By Robin P.
The day after my mother's 70th birthday party, Rich said, "I didn't think it was appropriate for the girls to be wearing makeup." The girls are our nieces, who are 9 years old and 6 1/2 years old. I explained, "They only had a teeny tiny bit of blush on and clear lip gloss. Besides, I let Lillianna wear lip gloss last night." Rich replied, "And I didn't like that either."
For me, those were fighting words. I have had a love affair with lip gloss since I was 10 years old. It all started when I saw a TV commercial for a fast food restaurant. There was a girl about my age in the commercial and she wore a gorgeous, white, fluffy winter coat with matching hat and a muff for her hands. I was mesmerized by that outfit until I saw her shiny lips, which fascinated me. What made them so shiny? It was 1973, the same year that Bonne Bell lip smackers first came on the scene.
Every time that commercial came on, I studied the girl's lips. The shine seemed to make her whole face sparkle and come alive. OK, maybe it was the oil from the french fries she was advertising that made everything so shiny, but that didn't occur to me back then. I wanted that look!
I stood in front of the mirror and licked my lips. They were still dull. I licked again. Too much. I realized I was drooling on myself. I wiped my lips dry and tried again. Finally I got the look I wanted, but the feeling of wet lips grossed me out and I rubbed the back of my arm across my mouth until my lips were completely dry. Then I looked in the mirror. My mouth looked red and sore. There had to be a better way!
One day, my friend and I were at the mall and I saw a display for lip gloss. I had never heard of lip gloss so I went over to investigate. The picture on the display showed a girl with shiny lips. This was it! This was the secret I had been waiting to uncover. I bought a tube of shiny strawberry goodness and immediately rolled it across my lips. BINGO! I found my treasure!
For some reason, wearing lip gloss always made me feel like I could do anything. When I was sad during my teen years, a new lip gloss could perk me right up. I had every single flavor that Bonne Bell made. To this day, I still feel powerful when I wear lip gloss, even though I don't wear fruit flavors anymore.
So you can see why Rich's disapproval of our daughter and our nieces wearing lip gloss got under my skin. I don't approve of "real" makeup for kids because I believe, even for adults, when it comes to makeup, less is more.
I finally looked at Rich and patiently explained, "You were never a little girl searching for the secret of shiny lips, so you don't get a say in this. For me and the little girls in our family, it's all about the lip gloss!" He simply nodded and never brought the subject up again.
Robin P. lives with her husband and daughter in a suburb south of Boston.