Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Make-up = Life lessons?

I know a post about makeup from someone who's pictures almost always show her without it.  I love makeup, I love playing with the different colours, trying new techniques but staying with the easy standbys.  But yet since I've had kids I don't really  wear it much. And it's not because of a time constraint (although some days this would be my excuse). The reason you see me without make-up is a conscious decision.

I had a rocky start with make-up. I wasn't a cool kid, my parents would let me wear make-up or play around with it. They wouldn't let me shave my legs in grade 7 because it was unnecessary. I got teased a lot.  The odd time when I was allowed to wear make-up my mother would apply it in an over applied 80's style (which clearly didn't cut it in the minimalist 90's).

I was in grade 7 or 8 and the cool girls offered to give me a makeover at recess. Being naive I was excited that the cool girls were talking to me and offering to make me pretty.  Pretty was not what I got, the over applied the make-up made me look cheap and trampy. They did this to get a laugh at my expense.

So after that I began to learn how to apply it and collected a pretty impressive collection.  I would wear makeup all the time. Fast forward to college where I was doing my first placement at a group home for trouble teens (I was studying to become a child and youth worker, but that never worked out but that's a whole other story), and I was asked not to wear makeup.

What do you mean? It's my face I can do what I want. I was a cocky 19 year old. It makes me look pretty.  Then they explained to me, the girls in the home have low self -esteem, and one of the things they are trying to do is build their self-esteem. They want to show them that beauty doesn't depend on what you wear, the make-up you have on. That it comes from within.  At the time I fluffed it off and did what they said because my marks counted on them.  I truly didn't understand what they meant and what they were trying to achieve until I had a daughter. And it wasn't right when she was born, it was actually a few years later.

Before you have kids, you hear about how children mimic you, they watch you and copy what you do.  Until something happens you don't really think too much about it.  I use to wear makeup just about every day because I liked it. Then one day when Monkey was about 2 1/2, she found my makeup stash in the bathroom and proceeded to cover herself with copper eye shadow so she could be pretty like mommy.  She was doing what she saw me doing. I tried to explain to her that she is pretty and she doesn't need the makeup, but she told me that I wear makeup and she wants to be pretty like me.

How do I teach her that she is pretty just as she is without makeup? I gave up my makeup habit. I still do wear makeup on special occasions. I'm not banning makeup, and when the girls do ask to wear it I will let them within reason.   Right now when I'm putting on makeup for a party or an event, you bet the girls are in the bathroom with me, watching me, mimicking me.  I do put on a light pink eye shadow for them and some lip gloss. But i am showing them that they don't' need to wear makeup to be pretty on a regular basis. We are all pretty just the way we are.

That said I can't wait until the day that they are older and I can start wearing make-up again on a regular basis because it does add something to you. I don't know if it's the makeup itself, or the way it makes you feel but I do get more compliments the days I do wear makeup. 

For now, I will continue to teach my girls these life lessons through example.



Lisa Marie said...

Great post!

I have never worn make up personally - I think I own one container of bronzer, some coverup on a stick, a tube of old mascara, and an eyeliner which I probably got in the 80s. haha. No one ever taught me anything about how to wear or use makeup so I just don't know how to even use it.

Make up for me makes me feel trashy. ANY lipstick at all makes me feel disgusting. I don't mind on special days to do something different, but I wish I knew how to make it look good when it mattered.

But I'm a firm believer in being beautiful the way I am. God decided to make me this way and He loves me. My husband loves me the way I am. So, why shouldn't I love myself makeup free? :)

Way to go, Mama. What a great life lesson for your girls! :)

Ania said...

Lisa Marie,

I do like my makeup because it does hide my bad skin (I've always had bad skin) but I need to teach my girls that you don't need to hide your natural beauty.

celiacgirl said...

Oh Ania,

As usual you make me laugh or cry and sometimes both. Your blog inspires me and "you" inspire me. I'm thankful to know you. HAPPY THANKSGIVING to you and yours.