I have just spent an hour and over £100 at the #MAC cosmetics department in Selfridges with my pre-teen daughter.
This shocks me for several reasons:
- The fact that I lasted an hour sat at a make up counter
- That I let a make up artist apply ten tonne of make up to my daughter’s face
- That I let her spend her hard earned pocket money on three tiny items which she will probably never wear
The obsession we have with our skin is worrying. When I was a teenager (not that my daughter is actually a teenage yet) I wasn’t allowed to wear make up. Despite my mother loving beauty products and wearing a full face of make up every day, it was not deemed necessary for me to use anything but soap and water on my face until I was at least 16.
These days the girls at my daughter’s all girls school regularly get told off for wearing mascara and lipstick, it’s not like there are even boys there to impress! But what’s worrying is that they are obsessed with their self-image. Clearly they use make up either as a mask, or to improve their self-confidence – both are equally concerning.
What worries me most of all is that in today’s society we are expected to look perfect all the time. We are not allowed to have flaws or imperfections. On the return journey home my daughter spent over 15 minutes talking about the non-existent blackheads on her nose.
As a mother (and I do wear make up daily) it’s difficult to get the balance right. So, I don’t ever wear make up at the gym, I’m just as comfortable at the school gates without make up as I am with (particularly in the morning), and I rarely wear make up on a Sunday. That’s not to say that I’ve not got enough make up to fill Selfridges make up hall, I do, but I try to show her that it’s not necessary to wear make up to feel good about yourself.
I know I shouldn’t need an excuse, but I feel I do, so I tell her (and my friends who are sometimes horrified by my naked face) that letting my skin breath is essential for healthy skin, but really it’s more about the fact that I want my daughter to realise that beauty isn’t just skin deep.