When Princess was 3 she asked me why I wear make-up. My response, “Because it makes me look pretty.” I obviously didn’t think this response through. A few minutes later she told me that she wanted to wear make up, so she could be pretty too. DING, DING, DING!! Hello this is your brain. We would like to inform you that you have crushed your daughter’s self-esteem forever. Please correct immediately or we will send soul searing guilt levels to you in 5, 4, 3, 2……
I attempted to rectify my mistake by telling her that she is perfect and so lovely that she didn’t need make-up. She is beautiful, precious and all things wise. Mommy wears make-up so she won’t frighten her public.
But, as the years roll forward she continues to beg me to wear make-up and perfume. Since she is only 5 there is no way she’s wearing either. Make up is for Halloween kiddo.
Yesterday morning as I was getting ready for church, she said, “Are you putting on make-up so you won’t scare people Mom?”
Then last night, at bedtime, she came downstairs with bright cheeks and she smelled very strongly of my designer perfume. She had used some of her pajama/teeth brushing time to “freshen up”. So to speak.
As I ponder this situation I can’t help but think I’ve caved to “the man.” I spend hundreds of dollars a year on products that will beautify me. Society tell us that you will be confident and more happy on the days you wear make-up. And I bought it! Hook, line and sinker.
What kind of message does that send to my Princess?
I personnaly think it says, “Do as I say, Not as I do.” And everyone has benefited greatly from that lesson. Right? Right?!
So where do I find balance? How do I show her and tell her that make-up is simply a tool. It can be used for good or evil. That make-up doesn’t enhance your self-esteem. Only you control that. How do I lead by example? How can I build up her self-worth?
This could be her future if I don’t find a way to help her realize her full potential.