“Wait, you’re letting Anna wear makeup? But she’s only ten!”
I hadn’t thought twice about my decision to let my ten-year-old daughter start wearing eyeliner and mascara until my best friend (let's call her “Jackie”) brought her own disapproval to my attention. To be fair, her daughter is only eight but the comment still caught me off guard.
“Well, I was ten when my mother let me start wearing makeup,” I said.“I don’t have a problem with it.”
I’ll be honest, though: I couldn’t remember when my mother actually starting letting me wear makeup. Anna had simply approached me one evening after school and asked if she could start wearing mascara.
Internally, I panicked a bit. My husband didn’t have much of an opinion on the matter so I did a bit of Googling. The “right” age to wear makeup varied from one mommy blog to the next.
I ultimately made my decision to say “yes” to Anna because she asked maturely.
Defending My Decision
Again, I didn’t think it was a big deal; however, Jackie kept pushing the issue.
“She’s too young,” Jackie said. “At least wait until she’s a teenager.”
“It’s just not right,” she said at one point.
The more we discussed it, the more I felt justified and grounded in my decision.
In a strange way, I feel as if I’ve seen a different side of my daughter since she started wearing makeup. Although it may just be a coincidence, her behavior changed in ways that were, in my opinion, quite positive.
She's Nurturing Her Creative Side
Anna is fascinated by creative and colorful makeup patterns. Although we strictly stick to mascara and eyeliner, she loves experimenting with different color combinations (and to be honest, sometimes I have to stop her from getting too creative).
Yet within the same month of asking to wear makeup, she’s also taken up drawing. Rather than veg out in front of her phone, she’s spending hours on YouTube watching art tutorials.
When I first asked her what she was doing, I was stunned. Proud and impressed, but stunned nonetheless.
Is the makeup responsible for all of this? Probably not. However, if it’s a coincidence, it’s certainly a welcome one.
She’s Showing Her Maturity
As I said before, I agreed to Anna’s desire to wear makeup because she asked like an adult. She didn’t whine or throw a tantrum when I told her “I’ll think about it.” She didn’t even sulk: she just said “Okay” and left it at that.
The root of Anna’s desire to wear makeup was apparently a new girl in her class.
“She’s very pretty,” Anna said, as innocent as ever. “I just wanted to know what I’d look like with makeup, that’s all.”
Had she asked in any other way, I would probably be telling an entirely different story.
She’s Learning Responsibility
When I finally let her apply her own mascara, she did a poor job to say the least. However, she was not discouraged or upset.
“Can you show me how to do it the right way, Mom?”
My heart melted. I didn’t think that this is the sort of thing we’d bond over, but what can I say?
She also insists on saving her own allowance and chore money for new makeup rather than let me purchase it for her. Of course that’s not the only place her allowance is going, her sense of responsibility over her makeup has me truly taken aback.
So yes, I’ll continue to defend my decision to let my ten year-old wear makeup and feel absolutely no sense of shame in doing so. At the end of the day, sometimes you have to go with your gut and trust your childto validate your own parenting decisions.