The debate over teenagers wearing makeup is a long standing one. Many years ago, it was rare to see young teens walking around in a full face. As the years have gone by however it is more common to see cosmetic companies targeting young adults. It’s hip to be “on fleek” and “slayed to perfection.” Adults comment all the time on how children are growing up too fast and trying too hard to be grown. The choice of a parent to let their teen wear makeup is a personal one. It is healthy to open a dialogue on whether or not it is allowed and why. These conversations can help families come to a mutual understanding. It is the parent’s final say, but here are a few things to consider beforehand.
Children and teenagers are going to find a way to do what they want to do. They always have and they always will. This is not to say that parents shouldn’t keep an eye on what their children are up to, or that parents should let their kids do whatever they want. It is important however to remember that it is natural for youth to be interested in doing what their friends are doing or to fit in. While that’s not an excuse for negative behavior and it doesn’t excuse the consequences, the choice to wear makeup to fit in should not be compared to jumping off a bridge with their companions.
Wearing makeup may be a way to feel included, but it can also be a way to express creativity and individuality. Sure, a lot of folks may be wearing makeup but no two faces are the same. Maybe that extremely winged liner is a way to stand out from the crowd. Think back to high school. Racoon eyes may have looked tough then or bright red lipstick looked Hollywood glam. All teenagers want is the same freedom to express themselves that the generation before them had.
For every reason there is to wear makeup, there are just as many to not wear it. Wearing makeup can make young teens look older than they are. This is partly due to the traditional views that young people shouldn’t wear it, and partly because that is simply the effect it can have on the face. This illusion makes many parents uncomfortable not just because they want their children to stay their children forever, but because they also don’t want other adults mistaking their child to be older than they are. Sometimes makeup can be the equivalent of a fake ID. Whether a teen is purposefully trying to appear more mature or not, no parent wants to consider the possibilities their child could face.
Another reason to avoid the face paint? Self-esteem issues among young adults is on the rise. Many teens feel pressured to look like their favorite celebrities and models. An unhealthy obsession with looks can have a negative impact on the lives of children. Makeup is meant for fun and creativity rather than the standard for beauty and acceptance. Parents do not want their already emotionally vulnerable teenagers to be depressed because they feel like their less if they don’t look like everyone else.
Parents must ultimately decide if they are comfortable with their teenagers wearing makeup. It doesn’t hurt to discuss feelings and options before making these final decisions. There are many aspects to consider such as how their teen views wearing makeup, and in what capacity they should be allowed to wear it. While it may be the parent’s choice, it’s important for parents to remember that saying no with no explanation can make rebelling that much sweeter. A good dialogue can lead to a mutual understanding. It also doesn’t hurt to remind a teenager that while the answer being no may seem like the end of the world now, it really isn’t.