We were getting ready for a family event recently when ThisIrishGirl (age 6) came into our room and said “Can I wear makeup today?” I think ThisIrishDad might have paled a little (I certainly might have)…..lets face it 20 years later I still haven’t mastered eye-liner, but here she was wanting makeup, my little girl.
I turned to her and said “why don’t you go pick some out and bring it to me”
I know what you are thinking….
Your 6 year old has makeup? (Mostly castoffs from ThisIrishSister)
You’re going to let her wear it outside the house?
Yup. I am.
We struggle every day to raise the kids in a way that teaches them to learn to make their own right choices and to show kindness to others always.
In today’s world- where we so often see signs of females voices & opinions being quieted we want ThisIrishGirl to grow up knowing her voice WILL be heard- her choice and opinion IS of value- her interests ARE important.
So here she was standing in our bedroom showing us her interest.
She’s like most kids – if we had said no to her she may have balked for a minute and gotten over it. But if we say no how many times will she come to us to share here interests and opinions before learning they might not matter?
Each time we disregard our children’s thoughts or opinions it teaches them that what they think and how they feel isn’t valid.
What if ThisIrishGirl walked out of our room on that day having felt like that? Next time would she come to us with her really important interests? All over some silly lipgloss? Would I even risk that? Hell no.
She’s going to grow up knowing it’s ok to have a mind of her own and to be HEARD.
She’s going to grow up knowing that whatever she’s interested in- as long as it isn’t illegal, or harmful is totally 100% O.K.
That means all of it…even the interests and idea that don’t sit perfectly with us…will be 100% O.K.
And then I got to wondering why it didn’t sit perfectly with me….the makeup….
Is it because somewhere in society beauty & makeup are considered to objectify women or are inferior interests then say sport or science?
Do I think that?
I am lucky enough to know so many independent, strong, successful women who happen to like beauty & makeup. Many of these women not only are strong individuals but they do such amazing things for other women and in support of other women. Isn’t that exactly how I want ThisIrishGirl to grow up to be?
I don’t care if she’s a dancer, a doctor, a teacher, or beautician (because she wants to be them all). Whatever she becomes I want her to do it with friendship, leadership & character and safe in the knowledge that her voice WILL be heard.
ThisIrishGirl came bouncing back into our bedroom with a few shades of eye shadow and lipgloss, and since she is 6 and I still am her parent we set some boundaries (same as we do with what TV she can watch, books she can read etc) and went with a pale pink eye shadow and translucent lip gloss.