty culture, and their answers.
- Q: Is there a minimum age to shop at Sephora?
- A: There is no official minimum age to shop at Sephora, but some stores may have their own policies or guidelines regarding kids. For example, some stores may require kids to be accompanied by an adult, or to have their parent’s permission or consent, to shop or use the products. Some stores may also limit the number of kids or the amount of time they can spend in the store, or restrict their access to certain areas or products. It is best to check with the store staff before shopping with kids, and to respect their rules and requests.
- Q: What are some of the best products for kids at Sephora?
- A: The best products for kids at Sephora are those that are gentle, natural, and suitable for their skin type and age. Some examples are:
- Cleansers: CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser, First Aid Beauty Pure Skin Face Cleanser, Youth To The People Superfood Antioxidant Cleanser
- Moisturizers: CeraVe Daily Moisturizing Lotion, First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream, Youth To The People Superfood Air-Whip Moisture Cream
- Sunscreens: Supergoop! Unseen Sunscreen SPF 40, Drunk Elephant Umbra Sheer Physical Daily Defense SPF 30, Fenty Skin Hydra Vizor Invisible Moisturizer SPF 30
- Lip balms: Fresh Sugar Lip Balm, Bite Beauty Agave+ Daytime Vegan Lip Balm, Glossier Balm Dotcom
- Makeup: Milk Makeup Lip + Cheek, Glossier Cloud Paint, Fenty Beauty Gloss Bomb Universal Lip Luminizer
- Q: How can I teach my kid about skincare and makeup?
- A: You can teach your kid about skincare and makeup by:
- Setting a good example: Show your kid how you take care of your skin and apply your makeup, and explain why you do it and what benefits it has. Let your kid watch you or join you in your routine, and answer their questions or concerns.
- Giving them guidance: Help your kid choose the right products for their needs and preferences, and teach them how to use them properly and safely. Give them feedback, praise, and encouragement, and correct their mistakes or misconceptions. Be patient, supportive, and respectful of their choices and opinions.
- Making it fun: Make skincare and makeup a fun and enjoyable activity for your kid, rather than a chore or a necessity. Let them experiment with different products, colors, and styles, and compliment their results. Play games, watch videos, or read books about skincare and makeup, and learn together. Reward them for their efforts and achievements, and celebrate their milestones.
- Q: How can I protect my kid from the dangers of skincare and makeup?
- A: You can protect your kid from the dangers of skincare and makeup by:
- Setting boundaries: Set some rules and limits for your kid regarding skincare and makeup, such as how much they can spend, what products they can use, when and where they can use them, and who they can share them with. Explain the reasons behind your rules and the consequences of breaking them. Monitor their behavior and purchases, and enforce your rules consistently and fairly.
- Educating them: Educate your kid about the potential risks and harms of skincare and makeup, such as skin irritation, infection, allergy, toxicity, or injury. Teach them how to read labels, check ingredients, avoid allergens, and spot fakes or expired products. Teach them how to store, clean, and dispose of their products properly and hygienically. Teach them how to recognize and report signs of trouble, such as redness, itching, swelling, pain, or bleeding.
- Empowering them: Empower your kid to make informed and responsible decisions about skincare and makeup, and to stand up for themselves and others. Help them develop critical thinking, media literacy, and self-esteem skills, and to question and challenge the messages and pressures they may face from social media, peers, or advertisers. Help them appreciate and respect their natural beauty and diversity, and to value themselves and others for more than their appearance.
Gen Alpha is obsessed with Sephora because they are influenced by technology, social media, and beauty culture, which can have both positive and negative effects on their lives. If we want to help them have a healthy and balanced relationship with beauty, we need to understand their motivations and needs, and provide them with support, guidance, and education. We also need to reflect on our own role and responsibility in shaping their beauty habits and perceptions, and how we can create a more inclusive and empowering beauty culture for everyone.