Guilty of Wanting to Wear Makeup – A Teen Perspective

The gavel slammed, I was sentenced to no makeup for life. What was the crime? Did I do something wrong? Why do I have to have a nude face forever? At thirteen, didn’t my freedom of expression kick in? When would it be my choice, my decision? Well, let me plead my case.

Walking through the hall at school on my way to civics class, I saw a good friend of mine. She was wearing eyeliner. I envied her for the fact that she looked great.  Now, I was not allowed to wear makeup, except for a little lip gloss, which in my book is not really makeup.  At thirteen, I was denied my right to freedom of expression because my parents hold those rights for me, and frankly, the cash as well!  After two more class, I went home and asked my mom if I could buy some eyeliner.  Her response was, “You’re too young.”  I find this as a lame excuse for the fact that I was an intelligent (gifted) 13 -year old girl!  And that my age did in fact have TEEN in it (as in TEENager).

After a long discussion, where we both talked and listened, we understood each other’s points of view and we agreed that if I was the one at the cash register, there was no harm in getting the makeup as long as I didn’t go over the top.

To clarify some things, I have a special plan with my mom. She gives me a set amount of money for my necessities every week. And I also have an extra chore list – each one with a monetary value to it. So every week I get an allowance. This was for my necessities and if I want extra money, I do extra chores.

During our discussion, I agreed that I would not overdo the makeup thing, and we also talked about what that meant to both of us.  At the store, I paid for the makeup with my chore money. I had my freedom of expression back. As a teen, with a parent who heard my case, the verdict was ‘Not Guilty’ for teenager misconduct. But if you are a parent and need help dealing with this process or a teenager who needs help to understand a parent, here is a step by step guide to the “Teenager Makeup Process.”

When your daughter comes to you wanting something like eye shadow, eyeliner, mascara, or even something as simple as lip stick (even though lip gloss is BETTER!), just put 10 dollars in her hand and start driving to a drug store. No words are required. I just dare you to try. She will be very happy, smiling the whole way. At the store, give her some options and show her what you think is nice (not to many nude colors). But depending on what your primary shopping list was, think about picking up the following:
* Black eyeliner (unless she is blond-get the brown or blond one)
* A simple 3-4 palette of eye shadow (one that suits her eye color)
* Black mascara (start her off with a NON-waterproof- so it is removable)
*  2 lip glosses- 1 color, 1 sheer (let her pick the colors as long as it is not too dark)

Then explain to her your rules on every day wear. But here are some tips on what not to say:
* Tip #1: Don’t tell her she can only wear it on special occasions (it kind of defeats the purpose).
* Tip #2: Don’t tell her to ask her friends how to use it or tell her to research it (that isn’t very caring).
* Tip #3: Don’t tell her you don’t care what she does with it (unless you are dying to have a clown for a child).

Last, you both need to then go home and you be the beautician and show her how to do this stuff. And don’t wait until the morning, unless you want to be late to work.
Here is a tip on dealing with other children when you have a teenager with makeup. For older girls, if they want to have them show your teenager how to use it as well, be sure the older child knows this is the 13 year-old’s makeup not theirs. And with younger girls, have a little fun. Show them how to use it, and be sure to tell them that they can use it when their older, and maybe on special occasions you can give them a little makeover.

So after all of that, ask her how she feels. Does she like the new look? If not, maybe try another. You just need to think. She is just experimenting and if you are low on money and 10 bucks is very high, show her your collection of makeup and share that instead. She just wants to have some fun and see if she likes herself with the makeup. This is a step in her newly found independence. If everyone is doing it, why can’t she try? It’s not like sex and drugs.  She is just experimenting, and do you really want her to leave you out of the process?  If you are not involved in her life, she may come home from a friend’s house or the mall with a new face that you find inappropriate. So instead of this happening, maybe it’s a good idea for you to be the one to take it in your hands, and show her the ropes.

And for my closing argument:
Why should teens be judged for wanting to feel better about themselves?  There are enough other little things that tend to set us off, anyway!  Would wearing a little mascara turn her into a murderer?  What crime does she commit by adding a little bit of blue over her eye?  Will she get a DUI because she has some sheer lip gloss on?  In summary, let’s not make our teenagers guilty over something that is really not a crime.

About Amanda Davis

Amanda Davis is a typical teenage girl who enjoys painting, writing and shopping. When she is not busy doing homework or reading, you may find her watching TV or hanging out with her friends. She lives in Florida with her parents, and is a contributor to the Ask Amy column on the Brave New Leaders website.

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