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My Glamorous Daughter

1 (a madar)
ba salaam,
my daughter (only 5 years old!) is fascinated by dresses, jewelry, make up, high-heel shoes, ...
She already knows how to put lip stick on her lips without a mirror, she loves wearing high heel shoes, and watching herself in the mirror.
I think that life has phases that we all go through. if one misses one phase at the proper time, s/he might want to have it at an improper time later. so, I let her do her things, hoping that she will outgrow this phase.
But what if she doesn't? what if it continues to be stronger in her? I wonder if I am encouraging her "glamorous" side of personality by taking it easy. As a woman that wants her girl to have a strong personality, and not grow into a Barby, I wonder where and how do I draw the line?
I appreciate it if you share your policies with me.

2 (a madar)
Hi, I do not understand when you do not do these kind of stuff that she is doing, how did she take after.
I talk to you about it later. but the most important thing is these make up they have a chemical in them. which is bad for their skin...

3 (a madar)
I cannot see how wearing make up will keep her from having a strong personality. Do make up wearing people all have weak personalities? I don't have a daughter so I might not understand your concern very well. But I believe wearing make up and dressing up and coordinating your outfits its a very personal thing and should not be something we use for passing judgment on other people. I don't think an all dressed up girl will read a book differently than a girl in jeans.

4 (a madar)
good morning,
I do not know why I am sensing a panic feeling in your email, I am so happy for your daughter for acknowledging her beauty and uniqueness and admiring it, something that most of us still have our challenges with!
>so, I let her do her things, hoping that she will outgrow this phase.
If you ask me, you did a right thing and continue to do that in other aspects of her growing up, we can just hope for their happiness and well being and put our complete efforts in that direction. It is hard for me every time I have to remind myself that I do not own my children, we are just tools and resources for them to become happy and content in life and the choice is theirs.
>But what if she doesn't? what if it continues to be stronger in her?
Then you will know her personality and her archetype and will know what to accept about her. Our older daughter is very sensitive and emotional, the very aspect of my personality that I have my judgment on, but no matter how I felt about it and how I tried to influence her differently, she is holding on to this characteristic and teaching me to let her be and enjoy her. I keep reminding myself that I have no right to project my childhood on her, and respect the fact that our daughters are going to experience their life their own way.
>I wonder if I am encouraging her "glamorous" side of personality by taking >it easy. As a woman that wants her girl to have a strong personality, >and not grow into a Barby, I wonder where and how do I draw the line?
It is wonderful that you are celebrating her glamorous side by letting her be and feel glamorous. I understand that you as woman want to empower your daughter with a strong personality, but strong in what? I think we can empower them by strengthening their core of personality that in different stages of growing up they demonstrate independent of what we like and dislike.
you are not alone and we all go through these anxieties, thank you for your sincere sharing and giving us all opportunity to learn with you.
5 (a madar)
I read your email and think that it is very natural for girls this age to have fun with make up and making themselves glamorous. However, I do think it is beneficial to put limits on this type of activity. For example maybe if the makeup is just used in the house not outside of the home can establish a limit. This is all depends to the parents and their children. This is my opinion.
6 (a mother)
Your daughter is a typical girl. I have two daughters 5 and 4 and the oldest would do the same thing, so I understand your concerns. What I did was first of all put my make-up away so she would not touch it. a) One reason is that these make-ups have chemicals in them that are not intended for childrens delicate skin. b)Children don't know how to apply it and can easily get it into their eyes. c)Another thing is nail polish, which many women are allergic to! In fact, many women unknowingly have eye irratations and lose their eyelashes because when they rub their eyes they are irratating their sensitive skin on their eyes. My daughter also chews her nails when in times of stress and I do not want her also chewing nail polish! d)Also, if we look at the Europeans, they wear make-up much latter in life because they are trying to prevent premature aging, we all should learn from them and teach our daughters.
Getting that out of the way, I know what you mean by worring if your daughter will go to the extreme and beome barbie like. My husband use to say that our eldest daughter reminded him of his younest sister. This worried me, because this sister is to the extreme and spends hours appying make-up and looking for that perfect look. This idea effected her when she grew up and all though has a degree put that a side to go after her true love - her looks! She even refused to marry unless she found a husband that supported her ideas! Sounds very funny, but it is scary! I did not want my children to be like that, at all. I want to teach my daughters to value more important things. So what I did was start to explain to my daughters that when you get as big as me then you can wear make-up; I told them that make-up is not for children as they can burn their skin or eyes and their skin will get old fast like a raisin. (They laughed but I keep on saying it and it worked) Also, most important, I kept on saying that I and their baba did not like it when they put on make-up. I try to redirect their attention from this to other things such as the computer or outside playing. However, children do need to express themselves and they do play dress up, just not with make-up and not always. I, myself only wear make -up on speacial occassions and only in front of my husband, because I want them to realize that they are so special and pure that they do not need to display their beauty for all to gawk at and take advantage of. I want them to know that they can function perfectly with out all this external beautification. I want them to find confidence and self-esteem in their humanity ablitiy and personality, not in make-up and fine clothes. (Unfortunatley, many women feel naked or incomplete without make-up, this is wrong because women are so much more the that.)As far as the clothes go, my daughters got to the point of only wanting to wear nice dresses. I stopped that by telling them that beautiful clothes are clean, ironed, well taken care of clothes. I told them constantly to be thankful of anything they have and take good care of it. One day we saw a homeless person and explained to them the situation of how they didn't have beautiful clothes. I think that was when they understood, by seeing, why they should be thankful for everything and not to be so greedy. I also took them to help out locally to pack toiletries and toys for the homeless children. I admit this problem was my fault, beacuse when we visited Iran I didn't take the time to explain or counter the materialistic ideas that they saw. I thought that they were too young to understand, until I saw them mimicing the women. Children maybe young but they see and readily copy and they hear and follow. If we want to mold our children we can. But we must start at an eary age and be consistent and remove as mush as possibe the negative influences until they are strong enough and always talk to our chlidren and teach them based on right and wrong. Always talk to your children and listen to what they are computing in their minds!

Please send your replies and/or opinions regarding this subject to madar-pedar@surya.eecs.berkeley.edu.

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