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Whoa, Momma!

Sharon Kennedy Wynne, Tracey Henry and Suzannah DiMarzio

What age should a girl wear makeup?



mom_kidmakeup1.jpgI have several friends wrestling with the issue of makeup. And it always seems like their daughters are the opposite of the mothers. If mom is a girly-girl who can't wait to hit the makeup counter, the daughter is a tomboy. If mom still doesn't wear makeup to this day, her fifth grader wants to vogue it up.

Then there's the issue of when to start. One mom I know is adamant that her 11 year old won't have a drop of makeup until she's 13. Others say 16, and some say this is just not a battle worth fighting. I think I may have found a compromise position.

My friend's 11 year old is begging her since "all the girls" at her middle school are wearing makeup and she thinks she looks like a baby compared to them. While I don't think every last kid but her is slathered in Revlon, I do know that a lot of middle school girls and even fifth grade girls do start extreme makeovers at this age.

My suggestion:  Why don't you compromise and give her one thing per year and let her pick it. Foundation, mascara, lipstick, eyeliner. She only gets one for now and she has to show you that she can put it on appropriately and not slather it on like clown makeup. If she proves that she can do it appropriately, when she's 12 she can have two things, at 13 three things and so on. This is how my mom did it and as a result I never went through that phase of smearing on a lot of makeup because I learned how to use it right. 

Middle school is a time where girls are very self conscious so I would resist having a battle like this if you can instead steer it in the direction where you can both be happy.

Epilogue:  My friend liked the idea and decided to start with tinted lip gloss. If she's responsible with it they'll move onto a muted eye shadow. I think she should have let the kid choose because that would be more of a true compromise, but her daughter is happy.

~ Sharon Kennedy Wynne

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(That's a kid from Toddlers & Tiaras where tots get makeup)

[Last modified: Sunday, September 26, 2010 9:20pm]


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