Friday, November 7, 2008

Club Libby Lu Bites the Dust

As a small business owner, I don't often applaud when a company goes out of business. A dream dies, people lose their jobs, and it's awful. But today's the exception.

Club Libby Lu, which specializes in selling makeovers to tween girls, is being shut down by its parent company, Saks. As my friend Lisa Ray of Parents for Ethical Marketing tweeted this morning, that's something to celebrate! This is a dream that deserves to rest in peace.

As said:
"For $25-$40 girls could paint themselves with temporary tattoos, make bracelets
and get a "Club Libby Du." (We think that last thing is a hairstyle. At least,
we're hoping that it is.)"

But what truly made me happy they're closing was reading the company's mission on their website:

"At Club Libby Lu®, our mission is to create special memories by encouraging
tween girls to express their imaginations and individuality. Club Libby Lu
offers products and experiences that promote a unique shopping experience that
makes every girl feel special. Our staff (called Club Counselors), “Club”
environment and merchandise mix provide the ultimate girl experience. Girls join
the Club, where they become V.I.P.s (Very Important Princesses®) and enjoy a
fun, safe and special place where they can unlock their inner princess!™ "

Of course, I'm 150% in favor of encouraging girls to express their imaginations and individuality. That's why I founded New Moon in 1992. What bothers me about Club Libby Lu is how they equate shopping and makeovers with girls' "imaginations and individuality."

In fact, Club Libby Lu shopping and makeovers are not about imagination, self-expression or individuality. They are about conforming to someone else's idea of who you should be and how you should look. What Club Libby Lu really does is indoctrinate little girls into a culture of comparing themselves to others and striving to change themselves into someone else. Yuck.

I am very, very sorry for the people who will lose their jobs. But I'm not one bit sorry that girls won't have Club Libby Lu shaping their sense of who they are as they grow up.

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