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Slowing down the rush to "grow up" and wear makeup and...

by Traci Schumacher on Wed, 08/28/2013 - 1:22pm

It seems like just the other day she was hosting Oreo and milk “tea parties” for her stuffed animals in the living room. And now she wants her own cell phone, and begs to wear makeup, yearning to be older and “pretty.” At the tender age of 9, my daughter asked me when she will be allowed to wear makeup outside of our house. My initial knee-jerk response was, “when you're in high school,” but I'm not sure that's quite balanced and reasonable.

As it is now, my daughter is allowed to wear makeup while playing as long as we will not be going anywhere. If we do need to go somewhere, the makeup must be removed. And yet sometimes she tries to sneak out with some makeup on.

She says makeup makes her feel pretty. I'm not against makeup itself. But I want my daughter to know that beauty comes from the inside, from a strength of character resulting in love and kindness and generosity. Makeup has nothing on those things. They can't be bought; they must be practiced and nurtured.

I don't remember when I started experimenting with makeup... maybe 7th grade? Certainly not 4th grade. Yes, I know times have changed. Kids do things at younger ages now (she did ask for diamonds for Christmas when she was only 2). They Google their research for homework. And apparently every single one of my daughter's friends has an iPod (thanks a lot, all you other parents out there!).

But earlier, sooner, faster, cooler are not always good things. Why rush it? Sure, it's exciting to feel “big” or different. But there are years ahead to fuss with makeup, and hours upon hours to waste on gadgets.

I want to savor the times when she plays that she's Laura Ingalls in a bonnet and braids. And when she runs around the yard playing with the cat. And when she's scooping a bucket full of pond water in search of living creatures. It's true, we are fast approaching the tween years, but I'll be dragging my feet all the way.

 

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