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To not let DD wear make-up or nail varnish, or to encourage 'sexy' behaviour?

115 replies

PavlovtheCat · 20/05/2013 10:17

She is 6, almost 7. Lots of her female friends wear make-up to birthday parties - lipstick. eye shadow, mascara, blusher, have their hair styled in quite a grown up way, with hairspray, wear kitten heels etc. OK, some of her friends wear some of these things, not always at the same time. Although, DDs best friend dresses in all of this at once to a party.

Also, a couple of friends have had a pamper party (for 6th birthday) with a beautician coming to do hair, face and nails. DD didn't go to those as she was not around for them (phew).

DD has asked before to wear nail varnish, and I have let her have green when she has been a witch, or black when she was a cat. And on her 6th birthday she had some of my clear sparkle on her lips, for fun. But that is it. She has accepted that she does not need make up at her age, and for the most part, gets on with her life without it bothering her.

This morning she asked if we could have a girly day where she gets to wear some of my make-up and has her nails painted. I said no.

I am feeling a bit pressured by other parents, as they take it in their stride that this is normal for a 6/7 year old to want, and they actively encourage it. I will give an example. DD went to a friend's house with some other female friends. They played 'fashion parade' and all came down the stairs dressed in friend's different pretty outfits. The emphasis was on being sexy, they strutted down the stairs (DD tried, but, well it's not her natural look!) and one friend had her oversized jumper pulled down off her shoulder and wiggled her hips as she came down, pouted her red lipsticked mouth and all the women in the room applauded and whistled 'sexeee!'. I sort of stood there, open mouthed, and actually cringed. I am not sure if it was obvious, and I felt I should have said something but was quite outnumbered so didn't encourage but also didn't want to look like a prude.

She really is a beautiful little girl, and likes to dress prettily, which I am happy for her to do, with lovely dresses and her hair up in different ways. She is also happy wearing her football boots (one mum was shocked that DD played football like it was not ok as she was a girl!).

So. Am I being a prude to not encourage DD wearing make-up, nail varnish etc, am I being a prude to not find her strutting sexy, and not wanting her to wear make-up? Am I being OTT by not even wanting her to wear lipstick or nail varnish? Do I need to lighten up a little and not be so uptight at sexy dancing and sexualised behaviour? (which I suspect some of the mums think of me) is 6/7 actually ok for this and I just don't want my little girl to grow up? Or, is my cringing and feeling uncomfortable with this, is it that because it is is OTT at this age?

I'm not sure me being unreasonable will change my behaviour Grin but it would be helpful to get some perspective on whether it is me with the problem and to at least pretend to lighten up. Or whether I can keep my judgey-pants on.

OP posts:

IHeartKingThistle · 20/05/2013 10:19



PavlovtheCat · 20/05/2013 10:19

This morning she asked if we could have a girly day where she gets to wear some of my make-up and has her nails painted. I said no

that sounds harsh. It was 'no' to the make-up, but we talked about other things we could do, like I could try putting her hair in different styles with some lovely clips etc, we could put on some nice dresses and have 'afternoon tea'. And she was fine with that.

OP posts:

MrsMelons · 20/05/2013 10:22

I absolutely hate seeing children this young wearing make up out. it looks freaky and awful. A bit of lip gloss for a party is probably ok but full make up and grown up hair looks dreadful and is unnecessary.

My friends DD wore lip gloss for her school photos - I just could not believe my friend thought this was ok at infant school. I remember being made to wipe my lipstick off at 13 for school photos.

That said, having a pamper party at home or a girly day with mum is fine. Nail varnish at home/parties maybe but not at school is fine IMO.

I find the whole thing weird and uncomfortable TBH. They are little girls and not teenagers.


wannabedomesticgoddess · 20/05/2013 10:24

Personally I let my 4 year old wear nail varnish and lip gloss occassionally.

But the rest of it is a total no no. Even at 6/7. YANBU at all.


valiumredhead · 20/05/2013 10:24

My mum never wore make up and limited what I was allowed to wear when I did manage to get my hands on some.

I used to lick coloured pencils and use them as make up Grin

I am the biggest make up junkie EVER now as an adult!


MissyMooandherBeaverofSteel · 20/05/2013 10:27

i don't see the harm in a bit of nail varnish, or playing with make up with you an washing it off after, but I would draw the line at shouting 'Sexy' though.

My mother was very much of the opinion I wasn't allowed to play or experiment with make up, then the minute I could make the choice for myself I pissed her off by plastering it on in the most ridiculous manner because I could and it was a novelty. It wouldn't have been such a novelty had I been allowed it sometimes.

I think you should lighten up a little bit tbh.


PavlovtheCat · 20/05/2013 10:29

I remember being about 8 or so and my sister putting make-up on me, but, she put it on in an aunt sally kind of way, over emphasised. I wore my mum's shoes which were of course too big and it was fun. But, it was only fun and I felt like I was pretending to be mummy rather than being grown up myself.

I let DD try on my clothes at home and she likes to wear my shoes. I am fine with that.

OP posts:

MrsMelons · 20/05/2013 10:29

Playing with make up and nail varnish is very different than these 6/7 YOs wearing full make up to go to parties.

A FB friend of mine had a photo shoot with her 6 YO who was wearing a full face of make up, it looked awful.


