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My Son Likes Makeup ... So What?!

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He loves my makeup, bracelets and even my blonde wig ... What's the big deal?!

young boy with lipstick

Momlogic's Jenny: When my grandmother bought my son a play kitchen for his first birthday, my husband was not too thrilled. "A kitchen?! For a boy? Shouldn't he be playing with trucks?" I knew what he was implying. The idea of a boy in the kitchen is girly, wimpy ... gay

"Um, Wolfgang Puck, Bobby Flay, Tyler Florence ... hardly gay," I say. "Not to mention, you yourself love to cook and are currently using up space on TiVo recording 'Iron Chef.'" It was true. And once he saw our son's fascination with the kitchen (which seemed to be mostly about opening and closing the drawers, and less about creating the "perfect table-scape"), he got over this irrational concern ... until recently ...

A couple of months ago, while I was getting dressed to go out, my son was playing on the floor next to me and started to get antsy. I gave him a puzzle. Didn't want it. I gave him a remote control. Didn't want it. I gave him my phone. Didn't want it. He pointed towards my bangle: Yahtzee. The big gold bracelet that gets his mommy tons of compliments was what he wanted. From that point on, when he sees my bracelets he goes bananas. He loves to walk around with them on and he even calls them "Braysh." In fact, I often carry an extra "Braysh" with me when we're out, to use as a distraction. My husband wishes he was more interested in playing with his football or blocks, but I don't think it matters. My son doesn't know that bangles can dress up an outfit or complete an outfit. He doesn't know that some of my most beloved bangles are from Forever 21 or Target!

Who cares if he loves my bracelets and also loves my makeup?! When I'm getting ready for work, he likes to come in to the bathroom with me and begs for my blush brush, which he proceeds to "brush" himself with (mostly on his head). Not only is it cute, but the fact that he's seen me doing the same thing and is mimicking me, I think happens to be pretty smart. He loves playing "make-up" with me so much that I've designated an old brush to him to keep in his toy chest in the bathroom. My husband gets annoyed every time he sees him with the blush brush, but I really don't think it's a big deal. He doesn't actually know it's makeup and know it's "for girls," so what's the difference?!

An even newer obsession is playing with a blond wig that someone left at our house on Halloween. As a joke, my husband put it on our son's head one afternoon and now every time he sees it, he wants to wear it. He gestures for us to put it on him and walks around saying "Hat, hat." Again, I think the fact that he knows it's something you put on your head and associates it with hats is brilliant -- and the furthest thing from "gay." He doesn't know that my sister used it for her Playboy Playmate costume. He doesn't know that wigs are for trannies and obnoxious Atlanta housewives (hello, Kim Zolciak!)

All in all, I really don't think any of this is going to make my son suffer from an identity crisis and it's certainly not going to turn him gay! That's not to say that I am going to encourage my son to grow up wearing makeup or playing with mommy's accessories, but I really don't think taking it away or making a big deal out of it is an option either. I know he'll grow out of it and will soon be digging through mud and collecting spiders. At this stage, boys want to be like their mommies and for the time being, I'm going to relish in his fascination with all things ME. Now, if he gets older and I find him wearing my f*** me Oscar De La Renta boots, well, that's whole other story ...

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6 comments so far | Post a comment now
Elizabeth January 8, 2009, 6:34 AM

Don’t think a thing of it. My son played dress-up and wore dresses, hats and high heels because his big sister was doing it and he wanted to be just like her. She’s every bit the man now.

ashley January 8, 2009, 7:59 AM

Absolutely!! My son always wanted his nails painted when he saw me doing mine. So I got some cheap clear polish and he loved it and it was rubbed off in a few days. Now my little girl likes playing with my makeup and cars and my husband doesn’t say anything about her playing with cars, like she’s going to be a les.

John K. January 8, 2009, 12:06 PM

So what if he turns out gay anyway? Would you try to stop this behavior if you actually DID believe it would turn him gay?

Karen January 8, 2009, 1:19 PM

It’s not that this behavior will turn him gay, but that it could point to him being gay. I’m sure lots of boys who dress up and play with makeup grow up to be straight (and plenty of boys who never did this grew up gay), but the only boy I know who did this grew up gay as the day is long. Either way should be fine, though, and at least your husband will have a long time to get used to the idea. My daughter loves to play with toy cars, and she’s about your son’s age, so we’ll just have to wait to see how they turn out!

Cassandra March 4, 2009, 9:02 PM

I have actually talked to children’s therapists and pediatricians about this issue with my son and they told me that it is perfectly normal and that it is a proven fact that little boys who play with dolls and makeup and girl stuff make better fathers when they are older.

Debbie  October 12, 2009, 9:27 PM

Nothing he does or you do is going to turn him gay! If he is gay it is because he was born gay and there is nothing you can do to change it. You can try and make him suppress it but it won’t change it so if he is gay Love Him and let him be the best person he can be and don’t let anyone belittle him or judge him or her for that matter or that precious baby could grow up suicidal .

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