January 20, 2010

A Natural Beauty

So it seems that my 3 1/2 year old daughter loves to "put on make-up". Every morning when I'm getting myself ready, she comes into the bathroom, pulls out my make-up drawer, and starts to paw through it. Often she'll hold items up and ask "what's this?", so I'm forced to teach her new words like "eyebrow brush" and "make-up sponge".

For her birthday six months ago, we asked my mother to buy her a vanity table. It's adorable---pink and plastic, with a mirror and a light that turns on and off.

We put it in our bedroom with the hopes that while I am getting myself ready, she can be at HER table doing her own thing. I stocked it with Q-Tips, cotton balls, make-up sponges, make-up brushes, fake jewelry, and Lip Smackers Lip Balm. While she plays with it, she much prefers my real stuff. I can't catch the number of times I've caught her with an open Chanel blush compact, putting the powder on her fingers.

The thing is, I don't know where she got her love of make-up from. I used to be a make-up junkie, but certainly since having children I hardly wear it at all. My morning routine is simple: do my skin-care regime (I wash my face in the shower, but A does watch me put on my toner, serum, eye cream and moisturizer while at the counter), brush my teeth, and put on deodorant. Most days I don't put make-up on at all; the days I do it's usually something simple like tinted moisturizer. I save anything more involved (like foundation, blush, etc) for when I go out at night. Heck, I don't even own mascara. So A really doesn't see me fussing with a lot of make-up.

What she DOES see me fussing with is my hair. My hair is naturally wavy, so I either spend time putting mousse and scrunch spray in it to make the waves nice, or I spend time blowing it out and flat-ironing it.

I have mixed feelings about A's love of make-up. On the one hand, it's cute, and probably age-appropriate. Many little girls love this kind of thing. And it's not like I'm letting her wear any; the most I ever put on her is lip balm for her chapped lips.

But, on the other hand, I can't help but hope that this is a passing fancy...I don't want her to grow up to be self-conscious about her looks, to think she has to wear make-up to be pretty. That's how I grew up. There were many time, as a teenager, when my mother would tell me to "put on some blush" or "put on some lipstick"..I felt that I wasn't pretty just on my own. Now, at almost 40 years old, I know better. These days I am confident going out without a stitch of make-up on. But I NEVER want to pass on those issues to my daughter.

She is gorgeous now, at 3, and will be gorgeous at 13. And I hope she will be confident enough in that knowledge to know that lipstick, while fun, can't match her natural beauty.

1 comment:

  1. I think a lot of how she perceives herself will come from the things she hears from you and the rest of the family. And she will have to know that make-up is for older girls. I was not allowed to wear make-up until 16 and even then I didn't wear it or if I did it was lip gloss. Telling her make-up is just for dressing up or adding to her already natural beauty. Caroline is interested too. I think it is normal. Like boys gravitate to cars and trucks and girls might like Tinker Bell or the like. Like what makes us different.


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