banned from makeup: my condescending opinion.
I just heard a mother in my office flip shit after receiving a picture of her daughter in makeup. I gather her daughter is in elementary or middle school... but I suppose it's irrelevant really. I'd heard in the past different parents that refused to let their daughters wear makeup... i remember it even in 5th grade when the girls would get caught by the teacher.
but i've never really thought about WHY they would have a problem with it...
i honestly can't figure it out. i have a few theories, but first i'd like to theorize about why someone would want to wear makeup in the first place. i'll only use examples of ordinary children... i can understand if you're, for example, a burn victim and you wear makeup to limit the amount of staring and shock from the ignorant majority. i mean just in general, an ordinary girl wanting to put on makeup:
1. social acceptance. they hide anything imperfect about themselves so that they appear perfect.
2. imitation. they wish to look like an older woman they idolize.
3. attraction to the opposite sex. goes off of social acceptance, but they feel that accentuating their looks will bring more attention from boys.
4. expression. some women (and men) will wear makeup as a sort of form of identity. for the best example, look up emo and goth.
assuming these are the motives, i don't see why parents would have a problem with it.
Case 1: if your child has resorted to using makeup to be socially-accepted, chances are they're doing anything else they can to feel normal already. disallowing makeup is not going to make a difference, because it's also socially-acceptable to give the appearance of the rebel or the "parent-oppressed". why do you care if they're using makeup to assist it any further? the problem stems back to your inability to teach them about being honest with not only those around them, but with themself. they're already hiding their interests and joys from everyone... hiding what they find to be imperfect about their appearance is just the next logical step. this social reaction is already ingrained, and they'll continue it with or without your support. the best part is, right now you stand by your moral obligation, but in 4-5 years when they're in high school and they're one of the most popular girls in school with tons of guys following them, dying to stand next to them and their preppy crowd of phonies that molded them into who they are today... that's when suddenly you'll let it slide. may as well just lay back and let 'em put it on... you'll be changing your mind anyway when they have their prom queen crown on, you hypocrite. your morals are stupid, and you can't even stand by them.
Case 2: if your child wants to imitate someone they idolize, then this is a process that's already been happening. just because they can't look like them in appearance doesn't mean they still won't copy their mannerisms and attitudes. if anything, this is a giant step into theater... nurture it. that or they're not actually idolizing anyone, and all they're really doing is picking someone popular and copying their style for the aformentioned social acceptance. you might want to actually take an interest in the person they're idolizing though, and also keep an eye on your child to make sure they're not internally disappearing to turn into this other person. multiple personalities is a serious condition, and here's where it starts. Disallowing makeup is only going to make the child push back in an even more rebellious manner, which will bring them down the path of the phony or insane even faster.
Case 3: this one's simple. if you really think your daughter is trying to get attention from boys, let her PLEASE just stay with makeup. disallow that, and they start to get inventive, creative, and improvisational. you know, like showing off more skin, or mistakenly forgetting that rainy days are not white T-shirt days and "accidentally" getting drenched, or just copping a feel on a guy and motioning for him behind the bleachers (the direct rebellious approach). banning makeup isn't going to solve the problem... showing footage of how every male is an asshole and how alone she's going to be just might. hand her a korn CD and a sketch pad. that'll keep her a virgin much longer, since the guys who are into that are much more afraid to approach them... takes longer.
Case 4: this one's also simple: you stop a girl's method of being an individual, they'll move to more drastic measures... like making an art of pissing you or the police department off. face it, kids want to be "different" because it's "trendy" to do so in some circles. wearing makeup that parents react in a shocking manner is what they want from you. you want to know what the best reaction is? indifference. the reason is because you need to explain to them that the real world doesn't give a shit how "individual" they are, and the sooner they catch on to that reality, the sooner they can prove how "awesome" they are via normal means, like staying low-maintenance or efficient at a job. but wait... what if it isn't the goth style they're going for? what if they just want their identity to be defined by the pretty makeup they wear? to that i ask this question: what difference does it make? they've already taken a major step in learning how to live free from the social acceptance prison that so many others live in, so just let whatever happen, happen.
i hear parents say "well, with makeup on, people will think she looks like a whore." to that, i have 2 responses:
1. how is that any different than when a grown woman does it? so many women put makeup on, but they're not whores. how is it any different with your daughter? makeup doesn't make you look like a whore; acting like a whore makes you look like a whore.
2. sounds to me like you're starved for social acceptance yourself... to the level of pressuring your own child into acting in a certain unrewardable way to escape your own insecurity. you're a self-centered asshole.
how about you focus on something worth teaching about with your child rather than bitching about such an irrelevant appearance extender/concealer. they're already wearing a mask... doing it physically isn't going to make the problem any worse.