Is the economy really so bad in the United States? Because apparently things are good enough for middle school girls to buy things like chandeliers, rugs, and "fashion bins" for their school lockers. The NY Times says that schools are now the "latest frontier in nesting.... Peek inside, and find lockers outfitted with miniature furry carpets, motion-sensor-equipped lamps that glow when the door opens, mirrors, decorative flowers, and magnetic wallpaper in floral and leopard-print patterns." Wow, our high school locker with the Twin Peaks paraphernalia seems so inadequate now.

The Times isn't sure if "retailers have merely capitalized on or actually created demand among girls for the accessories," but who cares, when you can get this sweet chandelier—it has a motion sensor for "Easy On and Off Locker Lighting"—for just $25.99. Add in wallpaper, some decorative flowers, a fashion bin or two, a rug, a dry-erase board and a mirror, it'll set parents back at least $100. Who don't seem to mind, since this helps ease their daughters' transition from desk/cubbyhole elementary school to the scary world of class periods and lockers.

Girls Leadership Institute's co-founder Rachel Simmons was less enthused, telling the Times this "exemplifies the mixed messages that girls get about being powerful in the world... Now you can’t just go to school and put your books in your locker between periods; it has to become a showcase for your design skills. You become a homemaker in the hallway." On the other hand, it's forcing girls to figure out which screwdrivers they'll need to open the chandelier.