Help! My 6th grader wants to wear makeup.

I am hereby taking it on myself to give a little advice on the subject of young girls and makeup.

And I'm pretty sure it's not going to be what you expect.

First, a little background.  I was not allowed to wear makeup until I was 15.  Granted, I was a sophomore in high school by then.  I had been the one to sneak lipstick on a regular basis in junior high and even got caught at church wearing, wait for it, previously confiscated bright orange lipstick.  Did I think she wouldn't notice??  I still cringe remembering getting caught in the church lobby by my parents.

So, this year, our dear 11 year old begged and begged for makeup.  She already had quite a supply of lip glosses, Chapstick, sparkle powder, etc.  But, the claim was that it was old, run down and not of the right caliber for a blossoming young woman.  Okay - I added the blossoming young woman part, but the presentation of the case for makeup was pretty close to that.  At least the way I heard it.

So, as any conservative, raised the right way, kind of mother would do, I said NO.

No way.

No how.

I don't think so.

I got tears, screams, glares, the whole nine yards.

And I did falter a bit (not in front of her of course).

So, I brought it to Matt.  He's the Dad and should have some input here.  I'm pretty sure it was my Dad that said no makeup or earrings until I was in high school.  So, I thought getting some reinforcements on my side would really help strengthen my case.  Plus, he probably had an even better argument in my defense.  He is a philosopher/thinker/debater/generally smart guy.

He surprised me.  His argument was, well, let her wear some. Not a ton, but some. So, I took her to Walgreens and steered her towards the ever reasonably priced Wet N' Wild brand.  (Hello, makeup is expensive!)  I also made careful suggestions towards lighter colors and shades.  She ended up with a very sparkly light pink eyeshadow pencil, white eye shadow and 4 different shades of lip gloss.

Lesson learned:  By taking the fight out of it, I was able to have a great mother/daughter experience of picking out makeup in the appropriate tones, helping my daughter feel beautiful and just have fun looking at makeup.

Note: she does still have "dress up makeup" to wear just at home.  This was the case in the picture below.  The girls had a "fashion show" and this time they got a hold of the camera.  She's growing in a beautiful young woman, I just want to keep her close (and acting her age) as long as I can without actually pushing her away.

Now, this isn't the right choice for everyone.  But, if it really becomes a huge issue, consider how major you want it to be.  Teaching her to wear makeup correctly and to enhance her natural features is more important than her exact age or grade in school.


Jay and Chandra and Penny Regan said...

I agree with your husband. It'll bring balance and a healthy self-image to your girl. By-the-way, your cat looks like a twin to ours!

Molly Page said...

What a great picture!
AND that is NOT where I thought this post was going. Once again, you surprise & delight me, friend.

Brenda @ SweetSimpleStuff said...

I have sons, so I've never faced this issue. In my opinion, you and your husband made a wonderful decision ... remember, 'pick your battles'.