Friday, December 24, 2010

Make Up Test

All the time, I tell people that I was never a girl. I say this in response to comments about wearing make-up (which I don't) or dying hair (which I don't) or dancing (which I don't) or having manicures or pedicures (which I don't) or being a cheerleader (shudder).

It only makes sense, then, that I would have a daughter who is a dancing and singing dynamo who wears expensive dresses (given to us as hand-me-downs by rich friends) and pines to start shaving her legs and wearing make-up. In fact, the one gift on her Christmas list which she most desires is a make-up kit. She first requested it under the guise of using it for her dance recitals. All the girls have one of course. All the girls. Save her.

Tomorrow -- or maybe tonight when she gets to open one gift -- her request will be filled. I found one I thought she'd like, and then I filled it with foreign items: eye shadow and mascara and blush and foundation and brushes and so on. I even stopped an older woman at the drug store and asked her what's needed to remove such make up. Vaseline? Soap? WHAT?! So now her kit also includes make-up-removing wipes.

She is 12. Technically, she is 12 years and 5 months old. She is quickly leaving the tween world totally behind. This is evidenced not only by her constantly putting on some kind of sparkly lip gloss over the past couple of days but also by her Christmas list including just one Webkinz. (Yes, that desire will be fulfilled tomorrow also.)

I remember being 13 and being friends with these girls who started wearing make-up. Mostly I recall how gaudy they looked with blue eye shadow overshadowing all other aspects of their faces. As the years went by, these girls and other women with whom I became friends with lessened the gaudy and increased the other products plastered on their faces. I was never curious about trying to wear make-up. It seemed like such a waste of precious time. Why spend 10, 15 minutes doing my make-up every morning and another 10 minutes removing it every night when I could spend that time smoking pot or drinking?

Yesterday I took her to get a pedicure -- an outing totally worth another post -- and on the way there she made the dreaded request to start shaving her legs. "Will it hurt?" she asked. "Let me show you the gash on my leg to answer that, honey," I said. I think I put that at bay for a few months at least.

It finally hit me that the request for a make-up kit for dance recitals was a ruse. That girl is going to want to start wearing it all the time. She freakin' tricked me. I just know it. Oh, wait, I'm assigning my attributes to her.  She doesn't have the guile to have done that.

But once she has that kit, her desire to wear it more than at recitals will be strong. And our desire to not have a gaudily powdered and mascaraed and shadowed daughter will be as strong. Right now, we're thinking mascara is okay at 13. Light eye shadow at 14. Full-out tramp make-up at 16.

Sound about right to you?


Magpie said...

I'm scared.

I, too, never learned how to be a real girl...

Anonymous said...

Well, that makes one of the gifts I bought her spot-on! :) And now I know what one of your gifts will be when I come up (not next week) -- a pedicure! Takes too much time to have them on a regular basis, but they are pretty cool.

Happy Holidays! (hee hee)


Tara R. said...

Oh I dreaded that milestone too. When my daughter turned 14 (just before starting high school), as a birthday present, I took her and a few friends to the mall for makeovers (parental permission was given for the other girls). No tramp make-up, and they learned how to apply it without really looking made up.

Jomama said...

Raising 2 boys, there are times I envy my friends raising daughters. No tea parties for me (actually, I forced them to go a few times anyway), no cute little dresses, no Easter bonnets. Just mud, denim, and Nerf guns.

I don't miss this part you describe though--that is one advantage to raising boys.

chichimama said...

When I was 14, my mother, who has never worn a stitch of makeup in her life, took me to the makeup counter at Nordstroms and instructed the woman there to teach me how to not look like a tramp (in nicer words I am sure :-) ). I did in fact take the lessons to heart and have never worn blue eyeshadow ;-).

But have faith, I finally wandered to a makeup counter for the first time in about 2 decades last year when I had to attend a super fancy event with my husband in the city, and instructed the woman that I had no interest in looking like a tramp :-).

Good luck to you. My seven year old is already trying to negotiate when she is allowed to wear lip gloss. Argh.


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