As far as raising my kid goes, I rely mostly on instinct and common sense. I still read studies and articles about how to better rear her, of course, and I have had her vaccinated — among many other efforts. So long as it doesn’t harm her, that’s where I go. I’ll let her learn lessons by herself when she’s older.
It wasn’t always that way, though. When I found out that I was going to have a girl, I vowed to never let her play Barbies, never let her put on makeup before she’s 16, never dress her up too girly. Imposing such restrictions, I’ve come to realize, defeats the purpose of letting her be her own person. And so I tried to let her choose what to spend time on and get interested in.
Seeing that I correct and color the skin on my face often has definitely piqued her interest. My brushes would suddenly go missing, and then I’d discover she’s playing with them — along with a few of my products. She’d put eyeliner on her lips, draw lines on her cheeks. It’s adorable! Still, I prefer if she won’t do it yet. It’s a conundrum. I don’t want her to think that she needs makeup to feel good about herself, but I don’t want her to think of it as mundane either. Makeup has definitely given me more to smile about. I get to practice my focus and explore my creativity. There’s an art to it. There’s amusement. There’s joy.
Perhaps I shouldn’t feel so anxious. So long as I tell her that cultivating her person is what she should focus on, she can wear or not wear makeup and not feel as though she’s obliged to do either. She would just go with her gut and not give a damn what other people think of her.
Most mornings she’d tell me, “Mama, you’re beautiful.” And I would get kilig, with all my muta (morning glory) and disheveled hair, she tells me I am beautiful. I tell her then, “You’re beautiful, too.” And not just as a reply to what she said, but because she is, and she always will be — whether or not she takes my liking for makeup and beauty.