I just saw pictures via facebook of a two and a half year old little girl putting make-up on. Two. She's just two. It boggles my mind. I really, I don't know how to feel, but it bothers me. To my core, it bothers me.
I happen to know the mommy. So I know mommy puts make-up on every morning before going to work, or going anywhere for that matter, and her little girl watches her. She wants to be like mommy. She wants lipstick, etc., too.
Mommy loves make-up. Mommy loves being a "girlie-girl". This is something I've never understood. It's too much work in my eyes for one thing, but for another, there has always been a stigma attached to being that kind of woman for me. I'm not sure where the idea came from, but from my childhood (as far back as I can remember), I have always been under the impression that society sees "girlie'girls" as lesser creatures. Somehow they are less useful, less important, less vaulued, less skilled, than men, or even just normal women. I have always stroven to prove I wasn't girlie, that I could do anything any man could do, that I was just as good, just as strong, and just as smart, damnit.
So perhaps it is my life long association with sexism that makes me dislike the idea of 'girlie-girls'. I suppose feminism still has a long way to go, even among women...
I still think two years old is too young to be teaching little girls to wear make-up, or even letting them play with it. I don't care if it's kid safe, that's not the point. It just doesn't feel innocent to me. This little girl is being taught that to be a woman she has to wear make-up, she has to hide her real face because it's not good enough, that she must be pretty. That kind of thinking leads to little girls, and then women thinking that the only value they have is in how they look, not who they are or what they can do!
I hate this. I hate that we teach our children to feel inadequate. I know this is what it boils down to. I've heard the mommy express similar worries -- worries that without her make-up she's not pretty, that she can't show her face. The irony of course is that I've always found her prettier when she wasn't hiding herself under all that crap. But even if she wasn't "prettier" without it, that is so not the point. The point is that she feels the need to hide herself. I hate that we live in a world that teaches women they must be beautiful above all else. She's a wonderful woman, she has a great smile, and her bubbly, friendly, personality can light up any room. It shouldn't matter what she looks like, damnit.