I did something against my better judgment recently: I brought home a Pür cosmetics Cinderella-themed makeup palette, above, for my 7-year-old daughter. It had magically appeared at the office one day, and my friend and co-worker had put it aside for me, knowing my daughter is very into dress-up and hairstyling and all things girly.Related: The Way Kim Kardashian’s Naked Selfie ‘Movement’ Is Hurting Girls.At first, I told her no way. Lipstick and blush and eyeshadow? For a kid? It felt like something that went against everything I believed in: the importance of inner beauty, bucking gender constructs — basic feminist ideals, for heaven’s sake!“Oh, come on,” my friend said blithely. “It will make her so happy.”And so, just like that, I decided to loosen up and let it happen (after checking in with my wife, of course, who miraculously said OK against her own better judgment). I brought the thing home. And when I presented it to my girl, she was ecstatic — and completely shocked.
“I can’t believe you’re letting me have this,” she said, confused and trembling with excitement as she carefully unfolded the neat packaging and began dabbing at the colors.Blue Ivy working her look.“I just thought you’d love it,” I told her. “But it’s only for playing, OK? You cannot go out in any of this stuff.”“OK!” she squealed.She spent portions of the next few chilly, wintry Saturdays trying all the various color combinations, deciding on her favorite hues (“Dazzle” for eyes, “Lure” — eek! — for lips) and making creepy faces in the mirror. But the intrigue didn’t last. After less than a month, she seemed to have moved on, unscathed, and I couldn’t have been more relieved — until I noticed a slight uptick in her occasional morning meltdowns regarding troublesome school outfits or hairdos. And I’ve had a nagging worry: Did the makeup somehow play into these burgeoning preoccupations?The issue has been highlighted in the media several times this week alone — with that viral photo of Beyoncé’s 4-year-old, Blue Ivy, dolled up in mom’s makeup, as well as with Kerry Washington’s already talking to People about how she’s in no rush for her baby girl, Isabelle, to start dabbling in the stuff. “We’ll see who she is and the world she lives in — she’s not even 2, so who knows what the world will look like when she is 10 or when she’s 13 or when she’s 15,” she said. “We’ll just feel it out.” And then there was this alarming story about little girls getting their eyebrows waxed, and another one, about Tori Spelling’s being unapologetic over dyeing her 7-year-old daughter’s hair blond last summer.