I was inspired to write this post after I read a post from another blogger. The blog post was in regard to "pretend make-up tutorial for girls between the ages of 3-6." I replied questioning the topic. I did. It wasn't out of disrespect, but rather disappointment. I replied, "Eek! I would be more impressed with a lesson in NASA or cause and effect- anything but buying into a trillion $ industry at such an early age to add to an already intense amount of pressure placed on girls as "objects"...just saying'." Hey, it's a free country, right?
Umm, yeah. My comment wasn't very popular among the crowd that day. I picked "NASA" and "Cause and Effect" just as examples. Why do we feel compelled to place stereotypes on little girls? Why do we feel compelled to place more pressure on them than already exists? Why can't little girls learn about science, math or have a tutorial on the chemistry of make-up...Ah, see! that would have won me over a bit more.
I was met with comments from Mothers of little girls that consisted of telling me "how boring" the topic of NASA or Cause and Effect is. One lady said she'd look those topics up on a night she couldn't sleep-- that should do the trick. Another, a bit more diplomatic said that [she] "is trying to come up with fun ways to have PRETEND makeup instead of having 3 and 4 year olds in blue eye shadow and bright pink lip stick."
Here's MY issue. Little girls are not PRETENDING, they are PRACTICING.
Look, little girls have played dress up for decades. I guess I am just someone who has hope that women today are more insightful and armed with possibilities of greatness for their daughters beyond their physical attributes and "traditional" roles of yester-year. We already know that they will be enveloped in the beauty industry...why help the industry out? Instead of handing over our daughters willingly, why not create a protective barrier that marketing and media have to get through prior to defining - and polishing your daughter? Perhaps the longer we prolong this process, the more the individual spirit is able to develop. Perhaps by prolonging this process, we can arm our daughters with self esteem so that they don't feel the need to 'have their face on' before they go out. Why not engage your child in conversations when they see you apply make-up? Honestly, share why you apply cover-up, etc. and why they don't need it.
So here is my disclaimer: I say this as a Mom of two boys. I say this as someone who is an advocate for children. I also say this as someone who attends a feminist, Catholic University. I say this as someone who has researched the effects of dioxins, chemicals and prolonged exposure to them in females from make-up and feminine products.
In a day and age when 2 and 3 year olds already have "Spa Days" with their Mothers, I say this not to be viewed as judgmental, but as someone who believes in empowering women of all ages. Despite our progress as a gender, we still have a long way to go. I suppose seeing the "make-up tutorial post" shocked me back to the reality of that.
With that being said, if you would like to check out some sites that empower women of all ages, with varying topics, I've included a few links below. No promises....zzzzzzzz. ;)