I feel beautiful now.
When I posted a picture of Addie in a trial run of her recital make up, I didn’t expect the reaction I got. I guess as a [previous] dancer (for over a decade) I was used to the idea of stage makeup, because, like anyone else on a stage, dancers wear makeup. Most performers do.
If your child has ever gone out for Halloween and worn face paint that’s a form of makeup… in this case a bit of blush, a dab of mascara, and a dollop of red lip gloss was all that was there, and suddenly she was transformed from 4 to 14. For a second, my heart sank.
I feel beautiful now she said.
Honey you’re always beautiful.
I know. She turned around and ran through the gate into her bedroom where she repeatedly kissed herself in the mirror.
I think it broke my heart to hear her say I feel beautiful now, but we all do things that make us feel beautiful… now. For some of us it might just be getting a hot shower and shaving your legs, maybe it’s a long run, maybe it is putting on a second coat of mascara on those top lashes. Those three things all make me feel beautiful… but let me tell you a story.
Did a trial run of the #makeup needed for her #dancephotos tomorrow… it’s amazing how gloss, blush and mascara make your heart sink. #aisforadelaide looks too old. I love #dance… but I wish this wasn’t part of it and I wish she didn’t think she was “beautiful now”. #alwaysbeautiful #daughter #dancemom #growingup #conflicted #aisforadelaideblog
Every morning my husband kisses me. My morning breath, stinky armpits, retainer on my top teeth and mouth guard on the bottom, and tells me he loves me. I try to turn away from him, every morning the same routine, but he always turns me back over and says stop it beautiful. Every morning, in what I would consider one of my grossest states, he calls me beautiful… but I don’t feel beautiful then. I feel beautiful when I do these things for myself.
For some people it’s going on a hike, or gardening, or laying out in the sun all day, or going on a shopping spree and trying on a brand new pair of jeans. We all have things that make us feel beautiful. And in that moment where her words were running through my head, it reminded me of a line in a book that I wrote for her when she was a baby: You’re beautiful, smart, loving and kind, and you the very best Adelaide anyone can find. She knows that saying by heart, and she completes it every time I say: You’re beautiful… always finishing with a little smile uptick in her voice. It warms my heart she knows she’s beautiful she knows she’s perfect… but if a little blush in that very moment made her feel just a hint more beautiful than she did the moment before, I’m not going to deny her feelings. It’s not that my four year old should be wearing blush out on a regular occasion, but when she’s on stage, dancing with the rest of little girls that will, undoubtedly, also be wearing a little bit of blush, a little bit of mascara, and a dab of lip gloss to keep them from being washed out over those insanely bright lights, yes, she will be wearing makeup.
Maybe she likes it because I wear it. Maybe she likes it because she likes it- all on her own. Maybe she’ll grow out of it and maybe she’ll grow a deeper affinity for it. Whatever the future holds for my little dancer and makeup, I know for certain that on her recital day, she’ll be wearing it. She’ll get up on stage and dance, maybe with just a hair more confidence because in that moment she feels more beautiful. In her sparkly tutu, perfectly altered to fit her perfect body, her hair done up in a pristine sock bun, meticulously pinned and sprayed and netted into place… she will look and feel like a princess, my princess warrior, and I won’t deny that feeling to her, makeup and all.
So whether your kid doesn’t like makeup, or your kid doesn’t have to wear makeup for her recital (did you know male dancers also wear makeup to not get washed out?), or you’re just glad your kid doesn’t like makeup… or your babe is kind of over the moon about it, I think we can all agree that raising confident girls has nothing to do with stage makeup.