A new industry has apparently been booming across the Streets of Beirut. You might have heard about it. They go by the name of children’s beauty salons or spas, as testifies the pioneer on Lebanese soil, Spa-tacular, located in Sodeco square Ashrafieh. Remember, that place you used to hang out at, when ditching classes around age 14.
Anyway, as no good idea goes unexploited on the lands of the first merchants, the trend quickly caught on across town in Verdun plaza where a couple of crafty businesspeople are bringing on the competition.
The concept is very simple really, these spas are a place for preteen females, aged 3 to 12 (read: three to twelve) to “come in to take care of themselves, to look good and to pamper themselves”, says Spa-tacular owner and creator Maya Kabbani Hilal to NowLebanon. Miss Kabbani’s Salon and Spa offers manicures, pedicures, make-up, facial treatments and hair dressing. These spas even organize birthday parties where a group of girls can book the whole place and spend their day making themselves beautiful, and finally blow candles on a cake. Spa-tacular, who’s already integrated social media into their marketing strategy, provides photos of the happy occasions on their facebook page.
Many people obviously disagree with the concept. Some of the arguments put forth concern
The sanity of instilling such superficial values in the minds of young girls,
the distorted idea of femininity developed in said minds,
and the fundamentally wrong perception of a girl’s own self-esteem and place in society.
In the face of such arguments, Miss Kabbani replies that girls who attend her establishment “become more and more aware, they grow up knowing that they have to have clean hands and clean feet”.
Sort of turns into a moral dilemma, doesn’t it?
I guess I can see how some parents can approve of this. In the end, every parent wants to provide his child with assets to succeed in life. While some might see education as a good start, some people are more pragmatic, better understand the Lebanese society and economic conjuncture. Acknowledging your daughter has more chances of landing a husband in Sky Bar, or ultimately a pimp in Dubai than she does of landing a self-sustaining job really is a pragmatic, realistic position…
who are we to judge?