Makeup for a 10 year old?! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 20 Old 08-26-2003, 11:13 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My husband's niece had her tenth birthday party this past weekend, and I was shocked by some of the gifts she received. Her grandmother (dh's mom) got her makeup! And her mother (dh's sister) got her this cream to thin out her eyebrows so she wouldn't have to get them waxed!!! My own dd is still just a baby, so I'm not really in touch with ten year olds, but is this totally outrageous or is it just me? Does anyone here let their own dds worry about that stuff at such an early age?

BTW, we got her a make-your-own lip gloss set, and thought that was pretty grown-up for a ten year old!
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#2 of 20 Old 08-26-2003, 11:22 AM
 
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that's so sad! though it's not uncommon. my sister used to teach 5th-6th grade in a ritzy suburb and the girls had acrylic nails and hair extensions, dye jobs, $300 purses, and expensive makeup.
when i was about 10 i had one of those make your own lip gloss kits and it was fun. but i didn't get to wear it to school, could only wear clear gloss.
it really scares me how our kids are pushed to be little adults. it makes me want to keep my dd in the house FOREVER! :LOL
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#3 of 20 Old 08-27-2003, 01:10 AM
 
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My dd is 12 and will be 13 in Nov and wears no makeup. She has painted her nails before and worn makeup. Both of these were when friends brought the makeup to our house when they spent the night.

ITA about girls being pressured to grow up too fast. Every now and then, my dd will ask why and/or when can she wear makeup. I still haven't come up with a satisfactory answer for that one. I don't wear makeup so it's not in the house for her to experiment with or anything.

When my dd attended public school last year, many of her friends didn't wear makeup but lots of other girls her age did. I guess some of it has to do with who they hang around with and other influences.

Well, I'm not sure what my point is. I think I lost it somewhere up above.
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#4 of 20 Old 08-30-2003, 07:22 PM
 
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it's hardly uncommon, though my daughter is almost ten and wouldn't be interested in the least. her ten year old cousin, however, is very excited to go to her grandmother's hairdresser (who, they claim, is also celine dion's hairdresser, woo hoo), had highlights in her hair at nine and comes to our house (now very rarely) with those high heeled sandals, purses and so on. she is also incapable of playing anymore, and is excruciatingly self-conscious. ten-thirteen is supposed to be that awkward stage, or the tomboy stage, or whatever, not the legwaxing stage.

though I must say that almost twenty years ago when I was in seventh grade there were twelve year old girls waxing, wearing makeup to school, having sex and so on. and of course there were plenty who weren't. fwiw the lip gloss kit seems to be a fairly standard six-or-seven year old present these days. :
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#5 of 20 Old 09-02-2003, 07:03 PM
 
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Fwiw: Just because something is "commonly" done doesn't make it right or appropriate.

Let's take some practical points first:

Letting a little girl wear high heeled sandals just increases the likelihood that she will (1) break her ankle even younger than if she started wearing them in high school or older and (2) she will start shortening her achillies tendon even younger. Ever see old women who HAVE to wear high heeled slippers because their legs hurt if they wear flats? Well, it's because their tendons were shortened by not having to stretch them out by wearing flats for most of their lives.

Giving her makeup to wear exposes her to a whole boatload of lovely pigments and 'vehicles' for the pigments that usually are made out of metals and petroleum products. This is very true of all those lip products. Lip gloss is mostly petroleum jelly. Calling it vaseline does NOT change the fact that when you eat, you're getting a petroleum product into your mouth. This stuff gets into the mouth and eyes, gets inhaled and if the lips crack, can get into the bloodstream.

Nail polish has lots of toxic fume-laden substances AND the above mentioned pigments. Ummm. Formaldehyde. Xylene. Loooovely. And SO pretty.:

And, even if none of these things causes cancer or whathaveyou, she could get an allergic reaction. If you cd'ed because you don't want to let your dd be in contact with gels and perfumes, why would you let her/encourage her to wear makeup?

Now, an, apparently, old-fashioned perspective. NOT a hijack, please read to the end. (Might as well tell you, I am 37.) My mother was a clothes horse and ALWAYS wore makeup. HOWEVER, rules about what I could and couldn't wear were pretty set. The main thing was that all clothing is drag (my phrase, NOT my mother's ). That is, clothing is a costume. Whether you like it or not, clothing sends a message. This is true for men and women. So, I regard clothing as a "uniform" or "drag", dressing for a role.

