Kate Meyers: If you have a pulse, a TV, a computer, or any number of iProducts, then you are bombarded daily by pictures of beautiful women.
So why would it surprise anyone that, according to a study cited this week in the New York Times, the use of mascara and eyeliner in American girls aged 8 to 12 has nearly doubled in the last two years? These girls get the message they're being sent. The question, is should we assist them down the slippery slope of beautification?
I tend toward a middling stance. I'm not escorting my daughters, aged 12 and 15, to the cosmetic counter at Nordstrom, but I'm not forbidding it, either. I buy them lip protection, an occasional gloss and I've even been known to thrown in a $8 wand of Maybelline. But the rule is, if they want hard-core product, they've got to come up with the do re mi.
At that point, they usually convince their step-grandmother. She loves makeup and loves to spoil them. And while, yes, I am embarrassed by their extensive Bobbi Brown collection, it's a battle I'm willing to let go of.
I tell my daughters that they are beautiful from the inside out all of the time. But I think it's important to let them experiment and figure out the face they want to show the world. The less I say, I have noticed, the more they figure it out. As it turns out, my girls have become impressively adept at applying makeup. I see their styles (minimal!) evolving -- and I'm glad I've been able to step back and let it happen. Plus, they love being stylists to their makeup-challenged mom, and I love letting them. As an added bonus, they even occasionally listen to what I think.