Wednesday, January 04, 2006

evidence of the robust health of the economy

On our last evening at Disneyland, we wandered through Downtown Disney to let the kids spend some of their Christmas money. Specifically, we stopped at Club Libby Lu to let DD spend some of her money. DS1 came in for a few moments but was quickly overwhelmed by the girlie-ness of it all, and opted to go outside and wait with his dad and brother while little sister dithered over what to buy, what to buy.

She ended up with this:

$28 for about $2 worth of glittery cosmetics and a surprisingly well-made colorful hatbox.

I'd never heard of Club Libby Lu before, and hadn't even noticed it on our first trip to Disney. It's the kind of store that would give my parents' generation fits: 100% frivolous, and expensive frivolity at that. Expensive frivolity of (at best) questionable taste, which quite possibly encourages all the wrong things in little girls! I'd say it's the Trifecta of Wasteful Spending.

You have to see one of these places to believe it. A big part of the business is makeovers, or "Libby Dus". They'll take a perfectly charming little girl and do up her hair in ridiculous twisty cornrow-type things, or silly spiky wisps, and then make her up and give her stick-on glittery star tattoos and a dusting with sparkly "fairy dust." It manages to be worse than it sounds, in some cases; check out the five makeovers, here.

So, what was I doing with DD in there? Well, I had no idea that the makeover aspect of the business existed before we went in there -- we had just walked by, seen it was a "girlie" store, and said she could shop there. A makeover starts at $25, but they go up from there. Since we went in at the end of the day, a makeover for DD was a non-starter from the get-go.

But was it really a place I wanted her to shop? Well, she's a girl and she's interested in makeup and stuff like that, much more than I was when I was her age -- or ever, to be honest. I'd much rather have her spend her own money and use her own makeup than muck about in mine. And she knows she can't wear makeup to school or out of the house at all, so that's not an issue (yet), either. The box she chose is cute and sturdy, and she's already using it for other things, too.

This is one of the times when I've had to just tell my inner control freak to shut up and let the girl have a little fun. DD spent a bit of time looking over the various makeup kits before deciding on the hat box, and she showed the most restraint and judgment I've ever seen in making a purchasing decision. This was the first time she ever showed she understands the idea that money can be saved to be spent later: there were even more expensive things she could've bought, since all the aunties and uncles were quite generous.

The Club Libby Lu concept takes little girls' love of dress-up to an absurd extreme, almost to the point of giving me the creeps. But overall, our Libby Lu experience was positive. I wouldn't give my daughter carte blanche in there, and I'm sure some girls come out looking horrifying -- but with restraint, it can be just the ticket for the girlie little girl.

1 comment:

Sheik Yerbootie said...

This isn't a comment that sounds like what it's going to sound like, but are you sure you aren't a little put off by the "girlie girl" facet of DD's persnoality?

It seems like something that you are having some difficulty with.

I'm not trying to be offensive here, just an observation - friendly observation.