Regardless of what the "fashion dictates" or "well, it is in all the stores" or whatever, you STILL have to evaluate the message clothes are sending. (And, before I get any further, I've got to say, No, I don't think any clothing "invites" attacks...nor will preventing a daughter from dressing like Lolita keep her from being molested...that is not a "role" that is a tragedy. I'm just sticking this in because I've had conversations about this topic with people who claim that I'm saying that if you dress sexy you're 'asking for it' -- which I'm not.)

I do not dress to 'express myself'; I let my mouth do that for me.

Messages I usually think about are: the Eve Arden (she was in Our Miss Brooks and a whole bunch of movies) suits I wear to the office. No jewelry. A practical Timex watch with a black leather band. A solid color hairband or my hair in a bun. No makeup. Practical. Elegant with no attention drawn to something obviously expensive. Not a "mini-man" suit. Definately female. Whether or not I approve of it, the guys I work with are NOT going to totally ignore the fact I'm female. So, I dress a bit for power plays. This can be a way to set other people a bit on edge. I sometimes find this handy in negotiating sessions and other meetings. I work in a fairly adversarial business.

When I go out on a job site, I dress for THAT occasion (I keep a change of clothes at the office): generously man-tailored khaki trousers with pockets for various equipment I need to stick in them, men's style tailored shirts, steel toed boots, hard hat, same watch. No jewlery. No makeup. Nothing that'll get caught in machinery.

At home, hosting my annual winter party: Dressed to the nines as much like Mae West as possible, and I get my hair done the afternoon of. Three inch lavender suede heels or whatever I think goes with whatever clevage-enhancing dress I've got on. Old fashioned garter belt in red lace and fancy silk (not nylon) stockings. Some Beauty Without Cruelty or Dr. Haushka's makeup.

When I was a child (and, yes, I think nine or ten or eleven is a child), I wore simple, conservative dresses and trousers. No bikinis. No heels until I was 12. And then no higher than 1". And no decoration on the shoes, only solid colors. (Went to schools with uniforms, so I didn't need as big a wardrobe as some might have.) Lots of times the dresses I wore were variations on the "middy blouse" or "sailor suit". I think you could safely describe these as modest clothes. Cloting appropriate to the task. Gym clothes for sports. Hiking boots for backpacking, etc. etc.

When I was 12, I was earning quite a bit of money from babysitting and other odd jobs and my mother started letting me wear more daring things as long as I purchased them myself and as long as I wore them only to appropriate places. Not to school. Not out with girlfriends. Even if the friends were wearing the "chippy" stuff (as my mother called it: ). So, I learned how to put it together to look, when I wanted to and was mentally prepared for it, at least 24 or 25. I kid you not. And I went out with my mother to jazz clubs and all sorts of places that children didn't go. (I had been going along to NOW meetings and lots of other adult places, but these were different. These were "adult" because of the presence of "sins" like alcohol, not "adult" because of possibly being over one's head intellectually.) But, I also learned the power of "a role" and how nice it is to be able to slip out of one role and into another doing something as simple as changing your clothes.

I also had a BAD experience with this. My mother felt my eyebrows needed to be heavily waxed as they made my "face look dirty" in her opinion. The fashion then was thin brows and that's also what suited her. That did not suit my face but that's what I was given and when I stopped plucking them six years later after she had nothing more to say about it, they didn't grow back. So, now I live with her aesthetic on my face.

And I think encouraging little girls to absorb only one role, or to go into a role too early without understanding all the other stuff that goes along with it is really dangerous.

edited for a spelling error.
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#6 of 20 Old 09-02-2003, 08:06 PM
 
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My dd is almost 14. She has been using nail polish sometimes for probably 2 years. Doesn't really wear makeup but she does have some natural makeup in neutral tones to experiment with. Didn't really have a 10-13 year old "stage" or anything, but maybe that is a product of homeschool?

In general I dont think that play makeup is that big of a deal. Now the eye brow creme, I don't think so. But I see play makeup as similar to stage makeup. No one wears it out. It's a form of dress up or playing a part.

