Friday, February 28, 2014

Core Values

Because children grow up so quickly, and because girls in particular become very aware way too soon of the "classic" IE airbrushed concept of beauty, I have taken a very strong stance to remind Raphaela that we must, as women, first and foremost love and respect our own bodies.

Every day I allow Raphaela to put on "lipstick" (actually Vaseline or Chap Stick), but I have agreed in principle that she may wear real make up ( lip gloss, a touch of eye shadow and possibly blush) on special occasions, which include being the Shabbat Ima at Gan, major Jewish holidays or family weddings.

Nail polish goes without saying, even on a regular day.

This morning we were walking to Gan and Raphaela said, to no one in particular, "I am so beautiful!  Of course I would be even more beautiful if I could have put on make up this morning." (Wink wink, nudge nudge...)

I stopped and got down to eye level and told her that no amount of make up could make someone beautiful on the outside if they were ugly on the inside.

"You are beautiful on the inside, you have a kind and loving heart, and that is what makes you beautiful also on the outside.  I will always love you, and I will always be proud of your beautiful soul."

Raphaela understood and I will continue to reinforce this message for her, but I doubt if that will stop the march of  the damaging commercialism aimed at our children.


Marta said...

The best way to convey such vales to a child is to start with oneself, also with makeup. As a child I was told that it belongs to a grown-up world and looks inappropriate in a little girl. I know that times have changed, but allowing it at one end and fighting at another seems to be inconsistent to me.

Doc said...

If I can stick to the very special occasions rule, I think it will be ok. I have always thought that with children, the more you say "Absolutely NO, NO exception," the more they will try to sneak behind your back to get it.
I had a colleague in graduate school, an Ultra-Orthodox man with six children, and they did not have a television in the house. He would brag that his children were sheltered from the evils of the programs from the outside world. At there house once, and their four year old is singing the Barney song and I asked, "How does she know Barney if you never allow them to watch TV?" Turns out that whenever she went on play dates to other houses, she spent the entire time watching television, drawn to it because it was so despised in her own home.