PavlovtheCat · 20/05/2013 10:30

missy but, you think 'lighten up a little bit' rather than 'get a grip'? I can deal with needing to lighten up a little. But, only a little Grin

OP posts:

ThingummyBob · 20/05/2013 10:31

My dd has worn both nail varnish and make up for years now, on occasion.

I don't agree that equates to 'sexualised behaviour' though tbh. Ditto dressing up and being interested in fashion Confused

Unless of course you believe that make up and fashion are purely to make yourself sexually attractive/available?

We don't Grin


PavlovtheCat · 20/05/2013 10:31

MrsMelon yes, that's what DDs friends are doing, wearing the make-up out, to parties, school discos and yes, definitely to photo shoots etc.

OP posts:

PavlovtheCat · 20/05/2013 10:33

thing no, I don't necessarily think make-up = sexualised behaviour. I think that it's the combination of that and the strutting, wiggling hips, and saying 'sexee!' that has made me think of it in a sexualised way.

OP posts:

Purpletots · 20/05/2013 10:34

How can you have hair styled in a grown up way?? [confusd]

My dd's are 5&7 and have sets of make up. They both sometimes come own stairs looking like drag queens. It's a bit of fun to them, they give each other makeovers, no big deal! Dd1 sometimes wears lipgloss to parties if she's wearing a dress.

I don't make a big deal out of it because as they get older they will wear make up just as I did when growing up.


PavlovtheCat · 20/05/2013 10:34

and certainly fashion is not necessarily sexy (except, perhaps when you pull a shoulder of a jumper down and pout).

Don't think DD is dressed in full length cloth sacks every day Grin She does wear lovely clothes. Although, not hugely into fashion, she loves dresses and playsuits.

OP posts:

ZZZenagain · 20/05/2013 10:35

never had this with dd or her friends and she is 12, sounds OTT to me


jacks365 · 20/05/2013 10:35

Play make up fine but what you're talking about no way for mine. You've just reminded me I heard a mum calling her baby sexy on the bus a few months ago, hate things like that.
In your position I'd be asking myself if I wanted to encourage these friendships.


Raaraathenoisybaby · 20/05/2013 10:35

Yanbu. Adults sexualising a 7 year old makes me ill.
Football for girls is ace Grin


WorraLiberty · 20/05/2013 10:35

I see no problem with it indoors but I wouldn't allow it out of the house (maybe nail varnish for a party though).

Most kids want to be like their parents and if you've ever worn make-up in front of her, she'll want to copy.


squeakytoy · 20/05/2013 10:36

I really do not see what harm is going to come to girls who want to do this.

Almost every little girl I know loves pretending to be a grown up. It is normal.. they want to be like their mums, or aunts, or their favourite pop stars.

I was just the same, as were my friends, when we were that age.

It isnt damaging, it isnt sexualised to them.. 6 year olds should not know about sex.. they just equate growing up and pretending to be glamourous...


Purpletots · 20/05/2013 10:37

Oh and I think yabu to say no when she wanted to have a girls day with you.


fuzzpig · 20/05/2013 10:38

YANBU. My DD is nearly 6 and the idea of her wanting to dress like that in a year is very scary. I don't think she will though, and I don't wear any make up at all so she isn't wanting to 'be like mummy' by playing with it.

I do know there are a lot of pamper/makeover parties around here though.

I feel nail varnish is different from the rest, make up is often about looking sexy but nail varnish is just paint and I don't think it's aimed at making boys look at you (unlike using lipstick/mascara to emphasise facial features).

DD has bright coloured (ie not grown up) nail varnishes and when she has some on (not often as I don't allow it for school) her little brother has it too.


Saski · 20/05/2013 10:39

Gross. YANBU.


TigOldBitties · 20/05/2013 10:41

I think yabu, in sort of projecting adult fears and concerns onto children. My DD is 6 nearly 7, she sometimes wears a bit of make up, its not really a big deal in our house, I give her things I don't want or have nearly used up, but I think having a relaxed attitude to it all means she can take it or leave it.

Don't quite know what you mean by have their hair styled in quite a grown up way especially as every grown up I know wears their hair down or tied up, there aren't grown up styles.

To the girls at that age its just dressing up, pretending to be models or stars or just grown ups. I did it as a child, so did all my sisters and friends, but I can't say it had an adverse effect, I certainly don't think it 'sexualised' us or developed and interest in such things earlier than usual. My DD sometimes dresses up in various Disney costumes or as a police woman, doctor, horse riding champion etc I would say its in the same vein, I don't worry that she's now going to want to become a police woman and all the horrors that go with that.

The shoes, the make-up, the nail varnish is all just dressing up, and even if you see more into it I don't think your DD will. I'd in fact say that denying her sort of emphasises the message that these are 'sexual' and will tie a lot more into them when she does start to use such products rather than them being as innocent as hairbands.


fanjoforthemammaries7850 · 20/05/2013 10:43

Sorry but I am in the 'lighten up a bit' camp :)


LaRegina · 20/05/2013 10:45

YABU - a bit. Yes I agree that it looks a bit odd when a little girl is dolled up with make up in an 'grown up' way, but I regularly let my DD wear nail colour at the weekends, and she also had a 'make up bag' filled with old tatt old make up of mine that she plays with - not to go out in but just to mess around with.

To me, it's no different to any other playing at 'dressing up'. DS used to dress up in a uniform to 'look like daddy' - what's the difference.

I don't believe it's possible for a 6 year old to exhibit 'sexy behaviour'. Anybody who does has bigger problems than a bit of nail polish IMO.

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