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Sanity check: makeup for shows - 13yo girl


SKL
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Hi ... coming off my kid's horse show, after watching all the folks in her age group (11+) compete, I told my 12yo that next year, it will be time for her to start wearing a little bit of make-up at horse shows.  Now I don't even wear make-up myself, so I'm not a nut about this, but I know that in theater, dance, etc., it is pretty standard for kids to put some on so that their faces have some definition from a distance.  At the horse show, the kids older than mine wore make-up, and the younger ones were a mix - some much younger ones did wear some, others did not.  I should also note that my kid is as tall as some adults, so it would not look weird for her to wear a little make-up IMO.  Her same-age sister, who wears it regularly and is good at applying it, could be her make-up artist.

So my kid mentioned my comment to "the aunties," and apparently they think it is ridiculous and wrong to suggest she wear make-up for a show at age 13.

What do you all think?  Is it ridiculous, irrelevant, or advisable?

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Maybe I will ask her teachers what they think.

It might be that there is a difference between English and Western.  Seems the Western riders were more fancy and colorful.  This year, almost all the awards went to adults and Western kid riders.  But, there was a lot of talk about judge bias.  And that isn't really why I mentioned the make-up thing.  I just feel like at her level, it would be appropriate to see her bright shining face.  🙂

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I don't have much horse show experience, but the little I have had it seemed that the horse is the one under more scrutiny than the rider. The hooves get blackened, the tail and mane have to be braided a certain way (sometimes by a certain person). Who cares what the rider's face looks like as long as posture and skill are awesome, and the rider's attire is up to the local standard? 

 

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Does she need to wear makeup if she doesn't want to? No, but it should be her decision not the aunties.

13 is a pretty common age to start wearing a little makeup so she shouldn't stick out among her peers if she did want to start wearing makeup. I would have no problem with a little makeup if my 13yo asked to wear makeup. I would allow, for everyday use, lip gloss, blush, and maybe a little neutral colored eye shadow and full makeup for special occasions where they were all dressed up.

But I would never suggest to anyone that they should wear makeup unless it was a requirement, not a suggestion but an "entrants must wear makeup" requirement. I stopped wearing makeup a long time ago but this is what I am comfortable with having 2 teenage daughters already. YMMV.

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13 minutes ago, SKL said:

Maybe I will ask her teachers what they think.

It might be that there is a difference between English and Western.  Seems the Western riders were more fancy and colorful.  This year, almost all the awards went to adults and Western kid riders.  But, there was a lot of talk about judge bias.  And that isn't really why I mentioned the make-up thing.  I just feel like at her level, it would be appropriate to see her bright shining face.  🙂

Was the bias attributed to make-up use? Seems kind of weird considering the physical setting, with dust flying and such. I'd expect judge bias, but I wonder whether it's attributed to lots of other factors. If you feel that a little make-up will make a positive difference for your dd, as in she will feel more confident and not distracted by it, then perhaps it becomes part of "dressing up" both horse and rider.

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I don't know much about horse shows, but if it's a common part of it, then I'd do it. I can imagine this is a bit like gymnastics or ice skating? As in, the athleticism and moves (and handling off the horses in the case of riding) is what ostensibly matters most, but the look of the costumes, kid, etc. - including the makeup and hair - can be big swaying factors to the judges. 

I see nothing wrong with suggesting it. I would not send a kid on stage in a show without makeup, for example. My boys wear makeup on stage (in fact, ds who is a ballet dancer owns and knows how to apply way more makeup than I do). But if it's optional, I think your phrasing of "next year, it's time to" do it is a little off. As in, I would have said, "Some of the older riders wear makeup and while how you look and dress isn't the most important part of this, it is something the judges might want to see and dressing up can be sort of fun too. I think you could do some makeup at next season's shows. What do you think?"

The aunties are horrible for dissing it regardless. What do they know? That's just a given.

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Just to elaborate... I'm bugged by her aunties because this is a tough time for girls. Their bodies are going through changes. They're more aware of their looks and the importance of looks than ever. I could write a whole diatribe, but I think we all know all this. Making tween girls second guess themselves about their looks is pretty much always the wrong tactic to take. Like, she was good with the idea of makeup for a show (for a show! not even for everyday or anything!) and they acted like, what? It was a moral failure? Inappropriate somehow? A shocking idea? That's just killer at this age. She's made to feel ashamed - and for wanting to look like the other kids in a horse show! How much more wholesome can you get? And, she's made to feel like her looks are somehow up for their moral debate and discussion.

I just think... whether she wears makeup for the shows next year or not and whether it's the right thing for the shows or not (that I have no clue)... I'd emphasize to her that it's her choice. How she presents herself (with some limits, but just, at the core) is really her choice. And that her performance, her self, her deeds, etc. are what define whether or not she's a good person - not how she dresses or whether she wears makeup to a venue where it's appropriate to wear makeup.

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41 minutes ago, Ktgrok said:

It is not ridiculous to offer it to her, or suggest it, if it is the norm. It WOULD be bad to push the idea if she didn't want to. 