I actually think that pushing girls to grow up too fast starts much earlier than this and is more dangerous. Teasing young kids (even 5 year olds arg!) about having "boyfriends and girlfriends" does much much more damage than a little play makeup does. I'd love to see a general call to stop that. Then maybe we wont have to deal with the sexy clothes being manufactured?
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#7 of 20 Old 09-02-2003, 10:59 PM
 
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I would be very upset if anyone gave my daughter make-up as present when she is older, because I think it sends the message "you aren't good enough the way you are, you need make-up to enhance you" That is not the message I want my daughter to get. If my dd wants make-up herself, and asks to play with it for fun, that is one thing, but I would also really talk to her and help her realize that she doesn't need make-up to enhance her looks. She is perfect, just the way she is.

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#8 of 20 Old 09-02-2003, 11:34 PM
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I guess I have pretty laid back girls in this regard. my older 2 dd's are 12 and 10, and they play around with nail polish and occasionally make-up, but it has always been so sweet and innocent. I think they enjoy it just because they like to see themselves look a different way, just like they still like to play dress up with costumes and play silks. At a sleepover a couple years ago, I let them and their friends do a whole spa-facial-makeup thing and they loved it! It was the cutest thing. They were so genuinely enjoying the exploration! It did not lead to constant makeup wearing, or waxing or hair dyeing or anything like that.

All that said, my girls know that the only makeup worn outside the house is clear lip gloss, and sometimes they use that sparkly stuff on their cheeks, but only very rarely. I really think my not making a huge deal about it, and allowing them to experiment, has taken the mystery out of it. I also monitor who they hang out with and I'm glad they have never had the type of friends who use the stuff. And I always make none-to-subtle comments when I see a very young girl dressed and made up beyound their age. Watching the first episode of "American Juniors" provided enough teachable moments in that regard to last quite a while!
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#9 of 20 Old 09-02-2003, 11:36 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by smittenmom
but is this totally outrageous
YES!! My daughter is 10 and wants to wear make-up like her friend down the street. NO WAY! I told her when she's 18 she can wear make-up all she wants. :LOL Personally, I don't believe in wearing it at all and I hope she at least waits till she's an older teen. But at 10, NO WAY!
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#10 of 20 Old 09-03-2003, 12:21 AM
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Rain has a whole case full of makeup for shows, because even kids wear makeup on stage. She's 10. Off-stage, she sometimes wears lip gloss (which I encourage, because her lips get really dry so anything she'll put on them is good in my book) and glitter gel, and she almost always wears nail polish. She's loved nail polish for years, and generally does cool stuff like stripes and dots and flowers with it, and uses nontraditional colors. For her, it's all about using her creativity to express herself, she definitely does her own thing. For a while it was hair dye- when she was 7 and 8 her hair was blue, then green, then bright pink - but when she got into theater she stopped, since there aren't many pars available for green-haired kids. None of her friends were dyeing their hair then (some did it after she did), and none of them do he nails thing, and for her it's not about being "grown-up" or part of the crowd.

I rarely wear makeup, can't stand nail polish (it makes my fingers feel smothered), and have wash 'n' wear hair. So it's not from me...

I think it's cool that she's so comfortable with her physical self that she's able to play with her appearance and draw attention to her "personal art". I guess the difference is that she doesn't see it as trying to make herself look "better", but "different". It would be boring for me to have to wear the same clothes every day, it's sort of the same idea...

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#11 of 20 Old 09-07-2003, 12:59 PM
 
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wow- since dd was little, she always choose "themes" with her clothes- like, all polka dots, or all blue. no matter whether it went together well or not, i would let her choose her clothes as long as they were: clean, warm, and had no holes.

we have no t.v., and that has been a big help in the area of influence of her appearance. it has solely been on her imagination and immediate contact with friends and family.

instead of having some arbitrary age to give her as an answer for questions about shaving and wearing make up, or even plucking her eyebrows, i have always used our conversation about it as an indication of when she seemed ready. it is about where she is coming from. and talking about what it means to be wearing make up etc.

she never seemed to be prematurely wanting to do anything, so it hasn't been a problem so far.

our household is big on women's rights and resisting the push in society to be sexy all the time, but, at the same time, we are women, and i don't want to unrealistically deny that fact, and that feeling beautiful and sexy at some point in our life, is a good thing.

we talk about that, and what it means. and does she want to relay sexy or smart or what?

i think my point is that it is all about the communication, and if your chiild is exposed to media at a young age, be prepared to deal with that push.

