Crayons are a must-have for kids going back to school, but whether or not lipstick should be in the same group is up for debate.
This is what some parents say after seeing a picture of Carmen Baldwin, whose parents are Alec Baldwin and Hilaria Baldwin, and who is 9 years old. A picture of Hilaria’s fourth-grade-aged daughter was recently put on Instagram. In the picture, the daughter is wearing something that looks like mascara and dark burgundy lipstick. Hilaria just had her seventh child, which is a lot of kids. Almost as soon as the post was made, people began to worry. Parents and professionals have said that playing with makeup at home can be like child’s play but the elementary school students shouldn’t come to school with their faces completely covered in makeup.
“Parents should be cautious about kids’ use of makeup outside the home until middle school,” Jamie Ratner, a Maryland-based mom of two and author of the book “ParentPreneurs” told The Post. She didn’t start letting her daughter wear makeup until she was 13 years old, and even then, it was only for her bat mitzvah.
“It’s [about] not wanting them at a younger age to be so focused on the way they look,” Ratner said. “In terms of development, that would be the concern.”
Baldwin’s post comes after Kourtney Kardashian, 43, who was criticized for letting her 10-year-old daughter Penelope shape her face with foundation in a social media video. Baldwin’s post comes right after the controversy that started when Kardashian made her decision. The media were quick and harsh in their criticism of the reality star’s mother.
“At her age she shouldn’t be contouring and all that. Yeah, lipstick here and there, but really? SMH poor thing by the time she’s 18 she’s gonna be with implants looking like she’s 30 smh,” one critic said on Twitter.
People have said bad things about the Baldwins in the past because they let their daughter, who was only nine years old at the time, wear makeup in public. After Hilaria posted a picture of Carmen wearing lipstick in August, the social media police started a thread on Reddit where they shared their thoughts.
“Putting makeup on third graders to go out is completely f—ked up. This isn’t glitter-on-your-cheeks fairy costume vibes at all—It’s sexualization of a child and it’s extremely disgusting,” the user wrote.
Some parents think that kids should be able to wear makeup to school at a certain age, but others think that this age should change depending on a number of factors. These parents think it’s important to find out why their kids want to wear makeup.
“It’s a really slippery slope – with the way our society is and the social media our kids are being exposed . . . We as parents are forced with these difficult decisions of ‘how do we encourage freedom of expression and identity but also try to preserve the innocence and encourage kids to be kids?’” Stephanie Dreyer, 47, a Los Angeles-based mom of three, said. Even though both of her daughters tried makeup when they were younger, neither of them wore makeup to school until they were seniors in high school. One of her daughters is 16 and the other one is 18.
“My girls were playing with eyeshadow [at home] watching YouTube tutorials and that was their creative outlet,” she said. But she wouldn’t let them wear makeup outside the house because she was afraid it would make them look older than they really are, which could attract unwanted attention.
“We had an open conversation about what is attractive about wanting to wear makeup – what is the reason? Is it because everyone’s doing it? Is it because they don’t feel pretty without it? Is it peer pressure? There has to be a dialogue on what’s behind it,” Dreyer said.
Even though it’s important for children to have opportunities to be creative and express themselves, parenting experts warn that wearing makeup to school, especially in elementary and middle school, can hurt a child’s sense of self-confidence.
“Many middle schoolers struggle with self-esteem issues as their bodies begin to change. It’s natural that they become more concerned with their clothes and hair, and most parents think it’s fine for their middle schooler to begin wearing lip gloss,” Dr. Laura Markham, author of “Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids” told The Post. But the fact that kids in elementary school want to wear makeup is worrying, and you should talk to your child about why they want to wear Maybelline.
Markham said, “It’s important for parents to talk with kids about the pressure on girls to fit societal standards of beauty.”