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help me make sence of how i feel about this

(15 Posts)
addictedisback Fri 05-Oct-12 10:07:59

I wear makeup and nail varnish because I feel better when I do. I wear it for myself and no one else.

Occasionally when I've asked mil to babysit when shes turned up I've still been getting ready. Dd1 is almost 2 and likes to copy, so occasionally I've pretended to put my makeup on her or have done her nails. I'm very clear (to mil mainly) that when they say things to dd like 'much prettyer now' etc its completely unacceptable.

Mil has asked if she can buy dd1 some make up of her own for her birthday. Initially I said hell NO. Mil asked how its any diffrent and I didn't have an answer. I'm now wavering and can't work out how i feel.

On one hand I don't want my baby believing make up makes her pretty and she has to wear it to be 'normal' on the other hand am I teaching her that by wearing it?

jkklpu Fri 05-Oct-12 10:12:04

Pretending to put your make-up on and having her own make-up is rather different. Sorry, but I can't see how a 2-year-old with make-up is appropriate. Are you saying you actually put nail varnish on her or just pretend? Why not get some face paints instead?

Mintyy Fri 05-Oct-12 10:13:49

Just say to mil, no thank you, dd is too young for makeup.

Does that make sense to you?

LRDtheFeministDragon Fri 05-Oct-12 10:23:18

I'm not sure how feministy this is, but can you not just say you feel what DD is enjoying is playing at being like mummy, rather than having her own make up? Surely at 2, if it is given 'to her' she will get upset when (inevitably) it has to be taken away to stop her pouring it on the floor/ painting the cat.

I know exactly what you mean. A while ago DD (6) was watching me put on foundation and asked why. I didn't want to say it made me prettier, the best I could come up with was it hid my wrinkles. She came close, had a good look and said "It doesn't work Mummy". Thanks DD!

I think a bit of play make-up isn't the end of the world, but I would draw the line at those pretend beauty parlour type things. Perhaps as a stocking filler type gift rather than a main one. To be honest at 2, if you "accidentally" lose the gift once MIL has gone home DD probably won't notice, I've done this more than once to get rid of excess mountains of gifts after birthday parties etc, no one any the wiser. Different story now the DCs are older though.

senua Fri 05-Oct-12 10:31:31

Dd1 is almost 2 and likes to copy, so occasionally I've pretended to put my makeup on her or have done her nails.

If you were having a little drink before gong out, would you give DD one as well?hmm
It's a matter of age-appropriateness. When DD is of an age to appreciate that she wears make-up for her own benefit, not anyone else's, only then she is old enough to wear it.

addictedisback Fri 05-Oct-12 10:42:21

I just pretend, I've never actually painted her nails or put make up on her, I might give her an old make up brush or put vasteliene on her lips.

senua I knew I would get some sort of flaming! no I wouldnt give her a drink because alcohol will harm her and I am t-total, however if I did drink I would give her her own cup with WATER in because its pretend. I wont let her change her sisters nappy, but I will let her pretend to change her dollies nappy. I dont let her iron but I do let her pretend to iron.

When I play at putting make up on its pretend, I think giving her makeup of her own suddenly (in my head) it no longer becomes pretend?

The drink argument doesn't really work though as it is dangerous and illegal. I think so long as a 2 year old isn't going out in make-up a little pretend foesn't hurt. It is more of an issue from about 5+ when peer pressure and greater understanding of the way people interact is occurring. DD had a pretend make up set at about 2, she has shown very little interest in it in the last few years. She was asking ehy I coloury hair the other day, I just said that because of my age it has faded a bit and I wanted it back to it's old colour. If she asked again anout make-up I would just say that when she's grown-up she will be able to choose to wear it, but that it isn't appropriate for children. If she asks why Daddy doesn't wear it I'll just say that some men do but Daddy doesn't like it.

summerflower Fri 05-Oct-12 10:47:37

Hmmm, DS (21 months) is currently sporting one purple finger nail and one beigey-pink finger nail, because when he sees me put on nail varnish, he wants 'nail, nail!'

Not sure what that adds to the debate, but just to point out that the imitation thing is not gender-specific.

To the OP, I think it is probably sufficient to say that you think there is a difference between imitation play and wearing make-up for real, just as you would let your child play with a toy kitchen (again, not being gender specific as DS loves his toy kitchen) but you wouldn't let them play with a real stove. I guess it depends if you are happy with toy make-up, though - I was totally horrified when ex-MIL thought a toy hoover was an appropriate present for DD. Maybe saying that you are happy with her playing with your make-up, but would prefer her to make the choice when she wants her own.

If it is any consolation, there was a phase when DD got make-up as presents (around age 5, what were people thinking?), and it still languishes in her cupboard unused.

senua Fri 05-Oct-12 10:50:47

Mil asked how its any diffrent and I didn't have an answer.

When I play at putting make up on its pretend, I think giving her makeup of her own suddenly (in my head) it no longer becomes pretend?

Have you answered your own question? grin

addictedisback Fri 05-Oct-12 10:57:12

grin I think I just did senua!

I think toy make up is a nono for me, but playing with my make up is ok.

senua Fri 05-Oct-12 11:05:28

Akshully, I think we have confusd ourselves.

In your examples, you said that you wouldn't let DD change a nappy or do the ironing for real but you would let her have a lookalike toy. Yet when it comes to make-up, the toy is not allowed but the real thing is. Where do we go from here ...?

addictedisback Fri 05-Oct-12 11:08:30

senua, your right, but the makeup just doesnt sit right!

I think I need to think about it alittle bit more

senua Fri 05-Oct-12 11:19:12

Are you/we/feminists over-thinking it?

If your DD wanted to dress up as a princess, would you stop her? If you treated make-up as dressing-up instead of giving it all the cultural baggage, would that make a difference? Teach DD that this is what we do sometimes for fun but it is not who we are.

sadI'm sounding very po-faced on this thread.

FWIW my DD had some (awful, cheap, children's) nail varnish when she was younger and it didn't turn her into Katie Price. Is there a compromise there? - MIL can buy nail varnish but not lipstick or blusher.

MrsClown1 Sat 06-Oct-12 09:08:37

Im with senua. When my son was very small (he is now 19) he used to do the same thing and would have to have his toe nails painted! Its all about copying. He also used to bang around the house in my shoes! I probably would buy her some of that plastic stuff (which my son had) that doesnt go on. I also bought him some cheap clear nail varnish he thought it was great.

Dont judge yourself too much OP - child rearing is a minefield.

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