The Hard Questions

Sharing one bathroom (well, there’s a small half bath in the basement, but it seems to be used only in case of emergency) in our family can lead to some hard questions from the kids.  Like this one this morning, as I was getting ready for work while Perpetual Motion Boy (6) came in to brush his teeth.

[staring at the wonder that is the eyeliner pencil]

PMB: Mom, what are you doing?

Me: Putting on make-up, honey.

PMB: Why do you have to do that?

Me:  I don’t have to do it, love.  I choose to do it.  See, I put it right here on my eyelids.

PMB:  But why would you do that?

See?  Hard questions.  At this point I paused to think of exactly how to answer this one.  Before I came up with the answer, PMB was, in usual fashion, done brushing his teeth and gone in a flash.  I still contemplated, though, what exactly I should say.  Do I think it makes me more beautiful?  Well, even if I did, that is certainly not something I want to teach my young son!  He considers me the most beautiful woman there is, and I do not want to change that quite yet.

So, my answer, if this question ever is asked again, might go something more like this:

Me:  Well, I wear make-up as a kind of conformity to some arbitrary standard of beauty, that says women with unadorned faces are somehow inferior in beauty.  It makes me, in some ways, look younger.  And our society puts a large emphasis on this type of beauty.

Sounds a bit ridiculous, huh?  I can’t see myself going without makeup to work anytime soon, but sometimes I think I should.  What exactly do I want my children to grow up and believe about women?  That a beautiful woman is one with makeup perfectly applied?  That a professional woman must wear makeup to work, conform to a certain unspoken standard?

Maybe we just need our own bathroom.

  1. #1 by Jessica on January 19, 2011 - 8:35 pm

    I’ve actually been thinking for awhile about doing a post about Christian women and make up! Hmm.

    And I feel you on the one bathroom. It’s impossible for me to take a shower, with out at least one Wild Thing coming in at some point. 🙂

    • #2 by heatherinIN on January 19, 2011 - 9:50 pm

      Oh, do it, Jessica. You’ll probably have fun pictures with your post. 🙂

  2. #3 by Tiffany on January 19, 2011 - 9:25 pm

    Love your new blog! Just found it from your facebook and so glad I did. I can sooooo relate to these conversations. We have 1.5 bath and all end up in ours most of the time and the other day I was asked what “that paper was I was putting in my underwear” – Great! I pretty much just avoided it and didn’t answer – Does a 5 year old really need introduction to THAT?!?! Anyway, the questions are always interesting, that is for sure!

    • #4 by heatherinIN on January 19, 2011 - 9:49 pm

      Hi, Tiffany! I realized that I read your blog always, but most often through google reader, and I don’t leave comments much. I promise to try to change that. 🙂

      And heh. I’ve had that conversation, too. One time in a public restroom, where the conversation was “MOM! What’s a TAMPON?” said in the loudest voice possible while I am still in the stall and said child is washing his hands. Now, I’m not shy about discussing these things, but in the public bathroom yelling through the stalls isn’t too much fun. 😉 I did the “I’ll tell you in a few minutes, honey,” answer, and then he did actually forget.

  1. The Dolly Parton Christian

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