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.