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What age should girls wear make-up?

March 8th, 2008 / 54 Comments

face mask

I was at the high school today teaching a freshmen class. The girls in the class are about 15 years old. But I swear, some of them look like they can be 25! The amount of makeup they wear is why cosmetics is a billion dollar industry.

I suppose we have the Paris Hiltons and the Brittany Spears to blame for girls’ precocious behavior today.

What can we do about it? Do we just say “girls will be girls”?

Here is what I’ve done in guiding my daughter about make-up:

1. I try to keep my children’s innocence as long as possible by not exposing them to the media that shows young girls dressing and acting like adults. They don’t need magazines and TV shows telling them to be adults before their time. They only have at most 18 years to be young, but they will have 50+ years to be adults! Why let them rush into acting, dressing and looking like adults? We don’t buy or subscribe to teen magazines or celebrity magazines like People. We use the TV for educational shows only (Jeopardy is my personal favorite!).

2. Have an outsider talk to your daughter. My friend is a Jafra consultant. I asked her to do a Jafra party with my daughter and her friends on skin care and makeup. She showed them how to put light make-up on for every day, and a little more for special occasions. None of that thick heavy make-up please! The party was fun, informative, and much better coming from someone else other than the mom.

3. We bring into our conversation positive female role models in the news instead of talking about crazy celebrity gossips that inundates the news. For a school project to write a biography, my daughter did a report on Condoleezza Rice. Oprah Winfrey has used her celebrity to be a generous philanthropist and a crusader for human rights. Sports figures like Dorothy Hamill and Jackie Joyner-Kersee are much better role models than the ones we see on the news.

When my daughter was in the 8th grade, she asked me about wearing make-up. On a special occasion she wore lipstick, a little mascara and eye shadow. That sticky feel of make-up does take getting used to. She didn’t want to bother with it after that.

My main emphasis with my daughter was skin care. She learned to take care of her face with a good cleansing and moisturizer. She liked the feeling of that better than make-up.

I know that even though you may discourage make-up at home, girls will find ways to put it on at school. I’ve seen them borrow their friend’s make-up. If your daughter wants to wear make-up so badly, I don’t think it is a hill worth dying on. Instead of fighting them, join them and show them the correct ways to apply make-up. I highly recommend asking a Jafra consultant to help them do it right using quality products that will not ruin their skin.

Photo by annia316

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  1. I think it’s too much to wear mascara at 6th grade.
    At your age, why bother with make-up when you can be just be a kid having fun with friends, sports, etc.? It’s about building confidence in yourself with who you are, not what you look like.

  2. Whoa! You are way to up tight. You need to loosen up a bit or your kid is eventually going to hate you… People need to be treated with respect and this is plain unfair!

  3. When I was in 7th grade I tried to wear eyeliner. When my mom saw me she had a fit. I got it from a 5th grade friend. I tried it two more times until I heard “that” tone in my mothers voice that was not any I urge you not to wear it to I said no to it was cussing i’m get my a** wore out. That was it until I was 22. I then only wore eyeliner and lip gloss. My boyfriend saw me one day and asked, what is that blue sh** on your eyes? I stopped. Then I realized how beautiful my skin was, with his help and to this day, lip gloss & eyeliner is all I wear on special occasions. I get so many compliments on my skin and how it glows and how radiant it is. I’m beautiful without it. That is what try to tell my 11 year old cousin whose skin is even more beAutiful than mine. I am a light skinned African AmericAn 43 year old women and I love the skin i’m in!

  4. By the way, I don’t have children & would forbid my daughter to wear it.


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