The “Teen Spa Program” at Pinehurst Resort in Pinehurst Village, North Carolina is designed “to reduce teen stress through aromatherapy, massage, soothing music.” “We tell teens to leave their cares and stresses and backpacks at the door,” says Kim Huber, Spa Director.
It seemed like an awfully self indulgent and narcissistic program to me, and I said so. Or rather asked if Huber thought so. Huber reassured me that they don’t cater to the “Paris Hiltons of the world,” and not surprisingly, she told me that 90% of the teens that take advantage of the program are females.
But does that mean I think teens don’t have stresses and should be denied the pleasure of spa treatments in a luxury setting? Maybe it does. I had to ask: Don’t these kinds of programs promote the perfect-body image hyper-consciousness that most parents are trying to combat with their kids? She said that the teens are very “spa savvy,” and that only made me more concerned.
I tried not to come across as a “hostile interviewer,” and relaxed some when she said the best part of the deal is the Intergenerational Program. By that she meant, seeing mothers, daughters and grandparents engaged in spa activities, creating an intergenerational bonding experience. That’s good. And Huber pointed out that they do sponsor community programs like the Girl Scouts, most of whom probably couldn’t afford the programs. But maybe Pinehurst Village, North Carolina, is a wealthy community. I wondered also is $290.00 bucks too much to pay for a “Mother and Daughter Re-TREAT Package.” It’s described as, “a day of pampering the two of you will never forget. Mom will enjoy a Mini-Facial, Spa Manicure and Spa Pedicure while daughter receives a Kid’s Facial, Fancy Fingers Manicure and Twinkle Toes Pedicure. Two hours.”
Apparently this is big business because the people at Pinehurst Resort told me that Kids Spa/Teen Spa accounts for 5 % of their overall business. I probably pushed the point when I asked if the idea of catering to teen stress and spa etiquette was, well, “awkward” in a world where people are starving? Her silence was not surprising. Then there’s a Teen Spa Lounge where teens “catch up over smoothies or just relax with the newest magazines.” And a Pinehurst Kid’s Massage was billed as “a perfect way to introduce your child to massage, an experience that will help future stress or sports injuries.” Anyway, the list of services goes on. My only point here is this: does all this emphasis on facials, skin, massage, de-stressing promote a self-consciousness and self-absorption? Or am I just being narrow minded?
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