Friday, August 7, 2009


My lovely daughter is 11. She's officially a preteen (at least she's in the preteen class at church and went to preteen week at church camp). So as we all remember those years can be full of transition and all the angst a young person could possibly dream of. I thought I had more time. I thought it'd be while before we were dealing with the wonders of puberty/insecurities/body image/fashion. But no. She's entering the 6th grade and I remember very little drama about 6th grade. I do remember it was the first time we had a Girl's Locker Room and I realized that I had really big feet.

At camp this year Savannah was in a cabin with mostly 12 year olds because her cousin who is 14 was with her. So instead of putting Savannah is a cabin with her cousin and 14 year olds or putting my niece into a cabin with 11 year olds they split the difference. Anyway, every other girl in her cabin wears makeup. Yep, make up and every day. So, she comes to me and asks if she can wear make up. What?!?!? I'm not quite sure I'm ready for this. I mean, she's just a baby! Yesterday, she was in preschool. The day before that she was in diapers. I'm not old enought to have a daughter who wears makeup. I'm only 29! Really!!!

So I relented at camp and said that for the Social she could wear makeup. It's sort of a dance (really it isn't a sorta dance, it's a dance-dance). Some parents are a little uncomfortable with the idea of a dance at church camp but not me. They had a blast and the boys and girls actually get a little hang out time. They were not allowed to have "dates" but could have fun with each other. So I was finishing up in the kitchen at camp and here come the kids to have their fun. In walks Savannah. She's wearing eyeliner and eye shadow. She's flossed and glossed and brushed and shined. She was sooo cute. She had more on than I would have liked but she looked cute. She did not look like a hoochie Momma! All the counselors were teenage kids and they were watching and waiting to see if I was gonna flip out. Nah! It's all good! Then they were watching for my husband (who was also at camp and working in the kitchen with me). Is he gonna be one of those dad's who doesn't want to see his little girl looking grown up..... They just knew that they were gonna get in trouble or something for letting the other girls "make her over". Nah! We just gushed about how pretty she was and I think Daddy took a picture.

Since coming home from camp. We've "played" make up several times. Hmmm. I've been asked about when/how to use mascara-eyelash curler-concealer. (like she has anything to conceal! Puhleeze!!) I've been asked what foundation is for. Hmmm. So I think, that maybe she's more interested in makeup than she'll outright admit.

I've started wondering then...How old are girls when they start wearing makeup these days. In my days, I wasn't allowed to wear any until I was 14. I was a freshman in high school. But now, girls are doing these things so much earlier. I don't want to be that mom that says. I didn't until I was in high school, so you can't. I also don't want to be that mom, that says sure anything goes. I want to be perfect. Since that's not gonna happen, I'm wondering those of you out there in blogland. What do you think. How young is too young? What would you do? Or better yet if you have girls and they are makeup age, what did you do?


Heather D said...

Hey Beth,
My daughter just turned 14. I have been where you are and am now dealing with the teenager and high school. Michaela's friends were wearing makeup in the 6th grade, most wore it lightly but you did have those few who wore way too much. I told Michaela that she could if she wanted to, but like my mother only a little eye shadow and lip gloss were allowed. She didn't have much of an interest in it. She just started actually wearing it about six mos ago. She wears eyeliner, mascara, and eyeshadow. There are days that she doesn't wear any at all. Then you get special occasions, like her 8th grade formal, where I allowed my sister to do her makeup. She had the whole kitandkaboodle done. I have a pic of her up on my blog if you want to see.
My advice is allow it if you are comfortable with it, but stress the right colors and the amount used. We don't want her to have an experience like my poor sister who didn't know how (and refused to listen to the older sister) and ended up looking like a raccoon.

Cindy W said...

Great post Beth! I have a daughter turning 10 in Jan and I need to know these things, the boy things, I'm good. Girl things? Not so sure. And thinking about bras and periods, it's something that will be coming sooner than later. What say you Heather??

Carpoolqueen (formerly known as Beth) said...

Thank you so much Heather! I probably will. I think I'll make make up a conditional thing. If she can keep her hair brushed then she can wear the make up. She hates to brush that hair. "It hurts". I even made her cut about 6-8 inches off.

Cindy, we are starting the bra stuff. I'll say it's all new to me. I did find a great book and I recommend it to every mom of girls. It's put out by the American Girl folks and it's called, "The Care and Keeping of You!" It covers all sorts of puberty stuff. Everything from oral hygeine to menstrual cycles to eating disorders to emotions. It's also not too graphic. I'm starting to read some of this stuff with my 8 year old. Just some of it.

Heather D said...

great idea with the book Beth. I never used one. Bras and puberty...definitely if they need them, but like my daughter I let her do it so that she wouldn't feel like she was being left behind. My daughter is flat chested, like me. So I actually spend more on her bras than I probably should, but the wonderbra does wonders for her self esteem. Puberty---that one is different for everyone. My daughter is really mature for her age and she has a really good head on her shoulders. So it has come really easy for me. I am going to have issues with the boy stuff! LOL

Anonymous said...

My youngest daughter turned 11 on the 6th of this month!