i don't know what her choices would be had media been a part of her life as it is to most children her age by now.

no one answer is true for everybody imo.
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#12 of 20 Old 09-15-2003, 09:39 PM
 
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My DD is just nearing two, but I think I would let her play at home if she wanted, and not wear makeup out (at ten). I remember in junior high wanting to start wearing makeup and having a talk with my dad about it. He was saying no and trying to explain why, and it left me very unsatisfied. He said makeup is worn to make you "attractive" (actually had me filling in the quotes), and what you want to attract is "boys", and I was too young to want to attract boys. I was just telling him what he wanted to hear and agreeing with him. Really, attracting boys was not my primary motive but I also didn't think I was too young to want to attract them.

Not sure what my point is here, as I certainly agree with all of you that ten is too young, but a sort-of-relevant story FWIW.

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#13 of 20 Old 09-16-2003, 10:26 AM
 
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I have spent much of my life as the only female among a bunch of males. Sometimes (when I was a good deal younger), it was 'in disguise' when the guys didn't know I was female. (Not my deception, but they didn't bother to ask and they couldn't tell by looking at me at the time.) Therefore, I have been privy to a lot of "boys will be boys" talk and some of that was distinctly eyeopening.

Most guys like to see women with wet lips. Ergo, they like the look of lip gloss. Many of them don't want to actually touch it , but the look is a turn on. Wet implies lubrication or 'hunger'. Really slick and glossy stuff, expecially if pearlized or irridescent in some way, reminds them of semen, especially if clear or pale. Matte finish lip stuff doesn't do much, unless it is red. Lots of guys want blow jobs from someone wearing bright red lipstick.

Some of these insights were discussed with my father (who had early on told me that men gossip just as much as women and they usually gossip about women and a real gentleman keeps his mouth shut, but you don't know who one is unless you get to listen to them in the men's room) who, though he felt uncomfortable with discussing such graphic things, was willing to talk. These days, I have come to consider the above as "proven" and no longer "a theory".

Just something to consider.
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#14 of 20 Old 09-16-2003, 04:59 PM
 
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My 5 yr. old likes "dress up" and playing with my cast-off purses, shoes, etc. and we do pale pink polishes on her toes only. I so want her to be the bold strong girl she is without come-hither lip gloss. Despite efforts to shield her from the media onslaught she (somehow) strongly desires popular items like "Bratz" dolls which are the antithesis of how we live. All I can do is encourage modesty and not play into "the other girls are doing it". The hypersexualization of our girls is and epidemic. Where do we draw the line between "pretty" in an age-appropriate sense and "tarty 10 year olds" ? I am the queen of my home and all we can do is consistently affirm our children's inherent positive physical qualities and do not cheese out and buy the items that make our girls "mini Britney's ". THIS IS NOT OK. That's the theory; now what's the practical application?
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#15 of 20 Old 09-17-2003, 02:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by sohj

Most guys like to see women with wet lips. Ergo, they like the look of lip gloss. Many of them don't want to actually touch it , but the look is a turn on. Wet implies lubrication or 'hunger'. Really slick and glossy stuff, expecially if pearlized or irridescent in some way, reminds them of semen, especially if clear or pale. Matte finish lip stuff doesn't do much, unless it is red. Lots of guys want blow jobs from someone wearing bright red lipstick.
Even if this is all true (and I think drawing generalizations about what turns a guy on is vastly oversimplifying things), is it right for girls or women to *not* wear these things, een though they want to, just to avoid turning guys on? I think any time we chose what to wear or not to wear based on what someone else thinks, we give away our power. Rain likes glittery lip gloss because *she* likes how it looks, and she doesn't care what anyone else thinks. She just got a plaid jumper-type dress that she wore to an audition with a white shirt, ponytails, black jazz boots, and lip gloss. I suppose a lot of pedophiles would be turned on, but I don't think she should change what she wears because of that.

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#16 of 20 Old 09-17-2003, 10:55 AM
 
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Dar, you asked "is it right for girls or women to *not* wear these things, even though they want to, just to avoid turning guys on?"

That is a great question. And I asked it of myself many many times and STILL ask it occasionally.

