I see the photos plastered across Instagram; mothers and daughters enjoying manicurers and pedicures, hair blow outs and make-up sessions, bonding across the salon chair. Excited little girls getting their tiny toes painted the most adorable shade of pink. Maybe lunch or ice cream afterwards? It’s something that I have always dreamed of. From the moment I found out I was having a girl I was already planning our mother daughter salon days.
Then my little girl entered our lives. She’s a beautiful mix of frilly girl and tomboy. She is obsessed with lipstick and nail polish but she can wrestle like a WWE fighter and don’t ask her to wear tights because it’s not going to happen! As her requests for pink lipstick became more desperately frequent my concern began to grow. I started to notice that even at an early age little girls are bombarded with images of beauty. Princesses clad in beautiful ball gowns trying to attract their prince. Little girls dressed in clothes that must be made for teenagers, with perfect hair, and shiny lips. It just seemed overwhelming. Three and four year-old girls wearing make-up seemed a little over the top, even for me.
Her Dad was pretty clear with his opinion. He didn’t want Ms. J wearing make-up, even to play, he felt she was too young for two piece bathing suits, and nail polish was a no no. It was something that he felt so strongly about that I had to back him up.
I struggled with it at first, having these fantasies of matching manicures floating around my mind. Yet the more we stayed away from the salon days the more I realized that maybe this was something that was best saved for when she was a little bit older. When she had a better understanding of what it meant. When she could truly appreciate it. If I’m taking her for manis at 3, what am I going to do at 12?
I want Ms. J to be self-confident. I want her to feel great about herself without being all done up. I don’t want her to base her value in her looks. I don’t think, at her age, she is ready for a professional manicure or pedicure. Daddy eventually conceded, just a little, and ok’d the play stuff at home. So for now our salon bonding is done in play, at home, she does my nails and I do hers. She puts on my lipstick and brushes my hair. At the end of it all this is what it’s about, right? Spending time together. In all honestly she’s probably having more fun with me sitting on the bathroom floor messily painting my toe nails than she would staying still in a salon chair for the entire length of a pedicure. There is definitely a time and place for mother daughter salon time and I am anxiously awaiting those days; I just think we have a few more years before we get there.