Wednesday, August 26, 2009

They Grow up so Fast (Or at Least They Try To)

Some of you who have read my blog before know that I have an 11-year old niece. She just started middle school, and as I'm sure we all remember, this is the time when we struggle with being not quite a child, but not quite a teenager either. One of the rites of passage for girls is wearing makeup. My niece's two closest friends wear makeup. Of course they don't leave the house with it on, but they do wear it at school. My niece lives with my parents, so any time she wants or needs something, she has to ask them. A couple of weeks ago she asked my mom if she could start wearing makeup. She wanted eyeshadow, mascara, and lip gloss. Like any good mother should, my mom said no. Ever since then, my niece has been trying to weasel her way into wearing makeup. A couple of nights ago she and my parents went to Target, and she asked if she could have some mascara. Once again, my mom said no. This was my niece's response "Well, Aunt Shelly (me) wears mascara." My mom comes back with "How old is Aunt Shelly?" "33", says my little girly. My mom's final words on the subject, "Do the math and then tell me who can wear mascara."

Although the story has its cute moments, it's a serious subject. Girls are trying at younger and younger ages to look older. I didn't start wearing makeup until I was 13, which, upon reflection, was still way too early. My mom has never really worn makeup so she wasn't sure what an appropriate age would be. It blows my mind to see little girls all tarted up in heavy makeup and and wearing short, tight clothes. They're exhibiting sexuality that they aren't equipped to deal with yet. I'm not going to make a broad generalization and say that all men are dogs, but quite a few are and they're just waiting to prey on young girls who are trying to assert their independence by making a foray into womanhood. These girls are too immature and too naive to realize that those men will tell them anything they want to hear to get what they want.

I know that times change and that we need to change with the times, but it never has been and never will be okay for a young girl to parade around looking like a prostitute or a stripper. There's nothing wrong with a young girl wanting to look good, but she needs to be taught the difference between looking good and looking trashy. As the past 20 years have gone by, I've worn less and less makeup. Most people don't even know that I wear makeup because I use it only as a subtle enhancement, which is what it's meant for. I'm sure that my niece will find another way to broach the subject of makeup with my mom, because kids are persistent, but I know that my mom will stand firm.

No comments:

Post a Comment