Recently, we were asked, through Facebook, a couple of questions about discussing makeup with our children :
"How do you plan on talking to young daughters about it? Do you feel it's a necessary conversation to have?"
It was a interesting question and here's what we had to say about it:
"When my girls see me putting makeup on, sometimes, I'll put some blush on them. It makes them feel like princesses. I don't wear makeup very often, so when I do, my girls notice.
Neither of them has asked to wear it and if they ever do, I'll tell them I'd like them to wait until they're 12. If for no other reason, then because they have their whole lives to be grown-up and wear makeup, and should enjoy just being kids. There's also the whole cycle of wearing makeup, which causes acne, which in turn, makes you want to wear more makeup. Not fun.
I don't feel it's a necessary conversation to have, at least in my house. With how often I wear makeup, or even do my hair, for that matter; my girls don't have much of a high maintenance example to follow. When the time comes, they'll hopefully be 12 and I'll hopefully be ready to beat away the boys."
"I'm one of those moms that wears make up every day. Not a lot, but just enough to make me feel "woken up" and ready for the day. Like, Holly, if my girls happen to be in the room, I might put a little blush on them just for fun. They always ask for lip gloss too, which I don't mind putting on them. I've never felt the need to have a formal conversation with them (mostly because they're 3 and almost 5 still). They do ask questions, though, like, "why do you put that on your face?" I try to be careful with my answers because I don't want them to feel like they need make-up to be pretty. I tell them that I use a little foundation to cover up the "splotchies" and mascara so I can have eye lashes like theirs. Then I make sure and tell them how beautiful they are and that they don't need make up. But if the want to wear make up when they're older, then they can."
"I come from a family that LOVES makeup. Every present-giving holiday, my girls (ages 5 and 7) get massive make up kits from their great-grandma, to use with their dress up, and they have been getting these for about 3 years now. I allow them to wear the makeup in the house but only about once a week or so. They have to wash their faces if we have company over, or if we leave the house. They're really good about it - we've talked about how makeup is a grown up thing, like fancy jewelry (which they love) and fancy shoes and dresses and such. Other than dress up, we have a "No Makeup Until Age 13" rule, which the kids don't love, but do understand. Because they get to play with it, even if they don't get to show their glamorous (ha! yeah right) faces to the world, I haven't had many complaints."
"I've always had very mixed feeling about makeup on young girls. I see so many of them dressed up and made up to look older than they are which sends a very scary message, in my book. At the same time, I remember my Mom letting me play with her lipstick collection, so long as it was all wiped off before I left the room. We've allowed our six year old daughter to wear a touch of lipgloss (colorless or near colorless) and nail polish. I never really set out to have a conversation about it, but when she started going to birthdays where her friends got make up as presents, it sort of forced my hand. We have the same rule that Marisa and her family have...no makeup until 13, which was the same rule I had growing up. I explained to my daughter that "make up is for grown ups" and I've tried to make the point, as others mentioned, that no one "needs" make up to be beautiful. I wear minimal make up to work and (most of the time) none at home on the weekends.
As a compromise of sorts, for dress up play at home, I bought actual face paint so I could make both of the kids (i.e. my son too) look like kitties or puppies or whatever character they want to be. To me that's more "theatrical" than making them look like they belong in Toddlers and Tiaras."
Thanks to Liz for allowing us to throw in our two cents!
How about you, have you had make up conversations with your daughters? What are your rules? Do you have any?