Does Playing Make-Up Lead to Low Self-Esteem and Accelerated Maturity in Young Girls?
Sometimes I forget my daughter is only two-years-old. She has a birthday coming up in August but I want her to stay "baby" for as long as she possibly can so I still refer to her as my two-year-old. Whether two or three, I am amazed daily at how much she has grown into a little lady in such a short amount of time.
Like many toddlers her age, she is obsessed with all the girly things: princesses, bows and especially make-up. I vividly remember one morning thinking, "My goodness her eyelashes are long and dark today." Later that evening, I noticed a black stream dripping down her face when she hurt her toe. She had sneakily applied mascara that morning and was so perfect in her application, I couldn't even tell she had done it except to admire the length and color of her lashes.
I allow her to have her own make-up bag full of play make-up and my almost used up pieces. She carefully applies - only occasionally going wild by putting lipstick on her forehead. Her favorite is sitting very still and quietly while I make her up like a princess and paint her piggies.
Now, don't get me wrong - I'm no pageant mama or 'Honey June Boo Boo' type mother. I don't knowingly let my kid out in public in her freshly made up face. But, in conversation with a colleague, I learned that not all parents allow play make-up or fingernail painting at a young age. This particular parent wouldn't allow his daughter to paint her nails until she started Kindergarten.
I was kind of shocked. I had no idea some parents feel that by allowing young girls to play make-up, you are opening them up to low self-esteem and putting them on the fast track to Grownupsville.
I am always changing up my parenting style because I've never done this before and I'm always learning new things. I'm not opposed to the idea of limiting "grown up things" but I can't say I agree on this one for my daughter.
I think that by allowing her to express her interests and creativity, and not keeping make-up as a big NO NO, she won't obsess over it later. You can't rebel against something that's commonplace. We will, of course, have to decide what age it will be appropriate for her to wear make-up into public. We allow her to wear painted nails into public, currently.
What do you think? Does allowing your child to play with make-up and nail polish lead to low self-esteem and accelerated maturity or is it just good old fashioned fun?