Some of the best conversations start out under 140 characters.
Recently, I saw this tweet flash into my timeline :
Question for y'all why do some ladies cake on the make up? Most of the time they look better without 18 coats
I replied with: Because somewhere along the way, someone made them feel bad about the way they looked. Tell them they're beautiful!
I was having this conversation with men, but it made me think about how we impact our daughters, how our husbands impact us, and how we as women impact one another.
We’ve all had these thoughts before, it’s not like I have something new or brilliant to say on the topic, but the reality is, we need to hear that we’re beautiful. It’s easy for our hearts to fall prey to the opposite – we hear that we’re unattractive, and we believe it, but tell us we’re beautiful and we’ll call you a liar.
Lots of people will blame the media. Movies, magazines, television – there are women used in those venues who are, in the minds of many, beautiful. They become the image, the icon, of what other women want to appear to be. Women want to be voluptuous, but not heavy. They want to have fabulous hair, great skin, long, strong fingernails. Women with curly hair want straight, and those with straight hair get perms. We buy hair color, nail polish, foundations, eye shadows, mascaras – for heavens sake, even our eyelashes fall short!
Here’s the thing, though – this isn’t new. This same phenomenon has been going on for centuries. Images from ancient Egypt show eyes lined with kohl, other cultures around the world have used cosmetics in some form or another to “improve” their appearance.
I’m not adverse to makeup. I sell cosmetics and skin care products via Avon. I use foundations, lipsticks, mascaras, etc on my own face, albeit not every day. Not even most days. But that’s a function of my own laziness, not some aversion to the products or their purpose. But I have to wonder if, by using them at all, I’m in some way reinforcing a negative in my own daughter.
What are your thoughts on this? How do you feel about makeup – are you a daily wearer, a “special occasion” girl, or never ever? What age do you think is appropriate for younger girls to start wearing any, and what would you start with? And how do you reinforce the concept of personal beauty without makeup for your little ladies?