And my answer these days is not simple. It depends on the context and the self-esteem of the girl or woman in question. Context for me might be at work...on a construction site telling some guy (almost always a guy, only been on three sites that had a female carpenter/lather/dockworker) what to do. In that context, I really don't want the guy to be distracted -- I just want him to do the job right, and I know that just being a female and making him uncomfortable by me being there (he feels like he can't just go pee behind the scaffolding rather than go up top to the porta-san, for example), he is somewhat distracted. So, I do a lot of things to lessen this, some of them being the way I dress. (Otoh, if I dress this way when visiting a friend who is a lesbian, she finds that look sooooo sexy that I am a total distraction to her. ) I don't feel like I'm giving up any power. I am gaining it. I make sure he does just what he is supposed to, I am getting stuff done and don't make any enemies doing it. And I am valued at my (mostly male) firm. And I periodically reinforce the idea of a woman doing whatever she is good at and wants to do to whoever gives me an opening. (Sometimes these openings are meant to make me feel insulted but I manage to turn them around and make people laugh and get the point at the same time...like the guy who said "Barefoot, pregnant, and baking apple pie, that's what a woman's supposed to be doing." To which I replied, "Tommy, there's exactly ONE job and ONLY one job that is specifically a man's job....jerking off....'cause if a woman does it, it's a hand job!" -- cue the rim shot --)

Is it "right" that they feel uncomfortable with me there? No. Do I care? Only insofar as it might prevent me getting my job done. Should I change their minds? I think I am doing so just by being there every day and becoming part of the 'scenery' so to speak. They have to get used to me and it'll be easier for the next woman they have to work with, and so on. Do I care that I might not get to wear the clothing I like best? Well, considering that the t-shirt I like best is a bit of homoerotica that even makes my husband a little uncomfortable, I think I can safely leave it at home without thinking that the world is unfair.

If you can stand reading any more: another context. I'm out at a nightclub and am dressed in full-sexy regalia. Which kind of makeup face do I put on? Well, as this is something I cannot see without looking in the mirror, I am not doing this for "myself". I am doing it for the reactions I get from other people who are strangers and are operating on superficial indicators and are, consciously or not, on the prowl...it IS a nightclub, after all. And, because of that, I don't wear something that in any way puts me in a sexually "subservient" (ie: "bottom") position (no pun intended, but, if the shoe fits...: ). So, I wear a dominant "look". That means, I send a message. And it is a kind of power message. Just as at work I didn't want to make people more uncomfortable, in this situation I like walking on a little bit of an edge and making some guy trying to hit on me feel a little uneasy. It is visual communication. It isn't for my feelings, but other peoples' and I don't regard it as art, either, but I know some people who could probably make a case for the latter.

All I'm saying here is that, like it or not, people DO react to superficial things. I think that should be accepted and even possibly embraced as another means of communication. But, that means understanding the local language. That is why we, in another context entirely, have standardized spelling and grammer...so we are all working from that same language and can get on with the communicating.
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#17 of 20 Old 09-17-2003, 11:47 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by sohj
Most guys like to see women with wet lips.
Also, it is my understanding that the purpose of lipstick is to make the facial lips represent the labial lips when they are excited, and engorged with blood - therefore very red.

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#18 of 20 Old 09-20-2003, 12:51 AM
 
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I love the explanation that my mother gave me regarding makeup use when I was a kid. She told me that God made little girls so naturally pretty, with rosy cheeks, pink lips, and sparkling eyes that they didn't NEED makeup like grownup women did. I completely bought into this and felt more than a tinge of pride at my young "natural" beauty, and thus held off at least a couple of extra years before bugging my mother about lipstick, etc. The earliest and most earnest discussion I remember having with her on this sort of topic was begging to start shaving my legs after my first junior high gym class.
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#19 of 20 Old 09-20-2003, 11:16 AM
 
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Oh wow, the shaving discussion. One of the most embarrassing times of my life. My mother shaved my legs FOR ME with a noisy electric razor, five other kids and my dad in the house. Then I continued to use the noisy electric thing for several months. I would blast the radio in my room before starting b/c I was so self-conscious. Then I found out my younger sister had just helped herself to a disposable razor from my parents' bathroom so I switched to doing that and was much happier.

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#20 of 20 Old 09-21-2003, 02:41 AM
 
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*sigh* I wasn't interested in makeup until I turned thirteen. No... actually, it was when I started middle school. I was eleven. Little girls are growing up too soon these days.
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