When expensive toys and latest gadgets are not good enough to spoil their children, some mothers start sending their young ones to be pampered at extravagant spas and salons.
It is natural for every mother to want the best for her child. But when it comes down to giving, how far will she go? Will she spoil her child? After designers catering to children’s clothing or accessories, a new business has entered the market, allowing mothers to flaunt their maternal love. “I take my daughter to the spa,” says Samina Ahmed, the mother of a nine-year-old girl. “I think it’s great to start grooming your children at a younger age. They should always look presentable.”
Behind the famous Nirvana Spa in the capital is the Nirvana Spa for kids. Following a neon-coloured theme, the bright café and spa for children is a famous spot these days. “I love going to Nirvana because they serve my favourite drink,” says nine-year-old Ayesha, who is in the third grade. “I get my hair cut from there.”
Manager at Nirvana, Rana Amir Sohail, tells The Express Tribune that the seven-month-old retreat for kids is the first of its kind in Pakistan. He adds that lots of mothers come to the spa and leave their children at the café and spa which offer facilities for five to 12-year-old children. Services at the spa include manicures and pedicures at about Rs1,000; a haircut at about Rs1,700 and a trim priced around Rs1,100. Blow-dries range between Rs400 to Rs1,100 and nail art is Rs116 per nail. These services can also be given as gift vouchers.
As if one place was not enough, Cross Cuts is another salon that offers services for grooming children — with a huge crocodile face sticking out as an entrance on Nazimuddin Road. Crocs offers grooming, hair styling, nail art, manicures and pedicures for children.
Alamdar Kisat, owner of Crocs, says that the concept behind the salon is that children should be in a comfortable environment that relaxes them before they go in for haircuts. “An underwater themed room with bright, colourful characters embossed on walls and some rides assembled for children, allow them to get their haircut in a fun way,” says Kisat. He says that Crocs get appointments for 10 children a day, which is sufficient enough to get the business running. Crocs also offers haircuts for newborns. Stylists are trained with children to ensure that they do not cry during the haircut and to ensure they feel secure in the environment.
While the ventures are making good profits, teachers believe that such places may not be the best place to groom children. Fourth grade private school teacher Mehreen Khan says the trend of children being status-conscious is on the rise. “Young children are being exposed to too much, too soon,” she says. “They are being treated as subjects of a superficial lifestyle, brought upon them by their status and brand-conscious parents,” she adds. “Children are now more interested in how they look because of this attitude; parents should focus on grooming their child’s personality rather than their looks.”
Ayesha Haroon, a mother of three girls, says that such facilities are just an excuse for mothers to flaunt where their children go. “We need more sports facilities or parks and healthy activities for children, rather than making them sit on chairs and get their nails done,” she says. “Sadly, it’s all about making a social statement.”
Another mother, Rida Malik, says that her children come home and talk about what other kids have or have not done. “If one child is going to a spa and boasting about it, other kids want to do the same,” she says. “This gives birth to a cultural and financial divide amongst children.”
Published in The Express Tribune, March 16th, 2013.
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