Tag Archives: girls and makeup

Why do you wear Makeup?

…asked my 6-year-old daughter.

Well, I know why I wear makeup and I’ll happily make some joke about “putting on my face” or “making sure I don’t scare small children”, but the question really did prompt a bit of a moment for me.  One I needed to work out because I need to make sure I give her the right answer without suggesting that it’s something she HAS to do.

The Truth

I started wearing makeup because my mother made me.  I know that’s a bit of a weird one, but it’s true.  While many of my friend’s parents were confiscating mascara and scraping foundation off their daughter’s faces with a flannel, my mother was putting ‘almost finished but not quite’ bits of makeup on my dresser and cajoling me to try it.

My mum mistook my lack of confidence, my introversion and my immaturity as ugliness.  Which was a bit of a shame, because years later I discovered I wasn’t ugly.  I was even quite pretty.  To her, though, I wasn’t putting on my “face”. I wasn’t pretty enough and this was the reason I wasn’t a better person.

I started wearing foundation around the age of 15 and was wearing it full-time at the age of 17.  I never wore much makeup, in fact most people thought I didn’t wear any, but therein lies the skill of a makeup wearer.

I’ve worn makeup almost every year since.  Still without people realising I wear it.  Foundation, concealer, mascara, blusher. I used to wear powder too.

I wear makeup because I don’t like what I see when I don’t wear any. These days, in the body of a 40-year-old, I do spend days when I’m at home without makeup on.  If very close friends visit, I may not put some one. I’m very conscious of it though. It’s a big deal.foundation

I wear makeup because I was told I needed to look prettier. I needed to be more attractive. Because people will only like me because I’m attractive.

I wear makeup because society says I should.  Because society says I should, I feel self-conscious if I don’t.   I wear it because it makes me feel better about myself, like I’m trying to improve myself. I guess I feel like that because that was what i was told at the beginning.

It almost makes me want to cry.

The Lie

I wear makeup because I like using it and it makes me look a little brighter in the sunshine.  You don’t need it, because you have lovely skin and you may not ever have to wear it unless you really want to.

Hmmm.  Not sure she’s going to fall for that.

What do you say to your children?