My bathroom looks like a miniature Sephora store, partly because my sister works for Sephora, so it's not surprising that my 4-year-old daughter is fascinated by all of my makeup.
One morning, she asked me if little girls could wear makeup, too, and I realized answering her question wasn't that easy.
I remember that as a young girl I had a pale pink Caboodles case full of makeup for my ballet and tap recitals. I loved getting to wear bright red lipstick, fluorescent pink blush, and aqua blue eye shadow when I danced on stage. It was so much fun to put on a special costume and have my mom apply my makeup before my performance.
I felt like a grownup.
When I got to middle school, I wanted to wear makeup everyday, not just for dance recitals. My mom told me that it wasn't appropriate for preteen girls to wear makeup on a daily basis.
She explained that young girls have beautiful, wrinkle-free skin that doesn't require makeup to make it look better. Of course, at the time, I didn't really understand. What were wrinkles?
Back then, I just wanted to wear makeup so I could be like some of my friends whose parents let them wear it.
I remember thinking that wearing makeup would make me feel older, more mature. Also, if my mom allowed me to wear makeup at a younger age, why couldn't I have it on at school?
As an adult, I can now see what a mixed message we send our young girls when it comes to appearances and wearing makeup.
For dance recitals and cheer competitions, we tell girls that it's okay to wear makeup, splash glitter on their faces and pull their hair up in a big bow.
We tell girls that it's alright to get made up before they perform, but not any other time.
With all the emphasis placed on looking good while performing, it's easy to see how some girls get overly concerned with their appearance.
This often creates a fine line that leads to the makeup dilemma. Some girls grow up thinking that they need makeup and fancy hair to look pretty.
Do young girls need to wear makeup? No, but it's not the worst offense a girl can make during her preteen years. Some parents I know say it is a huge issue in their house and place strict rules on their daughters.
This just causes their daughters to rebel and they end up applying makeup after they're out of their parents' sight.
Instead of fighting with our daughters, we should teach them to be proud of how they look and not let makeup choices be a defining factor.
Young girls can wear makeup, but more than anything, they need to know beauty comes from within, and it doesn't matter if they're wearing makeup or not.
Danielle Hauser is a married mother of two who lives in Westchase.