Should children wear make up?

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To many dads with daughters, make-up is a complete mystery. I include myself in this. As the only man in my household, I am at a great disadvantage. With my kids having reached an age where they’re getting curious about make up, I increasing find myself in a position that leaves me confused. Why confused? Well, I am not sure children should wear make up yet I find it amusing because it’s often funny when they do.

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Set the challenge of applying make up to daddy’s face, here is Helen’s effort.

Truth be told, Helen and Izzy discovered make-up some time ago. Mrs Adams, you see, rarely puts her make-up away. As a result, the kids would frequently stumble across her make up and sneak off with it. They’d re-appear shortly afterwards with all manner of stuff smeared over their faces.

Personally speaking, I have always found this very funny. I mean you know, if Mrs Adams isn’t going to put her make-up away she can’t complain too much when her young, curious daughters go to town with her Max Factor, Rimmel and Clarins products.

Strangely, Mrs Adams doesn’t appreciate it when I laugh at the sight of our kids with expensive blusher smeared over their faces, hands and clothes. I get the impression I’m supposed to disapprove because make up is very expensive. Unfortunately for my wife I’m a bit mischievous.

Okay, so that’s why I find the situation amusing. Getting serious for a moment, should children wear make up at all? Are Mrs Adams and I being a bit too liberal? I certainly get the impression other parents with primary school aged children discourage their offspring from using it.

Are they a bit young for this? Does it encourage an unhealthy approach to their appearance, body positivity and self-esteem or are they simply young girls having a bit of fun?

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Izzy, meanwhile, simply caked my face with whatever she could find.

I have to be honest, having a six and 10-year-old who like make-up doesn’t sit entirely comfortably with me. At the same time, I am realistic to the fact they would, at some point, have discovered make-up anyway.

Let me make it crystal clear. They don’t wear make up to school. In fact, they only really wear make up when they’re playing. Fed up the kids using her cosmetics, Mrs Adams has bought them a little make-up kit in the hope her own considerably more expensive products will be left alone.

I simply have no idea what age most kids get into make-up. It’s all a bit of an unknown to me. I guess it’s one of those issues that a dad with daughters is going to face at some point. 

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My wife thought what the kids had done was hilarious, She then realised most of this had been done using one of her expensive eye liners and decided it wasn’t quite so funny after all.

My initial reaction, is to think; “this is daft, you don’t need make-up, in fact you’ll never need make up.” When girls see their mothers and other female role models wearing make-up they’re clearly going to think very differently about it.

I make no secret of the fact I’ve always been into my skincare. Skincare, to me, is simply part of leading a healthy lifestyle. Cosmetics, however, is a totally different thing altogether. They’re a predominantly female thing and I have no idea what to think of my daughters having an interest in them.

What do you think? Should children wear make up? Is there an age where it’s acceptable for kids to show an interest in make-up? Should it be discouraged completely? What do you think? Do leave a comment below or let me know via one of my social channels where you’ll find me as @dadbloguk.

Post added to #ThatFridayLinky hosted the DIYDaddy and Twin Mummy and Daddy blogs.

6 thoughts on “Should children wear make up?”

  1. As you know John I have older daughters, one of them definitely would not been seen without make-up on, the other one on the other hand has a more natural look and is not so important.
    I personally don’t have a problem with girls or boys wearing make-up at an appropriate age which for me is high school onwards, back in the day I was known to use a bit of eye-liner etc.
    Skin care is important but as long as your kids are using quality and not crap from Poundland then I feel it’s ok. I will say wearing make-up really doesn’t in my opinion send out the wrong messages if it makes a person feel better about themselves then that’s fine with me. You have almost inspired me to write about this subject.
    Very Interesting views mate.
    Good read as always

    1. Yeah, there is the issue of people maybe feeling better about themselves if they wear make up. It can be a positive but I do worry about my kids getting a message that it’s a ‘must have.’ I do also like the idea of you in eye liner Nigel. These days you can get ‘guy liner’ (so I’m told. You’ll understand I’ve never worn it, right???).

  2. Good topic. But a tricky one. You should write a book about it or something.
    As a big mad feminist I really struggle with make up. I have plenty of female friends who will tell you that they like make up and they certainly don’t do it for anyone other than themselves etc. But the make up industry is undoubtedly built on insecurities, right? And I don’t want my kids to have those sorts of insecurities. BUT, it’s inevitable that they will I guess.
    My 11-year-old has quite a bit of make up that she’s collected because it comes free with magazines like Shout and Top of the Pops (which I heartily endorse, they are both pretty good at presenting positive messages and role models. They are also great if you like Little Mix – I’m not terribly fussed, B*witched are more my vintage – because they are in every edition). And she likes to put it on if we’re going out for dinner or something like that.
    I think the big worry is that one looks down on make-up and that’s interpreted as looking down on it because it’s associated with women. And also I’m concerned that I’ll end up giving my daughter insecurities etc just because I don’t approve of so much associated with growing up – make-up, going on her phone all the time etc.
    Basically, being a dad is not straightforward.

  3. I played with kid makeup when I was small, though I couldn’t leave the house in it. It wasn’t until mid high school that I ever wore it to school. But makeup is a lot of effort so I quickly gave it up and rarely wear it now! #ThatFridayLinky

  4. Jo - Pickle & Poppet

    It’s tough isn’t it. I remember as a kid my mum would put her eye shadow on me when I was playing if I asked. I don’t think it encouraged me to ‘wear’ make up. I started wearing make up properly when I went to high school as that’s what everyone did. Now I wear it most days but I will have days where I can’t be bothered and so I don’t.
    My little girl is nearly 3, she has already picked up on the fact I wear make up. She will sit next to me and pick up my brushes and fluff them round her face copying me. She’s asked to wear lipstick and I dab it on her lip making her think she has it on because, well it’s easier than her having a screaming fit. She doesn’t wear make up but she thinks she does. Does that matter?
    There will be a time when it comes up I’m sure and I cannot be against it because I do the same, but I do think it’s important that she wears it because she wants to and not because she thinks she should. #ThatFridayLinky

    1. I think you have said it all in your last sentence there Jo: If they;re going to wear make up, it’s should be because they want to, not because they fell they should.

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