Lip Gloss


Chloe loves to wear lip gloss. I hate it when she wears lip gloss. She glops it on, and basks in the glory of it. Of course, the girls’ kind always contains glitter, and makes her look more like an arts & crafts project than a real person.

She put some on this morning, as she got ready for a playdate with a friend. She chose green. Luckily, the color was not particularly visible. But the glitter sure was.

When I asked her why she liked wearing lip gloss, she couldn’t articulate her reasons. I told her she didn’t need to wear makeup because she was beautiful the way she was. At which point, she became a little agitated (and probably was starting to feel a bit embarrassed). “I know I am,” she exclaimed, “but I just like to wear it!”

So, I sucked in my breath and didn’t press her buttons any further. ‘Cause here’s what I think. I think that if I don’t make too big a deal out of her propensity towards vanity, it will eventually die down. She knows she can’t wear her lip gloss to school, and most of the time, she doesn’t even think to put it on. If I belabor the issue, then she’ll rebel. And the next thing I know she’ll be trying to sneak eyeshadow and blush, and enter a girls’ beauty pageant.

It’s kind of like Barbie dolls. Chloe knows I can’t stand what they stand for. But she’s received a few over the years and now Sophie sometimes brings them out from hiding. However, Chloe is not interested in them, and never really was, beyond a few dress-up sessions when she was younger. I credit this lack of interest to Chloe’s subconscious assimilation of my message (put to her in gentler terms) that the two-legged monsters would corrupt her body and soul if she paid too much attention to them.

The same goes for the makeup kick. I will discourage it, but not forbid it (except during the week). And have confidence that Chloe will come to appreciate my lessons. You see, although she may be growing up, she still likes to run around the house naked. Now that I think about it, maybe I should worry less about her future as a beauty pageant wannabe, and more about her propensity to expose herself. It’s enough to make me want to pull my hair out.