Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Discussing Make-up with my Daughter

Ever since my daughter started watching me put on make-up, I have been pondering how best to explain  why I wear it.   I don't want her to feel like women need make up to be beautiful. But then that begs the question, why do I wear make-up?  The honest answer is because I like how I look better with make-up.  But I don't want my daughter at age 4 to hear that message.  I don't ever want her to hear that message.  I want her to feel beautiful as she is.  I hate that I set the example every day of trying to change how I look to feel more beautiful.  What sort of message is that? 

Well, the other day it happened.  Miss M. asked me why I use make-up.  And in the moment I came up with an answer that I am proud of.   I handed her a make-up brush so that she could pretend to put on make-up with me while we talked.

"Why do you like to wear dress up clothes sometimes," I asked?

"Because it is fun to feel fancy."  

"Exactly.  But do you like to wear those clothes all the time?" 

"No, because you can't ride bikes in dress up clothes". 

"That's right.  Make-up is the same way.  I like to wear make-up because it makes me feel fancy.  But I don't like to wear it all the time.  I don't wear it when I swim or exercise and sometimes I don't wear it because I am not in the mood.  Or I don't have time.  Sometimes it is fun to dress up and sometimes it's fun not too."  

Not bad, right?  I think she accepted the reasoning and now I have been making an effort to not wear makeup more often.  

Friday, June 15, 2012

My Cross Dressing (?) Daughter.

Spiderman Silver Silhouette Juvenile T-Shirt

Buddy got a bunch of hand-me-downs the other day and Miss M. was very excited to claim the Spiderman shirt.  She was exuberant in it.  But when I picked her up from preschool she was a little subdued.  

"Did everyone love your Spiderman shirt," I asked?  
"Everyone said I looked like a boy".  What? I couldn't believe what I was hearing.  She is in a class with three and four-year-olds.  How is this happening already?

"Well, that is the silliest thing I've ever heard.  You know that Spiderman is for everyone not just boys, right?"  

"Yeah, I do," she said and skipped off to the car.  Clearly, she was not as upset as I was.  But I couldn't just let it go.  

"Who said you look like a boy?" 
"Oh, A. and S. (two three-year-old girls).  The boys liked the shirt though".  
"well, I like the shirt too.  It is awesome!"

I let it go at this point.  At least I stopped talking to her about it.  But, it still makes me mad.  How can the-year-old girls already have such firm gender lines in their head?  It is so depressing.  And Miss M. hasn't worn the shirt to school since.  She does wear it around the house.  

I am curious if it was the cut of the shirt that made it a "boy shirt" or the superhero.  If I was richer I would buy her a shirt like this so we could do an experiment.  What do you think was it the boxy T-shirt that made Miss M. look like a boy or the spiderman?  

Spiderman Crawl Baby Tee