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Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Girl Games

Today I was introduced to this website with Games for Girls. It’s called “Girls-go-Games-dot-com. My friend, Gypsy, noticed that a lot of the girls at the jr. high where she works (in the computer lab) would choose this site to play after finishing their work. The most popular game on the site is “Nerdy Girl Makeover.”  The girl at the beginning is pictured in glasses & pigtails with a nerdy science tee-shirt. She’s pretty cute.

The first thing you do is wash her face. Interesting. One of my mantras is that the key to beauty is basic skin care, erm, washing your face! She then exfoliates, tones and moisturizes (and you get a little *surprise* after moisturizing!) her face.

The game then moves to her makeup, clothes and hair. At the very end a side-by-side shot of your “Nerdy” girl before and after her makeover. It’s sweet.

The issue is, well one of them, that it is assumed that Nerdy girls are first, dirty. Second, don’t know how to dress and third Need Makeovers. I thought she was pretty cute in the first place. But then I think almost everyone is pretty. You do get to “tweeze” her brows, which of course, no Nerdy girl knows about. Right.

So that’s one issue. So smart girls need makeovers?

There are other games at the site; cooking, dress-up, pets, etc. But I think the Top Ten list is revealing:

1. Nerdy Girl Makeover 2 (a different “Nerdy” girl—still wearing the science tee)

Four are makeovers (image), five are animal-related. The “Little Mermaid” is a memory game. Star Splash is a game of skill (making a dolphin “jump” out of the water). And must I point out number nine?

What really surprises me is the simplicity of the games. They seem more for a preschooler or the early grades, not 12-14 year olds! The graphics are very “cute” and not particularly sophisticated but it’s a nice site. I certainly would have liked it as a young girl.

Well, as long as number nine was Shaun Cassidy, anyway.

So what messages are the girls getting? Half the games are about animals or pets. One is about a teen sensation heartthrob, the rest are all about makeovers. Changing yourself. Using makeup and clothes to become beautiful? More beautiful? That is my concern.

I saw a video on YouTube** (when I was looking for Talia Castellano) called “Ugly to Pretty” and I watched it because it was an intriguing title. But really it was about a girl putting on her makeup. And honestly I thought she was beautiful in the first place. The makeup did not change her or “make” her beautiful and it bothered me that she thought that way. I should have left her a comment, but I didn’t.

Girls Need to see the beauty that they have and not focus on what they do not have. They need to see that the gleam in their eyes and curve of their smile are what really makes them beautiful. Washing your face helps. Tweezing sometimes helps. Makeup should enhance natural beauty, not create it. 

**When searching for the video I was surprised at how many videos came up with this in the title. It saddened and disappointed me. They are all "makeover" videos. 

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