Written by Love Isn’t Enough guest contributor Liana Clark; originally published at Welcome to the Dollhouse.
I’m a bit tweaked right now. And before I get into it, let me say that I’m glad that my brother is currently not speaking to me, otherwise I know he’d have to attack me again for “thinking too much.” I’m happy that I don’t have that devaluation from my family to deal with as well. Anyhow…
So I’ve just returned from shoe shopping with the kidlet. Normally this is a fairly benign experience except for the managing the kid part. Yet today wasn’t bad at all. We bought a pair of Keen sandals that were a must have because they looked just like her friend Mianna’s pair and had little other drama. That is until I gave my phone number to get my Olly points. Somehow it came up that since we had recently bought her a pair of Lelli Kelly shoes, she was now entitled to their latest gift. The sales clerk told me what it was as she handed it to the kidlet. “It’s a makeup kit cell phone,” she said.
Of course at this point Zara has seen the cell phone and starts asking me, “Mommy can I call people with it?” I’m explaining that it’s a pretend phone while trying to figure out how to get whatever silly makeup they have in there out of the damn phone case thing. Yet I’m still thinking that the makeup must be for dolls since what would any 3 year old need with makeup, for goodness sake?! But as we start walking to Panera Bread, my crafty daughter figures out how to open the packaging. She then opens the phone itself and asks, “What’s this, Mommy?”
Inside the phone are 4 shades of eye shadow and 4 colors of lip gloss. It hits me then that this isn’t some play makeup set. This is real makeup for children to wear! And then my anger level shot to thermonuclear. What in holy hell does a 3 year old need makeup for? And even better, what message do we send when we give beautiful and innocent children such a “toy” for their “play?” Makeup suggests a need for adornment or improvement. My kid is absolutely gorgeous. Her beauty is natural. I don’t want her thinking or believing that she need add anything or do anything to improve on the perfection she was already given. I know that she will learn negative self-image thanks to worldly influences as she ages, but I am damn sure not going to start with this makeup crap at 3 years old. And I’d like someone to show me the 3 year old, or even 6 or 9 year old who looks better with makeup than without.
As much as I don’t like to be overly dramatic or restrictive of the toys she plays with, for this one I had to put my foot down. “Sweetie, you can have the phone to play with, but Mommy has to remove all the makeup inside first. You don’t need any of that stuff on your beautiful face and Mommy is very unhappy that they put that junk in the phone in the first place.”
For her it was no biggie at all. We got home and she handed me the phone to clean out. I showed it to AdoringHusband who sensed my pique. Without telling him the contents, I asked him to clean it out for her.
“What’s inside?” he said, jokingly, “Sarah Palin?”
“It might as well be,” I said, deadpan.
He opened the case and was as shocked as I had been 30 minutes before. “You’re right,” he concluded. “It might as well have been.”
So now, Zizi is out happily playing with the now empty cell phone case. I’ve written my letter of unhappiness to Lelli Kelly. And my brother has undoubtedly discovered a disturbance in the force and will be sending “what’s the big deal” vibes to me from afar. Truth is, to many it may not be a big deal (and I know that it isn’t when compared with our global financial crisis, the oil spill and other major issues). But this is the only kid I’ve got. If I don’t think about the messages she receives, who the hell will? Sorry Lelli Kelly. This was a MAJOR FAIL.