 

This.

I do a judgy thing where parents and coaches swear that the girls need to be sparkly and wear makeup and I promise you, unless it looks ridiculous, no judge cares or notices.  

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What type of horse showing is she doing? My 19 year old daughter is a hunter and equitation rider (English style).  She wore makeup at times when she was younger but lately hasn’t been wearing any at all when she competes.  Does not make a bit of difference in the judging.  But I can see that it might make a difference if she shows Western.

 

 

 

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My kids wear makeup for dance or theater, not for martial arts competitions.

Wearing makeup for facial definition is totally reasonable, but unless she will stand out badly for not wearing it (i.e. it is an expected standard of presentability in the competition) I wouldn't push her on it.

 

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Agree with not pushing it if she doesn't want to.  But a 13 year old even wearing a little makeup for special occasions is not a big deal at all.  My daughter who has been dancing since 5 applies make up better than me.  And using it in shows has dispelled any allure of wearing it all day every day.  She rarely wears it unless she is in a performance.  So no to forcing, yes to telling her she could consider it.

I think maybe it's just time to lay down some boundaries for the aunties as your girls come into teenhood.  I can't even imagine why they'd feel the need to express their opinion.  

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I would ask her coach and follow his or her suggestion. My children (even my son) have worn make up for dance performances, but the instructions for what cosmetics were required was determined by the dance school staff, not by me. We followed their directives.

If it is not recommended or required by the coach, I think it's fine for you to say that your daughter can make any decision about it, based on what makes her feel confident and comfortable.

Since her sister wears make up, I'm not sure what the aunties' problem with the idea is. Perhaps she complained to them that she didn't want to, and they thought they were offering support? Or perhaps she asked for their opinion. If they disagree with your parenting, they should not undermine it, so I think it's worth talking about with them. You may need to set some boundaries with them. Or they may have some insight into your daughter's feelings that you do not. It's hard to say, so I would just discuss it.

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1 hour ago, Farrar said:

Just to elaborate... I'm bugged by her aunties because this is a tough time for girls. Their bodies are going through changes. They're more aware of their looks and the importance of looks than ever. I could write a whole diatribe, but I think we all know all this. Making tween girls second guess themselves about their looks is pretty much always the wrong tactic to take. Like, she was good with the idea of makeup for a show (for a show! not even for everyday or anything!) and they acted like, what? It was a moral failure? Inappropriate somehow? A shocking idea? That's just killer at this age. She's made to feel ashamed - and for wanting to look like the other kids in a horse show! How much more wholesome can you get? And, she's made to feel like her looks are somehow up for their moral debate and discussion.

I just think... whether she wears makeup for the shows next year or not and whether it's the right thing for the shows or not (that I have no clue)... I'd emphasize to her that it's her choice. How she presents herself (with some limits, but just, at the core) is really her choice. And that her performance, her self, her deeds, etc. are what define whether or not she's a good person - not how she dresses or whether she wears makeup to a venue where it's appropriate to wear makeup.

These same aunties gave us a hard time when she wanted to do facial hair removal on her upper lip.  And while I would not have forced her, honestly it was time, as in, the kids in school would start teasing her pretty soon. 

Again, I am NOT a cosmetics person, but it is part of my job to help my kids understand what is age-appropriate.  Usually I don't have to bring it up, because her older sister tends to be on the early side of things, and younger sister eventually follows along.  But older sister quit doing horse shows years ago.

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1 hour ago, Storygirl said:

I would ask her coach and follow his or her suggestion. My children (even my son) have worn make up for dance performances, but the instructions for what cosmetics were required was determined by the dance school staff, not by me. We followed their directives.

If it is not recommended or required by the coach, I think it's fine for you to say that your daughter can make any decision about it, based on what makes her feel confident and comfortable.

Since her sister wears make up, I'm not sure what the aunties' problem with the idea is. Perhaps she complained to them that she didn't want to, and they thought they were offering support? Or perhaps she asked for their opinion. If they disagree with your parenting, they should not undermine it, so I think it's worth talking about with them. You may need to set some boundaries with them. Or they may have some insight into your daughter's feelings that you do not. It's hard to say, so I would just discuss it.

I agree.

The aunties' openly disagreeing with me like that is par for the course, and we have had many discussions about it.  According to them, they only care for my kids' well being and I am a creep if I have a problem with that.  😕  In this case, it may be partly the way my kid presented it.  I think she reported it as "Mom says I have to wear make-up next year."  I could see them diplomatically suggesting it is a choice to consider but not a requirement.  But they both jumped all over it with "no," "eww, why would you want to do that" etc. [from people who DO wear make-up btw].  It's exhausting around here sometimes.

I don't know if they even realize that my other kid wears make-up regularly ... she does a good job with it.  Or maybe it's because they feel as if there is more than 3 months between the girls' ages.

(I brought up the make-up thing this week because I want my kid to get used to the idea of wearing make-up for a show.  It would be much more awkward for me to spring it on her close to the time of the show.  Just something about my individual kid's psychology.)

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