The future is here: Lipstick in kindergarten

Lately my daughter has been in somewhat of a rivalry/admiration zone with this other girl at school. They like the same boy. Bee kisses him on the cheek, the other girl invites him over. The other girl does this, Bee has to do that. Last week it was jewelry. All of a sudden Bee wanted to wear bracelets everywhere. (Excuse me if I hightailed it to Claire’s because what is six bucks when it means the Easter bunny has something better than candy, finally happiness?) Except now, it’s lipstick. “All” the girls are wearing it. “All” the girls are curling their hair, too.

Oh, my kid is five.

I said no. I told her to enjoy her childhood. Sure, lipstick at five, and parked in front of a penny slot in Vegas wearing an “I love my grandkids” sweater by 30. Benjamin Buttons! She’s not getting lipstick.

First reason, it’s just not going to go well. Sure, I’ll just hand her a lipstick. Maybe I’ll give her a permanent marker and a motorcycle and maybe some cocaine and a rocket. Par-tee!


This is actually a good scenario.


Remember when we were kids? Oh, God, here I go being the old person walking up the hill both ways to school. THE HILL WAS VERY HIGH AND IT WAS ALWAYS SNOWING. Anyway, once back in 1893 when I was in third grade, I got this plastic necklace that had three charms on it. The charms popped open and inside was a little dab of lipgloss. Dude, I cannot even paint the picture that was the mayhem when I wore that to school. The kids all acted like I was Ginger from Gilligan’s Island, except not even the cool version of Ginger. I was like, a pariah made of marabou and Zsa Zsa Gabor’s nipple tassels. The cool kids all played soccer and wore Umbros (remember those! you do!) and here I am with my prissy little lip gloss like some kind of streetwalker.

The teacher even pulled me out of class to lecture me. It was during my phase of bursting out in tears when any adult talked to me. She looked like Ronald McDonald minus the face paint and said to me with her teacher face, “we’re pretty girls. We don’t need makeup” (Private thought of a third grader in the late 80’s: Ummmm, maybe you do? Banish me to hell forever!) Also, this was in the bible belt, so maybe that had something to do with all the pearl clutching because I brought some sinning Jean Nate to school. Side story: I ran into that teacher at a wedding when I was an adult and lo, she was decked out in eyeliner and had some artsy guy with her who wore turtlenecks. WHO’S THE HUSSY NOW?!

So, basically I don’t understand kids these days.



The second reason I won’t let my kid wear makeup is she’s five. She is too young to sex herself up like that. Seriously, that’s all I got was five years? She went from diapers to thong underwear in less than a presidential term? Look, I’m all about expressing yourself and tinkering with your presentation. This isn’t about sex-shaming or not embracing the identity-forming process of the teen and pre-teen years, when girls are every bit as innocent and worthy whether they wear an inch of eyeliner and a spiked mohawk or not. This is about a true baby. The title of this post is even misleading because she’s in junior kindergarden. SHE IS FIVE.

We live in a world where lipstick in kindergarten (junior kindergarten) is perfectly fine, but having short hair and wearing “sporty” clothes is not, as in the case of this eight-year-old in Virginia who was criticized by her “Christian” school for non-gender conformity . Her only crime was looking like a tomboy. Stop sexualizing kids, everybody. It’s gross.

When my daughter is fifteen or seventeen or thirty, I promise not to bat an eye when she saunters into the living room like Jessica Rabbit and tells me she’s going on a date with 2025 Justin Bieber. I won’t even laugh! I’ll be right there supporting her and building her up so she doesn’t have to seek attention with her sexuality, even though she has every right and she can. I’ll just do like my parents did and feed her a dinner of garlic and onions before dates. So sexy!

But five? Lipstick to school?





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