Scary Mommy

How young is too young to wear makeup? (Op-Ed)

Makeup is everywhere: commercials, movies, television shows, and real life. It’s practically a staple of the feminine world. When seeing such a thing for the first time, children, especially young girls, might want to wear makeup themselves, it’s childhood curiosity after all, and curiosity is never bad.

But is there an age that is “too young” for makeup?

Well, yes.

Young children, elementary school age or younger, and tweens shouldn’t wear makeup.

 According to Columbia, makeup can contain chemicals including lead and formaldehyde. While adults know how to put makeup on safely and in an amount that won’t hurt them, children don’t. Additionally, their immune systems and bodies are much weaker than those of adults, making them more susceptible to the hazardous effects of chemicals. If a tween wants to wear makeup for a special occasion, I wouldn’t ban them from it completely. Rather, they need a trusted adult to help them choose safe products and apply them correctly.

The infamous “Toddlers and Tiaras” is one of the greatest representations of why young girls shouldn’t be wearing makeup. The show centered on beauty pageants, the young contestants, and their stage moms. For the pageants, makeup artists would put so much makeup on the girls’ faces that their appearance was practically unrealistic. This method of treating young girls like fully grown women, among others, was one of the many reasons the show was, rightfully, canceled, according to mainecampus.com. Makeup should not be forced at such a young age. If it is, it’s telling young girls that they “must” wear makeup, not that it’s a choice for when they are older.

The minds of children are extremely impressionable. If girls are allowed to wear makeup at a young age, it’ll make them aware of so-called “beauty standards” when they, at their age, shouldn’t be worrying about such things. Over-advertisement and emphasis on makeup only continue to fuel these budding self-esteem issues.  Young girls shouldn’t be concerned with “fixing their face”, as some people put it, or with “looking older”.

Once they’re old enough to understand it and make the right decisions, I have no problem with teenagers and tweens wearing makeup if done correctly. But with little kids, unless it’s face paint or Halloween makeup, let them enjoy childhood without worrying about their appearance.

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