The New York Times published a disturbing article entitled, "Tweens R Shoppers," which explored the buying power of young girls. The pictures were enough to make me gag: 9-11-yr.-old girls dressed like 20-somethings with pouty lips, clutching Abercrombie bags, admiring jewelry at the Juicy Couture counter. The only brand name I knew at that age was Chuck E. Cheese! The story followed the shopping trip of a fashionista mother, her spoiled daughter and rich friends. They mentioned a completely irrelevant poll about the materialistic tendencies of 18-25 yr. olds and included a quote from some marketing specialist saying how mothers bond with their daughters through shopping and by doing so are helping to mold sophisticated and informed buyers. Are you kidding me?! Whatever happened to mothers teaching their kids values like, oh I don't know, kindness/compassion/it's what's on the inside that counts? Apparently it's more important that young girls be popular and wear the latest brand names. This story's light-hearted tone offended me and they didn't even go into to how inappropriate and sad this phenomenon is. Do these people realize that it's not tween buying power at all but the parents' buying power? This trend is sadly supported by parents who think it's ok to buy their kids' love and marketers who feed off of that. I didn't find another story like this in any other paper--thank god.