I few months back I was applying make up, which I do rarely to begin with, when I heard a small, sweet voice say, "Mommy, pretty me?" I looked down to see El extending and making grabbing gestures with her hand to receive make up and then pointing at her face. I deduced that she was asking me to make her pretty by applying make up to her already perfect face. I paused for a second as I tried to think of just the right thing to say, "No, baby. You're perfect the way God made you; without makeup." She made a pouty face and let out a "humph" to make sure I knew of her dissatisfaction with my answer and left the room. I continued to apply my makeup.
Later that day a caught a glimpse in the mirror and stood there staring at my reflection. What was I looking at? I do not believe that makeup is evil or necessarily wrong. I actually have no issues with it or if others choose to wear it. My only issues are with MY OWN intentions. Why is Lydia wearing makeup? I have never and to this very day applied make up on a daily basis. I wear it sparingly and on special occasions. The application is very light to barely there. I do love a bright red lip and the winged black eyeliner. My everyday look is no makeup at all. I feel confident in my appearance that I do not feel the need to apply makeup every morning when I wake up. I do like looking all "dolled-up" sometimes too.
Even though I have always been sporadic in my use of makeup, I must have said things to influence my toddler to believe that Makeup is what makes you pretty. So perhaps it is not makeup alone that I need to eliminate. I do not believe that I am unattractive, I do not believe that I am the most gorgeous woman in the world. BUT I do believe that I am beautiful to my Father and to my husband. That's enough for me. So wearing makeup should not be the reason my daughter thinks is where beauty comes from. It's my attitude towards it.
My stance on the matter maybe to monitor my self speech first and see if I am indeed causing confusion on the matter for my daughter. It's easy to throw blame on inanimate objects, but I'm determined to be honest with myself and others. Makeup alone does not encourage low self-esteem or the misguided idea that without it a girl is ugly.
WHAT AM I SAYING ABOUT MYSELF, OUT LOUD, THAT WOULD PLANT THAT IDEA IN MY TODDLER'S HEAD? What am I saying about myself in my mind that would cause me to verbalize comments about my appearance that would induce such thoughts from my child?
That is the real problem here. ME.
I'd like to hear from others on this topic. What do you believe makeup teaches our young girls and boys about beauty, self-esteem, and self-worth? Ladies, do you wear it? If no, why not? Do you believe that you need it to be attractive?
*Please understand that I am be no means judging or shaming. My ultimate intent is always to improve myself and be the very best example to my daughters. I am merely uncertain on how to act concerning this matter and am eager to get opinions from all y'all.
A Girl of Many Hats