Updated January 16, 2017
Dear Kennedy and Caroline,
Many mornings, I get ready for the day as you two crawl, play, and make a mess around my feet. As I was putting on my makeup the other day, I stared down to the myriad of products I own and wondered what you would look like when you’re old enough to start wearing it. Will you struggle with acne the way I did as a teenager? Will you inherit my dark circles? (I think all moms “inherit” dark circles, if we’re being honest!)
I own a lot of makeup. Many of my friends don’t quite understand it, but I like it. I love learning about new products and techniques. It’s fun and I enjoy it. That particular morning, as you two were playing with toys on the bath tub, I started to envision the day you will ask to buy makeup to wear for real. I wondered how I would feel if my daughters owned as much makeup as I did.
One day your careless spirits will likely vanish a little. One day you will want to try a little mascara and concealer. It’s going to be a little rite of passage into womanhood, and I’ve got to admit that I’m excited to be your makeup mentor. That is, if you don’t already think I know nothing about life.
Throughout the years, you’re going to hear things like “your beauty is inside!” or “you’re beautiful just the way you are!” And beautiful, you two are. Regardless of the cute outfits I put you in or how I style your hair, you are the epitome of joy and beauty. You’ve got that whole “I woke up like this” mantra down.
No matter how often we tell ourselves that we are beautiful inside and out, it’s okay to want to wear makeup. It’s easy to point fingers and say that I am encouraging insecurity by loving makeup so much. It’s easy to accuse “girl moms” of teaching destructive habits about self-confidence and body image. I get it. But what I put on my face shouldn’t affect the next person. Makeup hasn’t altered my ability to be your mom. Best of all? I can wash it off at the end of the day. You, too, should feel this way. It’s just makeup.
You girls are going to wear makeup at some point in your lives, but you have to promise me to learn to love yourselves with or without makeup. Enjoy both faces. Wear them both proudly. See your beauty within. Be confident. Don’t let anyone tell you that you wear makeup because you are insecure. You wear it because you like it. If you do, in fact, like it.
It’s just makeup.
I need you to make one other promise for me. DO NOT TOUCH YOUR EYEBROWS. Keep the tweezers, wax, and scissors away from them. Please see me when it’s time to groom them.
In the meantime, let’s enjoy this carefree adventure together!