I am a plain-Jane mama.
I don’t usually put an excessive amount of effort into my appearance. Enough to feel good about myself, but nothing too time-consuming.
It’s not because I’m a slouch. Admittedly it’s due to lack of expertise. I don’t really know what to do with my own hair. I have a ton of it but can’t really do anything special with it. I also don’t wear a lot of makeup. Usually, I just do my brows and lashes. I might pop on some lip color if I’m feeling fierce.
Most days I go without makeup altogether.
As my daughter grows older, I’ve witnessed her curiosity towards fashion and jewelry and makeup blossom. Every once in a while, she puts blush and mascara on at grandma’s house. She’ll ask for lipstick when she puts on a nice dress. She’ll see girls and women on TV and in movies all dolled up and comment on how pretty they are.
And I am terrified.
Since becoming a mother, it has been my opinion that young girls shouldn’t wear makeup. And before you chastise me and cut this post short, hear me out.
While I see makeup my way (to be explained momentarily), I know there are plenty of people out there who use makeup as an artistic expression. It can be therapeutic or expressive. It can enhance or transform. And there’s no doubt in my mind it can also serve just to make the wearer feel good. Even with the little bit of makeup I wear, I can say putting it on always gives me a bit of a boost.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have any issue with the institute of makeup in the least.
I have an issue with my five-year-old daughter’s interest in makeup. At such a young age, I can see makeup sending the wrong message to my incredibly impressionable child.
One of the reasons why I personally don’t wear makeup is because I don’t like hiding behind it. To me, it’s always felt like a lie, like I was wearing a mask. In some weird way, it kind of felt shameful, as if sending me the message that my natural beauty wasn’t good enough to be shared with the world.
These are the kinds of thoughts I’d like to keep out of my daughter’s head. I don’t want her to think she NEEDS to put on a face to impress people or as the only way to feel good about herself. I don’t want to set a precedent that makeup is a necessity in her everyday life.
Even worse, I don’t want to send the message that her outer beauty is more important than her inner beauty. She needs to know her worth should be measured in more than how well she contoured or how full her lashes are.
As much as that’s not the main message makeup can give, it’s certainly one that could take shape in her sweet little mind.
Again, I’m not trying to convey the message that all makeup is bad. My aim as her mother is to instill confidence in herself before she starts fully engaging in all makeup has to offer. She deserves to love herself exactly as she is before she makes the decision to go with or without makeup.
So, when the time comes for her to start exploring her individuality and expressing herself through foundations and eyeshadows and the likes, she’ll be able to do so with the self-assurance she needs, that I’ll hopefully teach her along the way.
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