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Is 6-Year-old Too Consumed With Make-up?

By Jodie Lynn

My brother's six-year-old daughter is allowed to wear make-up, including eye shadow, liner and mascara, almost every day. She does not wear it to school but as soon as she gets home, she puts it on. Since he and his wife are currently separated and not living in the same house, he thinks the topic is off limits. She desperately wants to be a teenager and is already talking about falling in love. Her mom thinks it's cute. Isn't this setting up major challenges in the near future for all three of them? Is it appropriate to comment on the situation? If so, what should I say?


If your niece is only wearing make-up when she is not in school, maybe you are the one that has a personal problem with it. Most little girls like to play with make-up. My eight-year-old twins love to try out various products I bring home. Of course, they don't spend much time with it and they do not do it everyday. As long as it does not become an obsession, it is probably not really going to create a challenge later. - Juanita P. in San Francisco, CA


Girls as young as two and three years old become curious about the wonderful world of colors, smells, textures and even tastes of things that their mom, older siblings and others put on their skin. Playing with make-up is one of the ways children get an opportunity to explore some of these sensations and emulate people that they admire. It sounds as if she is trying to perhaps mimic a teenage babysitter or some other individual that she watches apply make-up and playfully shares some with her. On the other hand, one of the potential challenges might be if she is groomed to believe that make-up is a necessity that she has to have on before going somewhere, like the store, outside or other activities, to enhance her outwardly beauty. For example, if she is visiting her dad or other family members and insists on applying make-up before doing anything or going anywhere else, it may become a learned habit that might not be easily kept under control as she gets older. However, instead of lecturing her on something that is relatively harmless at the current time, think about purchasing a couple of books that tell a story about how real beauty is truly on the inside. It will be better received if it features a girl around her age.

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© Jodie Lynn
Jodie Lynn is an award-winning internationally syndicated family/health columnist and radio personality. Her syndicated column Parent to Parent has been successful for over 10 years and appears in newspapers, magazines, newsletters and throughout the Internet. She is a regular contributor to several sites including,,,,, and Lynn has written four books and contributed to three others, one of which was on Oprah and has appeared on NBC in a three month parenting segment. Her latest books are "Mom CEO (Chief Everything Officer) - Having, Doing and Surviving It All!" (June 2006) and "Syndication Secrets - What No One Will Tell You!" (March 2006).
Please visit for details on her new radio talk show, Inside Parenting Success.


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