I inserted myself into a conversation in the playground yesterday about five-year-olds wearing make-up. Two mums were discussing whether to boycott a make-up class at their local dance studio. The class is designed to teach them how to correctly apply make-up to their children’s faces. The mums were, naturally, disturbed by this concept. It’s end-of-year dance concert season, so tarting up your child is a hot topic. The Sprogs will be tarted up next weekend for their dance concert – eye-shadow, mascara, blush, red lipstick. Think the back-up dancers in Robert Palmer’s Addicted To Love music clip, except with five-year-olds swivelling their hips instead of 25-year-olds. Something wrong with this picture, perhaps? But, hey, I shouldn’t complain. My 10-year-old niece is expected to don false eyelashes for her show. I’m not saying I’m anti-make-up for kids. I’ve been know to paint the Sprogs’ toenails blue, green, orange. Sprog 2 is also quite fond of a make-up kit given to her by Nonna. She looks particularly fetching when she applies the lipliner in a wonky circle about 1cm from her lips. But that’s just for fun at home. Not on a stage, while she’s wearing a mini-skirt and shiny tights, with toddler-beauty-pageant-style hair and make-up, for the entertainment of a few hundred grown-ups. Yet I’m letting it happen because I don’t like to make a fuss and most of the parents seem to think it’s perfectly fine, cute even. So maybe I’m over-thinking it. Perhaps it’s not sexualising children, the way Husband fears. But come on, who am I kidding? It so is. Why are little kids expected to wear make-up for dance concerts anyway? Is it “stage make-up” to make their features stand out for the people sitting in the back row? If so, I’m happy to take a seat down the back if it means I can admire their innocent little faces au naturale. And I reckon I’ll enjoy the show just as much. But since that won’t be happening, I think we’ll be skipping dance class next year and choosing something that doesn’t measure a child’s success by the artificial redness of their lips, the pinkness of their cheeks and the darkness of their lashes.
PS Let me step down from my moral high ground for a moment to tell you about another conversation I had in the playground yesterday. It was World Teachers Day, so Sprog 1 had a class party. I was chatting to Sprog 1’s teacher about gross party food ideas she could make with the kids for Halloween on Monday. She seemed particularly taken with my used Band-Aid biscuits suggestion (wafers with a square of white icing in the middle and a little dollop of jam on top, mmmm). Then, for some bizarre reason, I started telling her about the new favourite drink I’d discovered at lunchtime – Diet Coke & vodka. Seemed highly amusing at the time (I probably still had traces of caffeine and spirits coursing through my veins). Now? Dying inside.
TONIGHT’S MENU: Aunty Kate is cooking homemade pizza. Onya Aunty Kate.