Should Little Girls Wear Makeup?

Last month, it was my niece’s 9th birthday. The birthday party had some ten kids, all from her class. One girl got everybody’s attention. She wore a LBD with high heels, her waist-length hair open, dangling hoops in her ear, a touch of lipstick, blush on cheeks and an eyeliner. Every now and then she’d flick her head back to toss her hair over her shoulder. She looked smart and confident and was able to carry herself real well even in those high heels.

But something about her made me uncomfortable. Yes, it was her mini adult look. And one thought kept buzzing in my head, ‘could this type of dressing and makeup wait a while longer?’

I am back on Parentous after a hiatus.


Do check out this post as I share my dilemma.

What are your thoughts about little girls donning the mature look? Is there a certain age where you think it’s appropriate for girls to wear makeup out of the house? What age is too young?

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17 thoughts on “Should Little Girls Wear Makeup?

  1. I have often discussed this with my friends… but then I don’t have kids so really don’t know what goes in the minds of the parents. In my opinion 9 is still too young to be dressed up like an adult. Parents should never force their kids to be mini adults.
    Although, I have seen kids grow up faster as soon as they become teenager. They are more independent and confident than what we were during our time, which I feel is a good thing.

    • Oh, there’s no doubting that! Kids today are way too smarter and confident than we were at the same age. I believe it is both ways… kids want to have that look and parents have some aspirations too. As parents, the responsibility lies with us and it is we who have to strike a balance between setting limits and allowing them to be independent thinking individuals. Tough job… but we have to do it 🙂

  2. Hi Shilpa, I too am the mother of sons. No lasses in this household! I wonder how I would have been as mother to a daughter? Or my husband as father to a daughter? I wonder where this young lass lost her sense of being a child and buying into the glitz and glamour? That her ‘persona’ was more important than her real childlike self?

  3. Read it, and I agree. It’s quite disturbing to see little kids try and act all ‘adult-like’ – and it sometimes doesn’t stop with clothes alone. They even mirror the mannerisms too; and I’ve come across plenty of parents who are in a hurry for their kids to grow up.

    • True, when they don a mature look, they do imbibe the mature way of talking and behaving too and that’s truly sad! Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts, Sid!

  4. Oh tell me about it Shilpa. The arguments have begun at our home and N is not 10 yet. Despite my ‘vigil’ she manages to wear lip-balm that looks dangerously like lipstick and somedays I’ve even detected a hint of liner! And the hair!! What a struggle to get it cut!

  5. No shilpa! Little girls don’t need make up. And, i understand what you say in the post as I see the same situation around me too. What’s more some parents do encourage this and feel they are keeping up with the changing trends. Sad state of affairs! 18, i feel is the right age for make-up , clinically as well as socially.

    I tried leaving a comment on parentous but for reasons best known to parentous, it is not allowing me to sign in:)

  6. shilpa I don’t know what must be the appropriate age for girls to wear make up, but I see all around girls dressing up and at times even behaving like adults, it looks like they are in a hurry to grow up. Its not a easy task, my daughter is just 14 and loves make up and I constantly keep giving her feedback about her dress and looks; sometimes I have to assert and state what I feel as her mom…

  7. I raised two girls and one was completely uninterested in make up( and all things girly) and the other was very interested from a young age. Eventually, I allowed Girl2 to play with make-up (range intended for kids) much like a toy. She and her friends would play dress up and make up their faces, but the rule was they had to wipe it all off at the end of the game.
    My explanation to her was, wearing make-up is like playing house or playing mom with her doll or playing teacher with her friends. It’s perfectly normal for her to play them. BUT she was not ready to either be a mom or a teacher or to be a make-up wearing adult.
    I was also sneaky. Little girls pile on the lipstick and blusher and I used to say, “no, no,no, you don’t want to look like a clown. The aim is to enhance your natural good looks.” By the time she was a teenager, I didn’t have to worry about pancake face and I’ve overheard her saying to her friends, “less is more”. LOL!

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