Every morning I wake up next to Thalia (yep, that hasn’t changed) and ask her, “did you sleep well? What did you dream about?”
Generally the answer is “Unicorns.” Or “A horse on the beach.” Or “We played soccer in the grass park!”
Does she actually dream about these things? Probably not. I’ll give her an A for creativity.
But this morning was different.
“I dreamed about a make up kit. For kids. A toy with makeup for kids. That I can put on my face and I can play with it and wear makeup. It’s a toy, mommy! A toy! Naybe we can buy it? Naybe we can buy a toy make up kit for kids?”
Not sure if this came from a commerical or a friend at school or just her own imagination.
What’s a make-up loving, Beautyhacks-contributing, fashion-loving, feminist mom to do?
I am definitely more influenced than I’d care to admit from my own upbringing, in which nailpolish was not something for children, pierced ears were for 13 year olds (later reduced to 9 with much pleading), heels were meant for grownups, and make up was very reluctantly permitted in junior high. Oh, you should see how my class portrait changed from the sweet seventh grader with braids down the side of her face, to the wild, frizzy-haired eighth grader with the sparkly blue Maybelline eyeliner and the amateurish Clinique mascara application. It was as if I had gone from dorky to made-up and dorky, almost overnight!
But three is not thirteen. And it’s not even nine.
So when do we let our girls get all girlie? Or really…womanly. Because that’s what it is.
I see little girls with painted toenails and I find it equally endearing and repelling.I think it would be something fun to do with Thalia, and then I wonder if that’s teaching her some kind of message that goes beyond temporary tattoos and animal character hair clips. I also rejected the offer at the kids hair salon to put glitter spray in her hair. The lollipop makes her plenty happy–and me too. It may rot her teeth, but it’s not rotting her ability to simply be a preschooler.
I’m no make-up hating grinch, of course. I do let Thalia play with my makeup brushes when she asks and let her put on all the lip balm she wants, while assuring her that she’s so beautiful that she doesn’t need makeup. But then how do I explain my own use of it? The converse of You’re so pretty would be Mommy’s not pretty enough and that, along with mommy’s fat, are not sentences I want to utter in front of my daughters.
I want my girls to have fun with fashion, dress up as crazy as they want, and–I suppose–have at it with my old eyeshadow pallettes. Maybe even the “toy makeup for kids,” whatever that may be. But on the other hand, aren’t there some things that our daughters should just have to wait for?
I’d count freaking out their moms high on that list.