Dress up-harmless fun?

Recently there have been a number of stories in the media about the sexualisation  of children, from entering them into beauty pageants wearing skimpy outfits and spray tans  plus a High street store was reported to be selling false eye lashes for toddlers.

This got me thinking that there is a fine line between children dressing up for fun and them being exploited.

Children will always copy what their parents do so if a girl sees her mother putting on nail polish and lipstick , then the chances are she will want to do the same and pout while she pretends to take a selfie on her toy phone

.Just as my son’s would put the bubbles from their bath on their faces  pretending it was shaving foam then scrap it off just like daddy.

To prevent children from doing such actions would destroy their natural imaginative development.

Girls have always tried on their mummy’s high heel shoes and tried to walk around in them, haven’t they?

I’m not so sure about beauty pageants, children are beautiful without putting make up on them and as for the skimpy clothing I would be concerned about who was watching and why.

I have come to the conclusion  that maybe let our children put on play make up and dress up for fun in the house and better to let them look and behave like the innocent children that they are when out in public.

I would be interested to hear other views on this topic.

As always questions/comments are welcome.



26 Comments on “Dress up-harmless fun?

  1. My 7-year old loves to play in my makeup. Somedays she could give a drag queen a run for their money. However we always talk about what is appropriate for her age. When she would be allowed to wear make up out. She did have a little make up when she did her piano recital. I agree there is a time and a place. #thatsatsesh

  2. I totally agree with your comments Karen. My children,grandchildren and more recently great grandchildren have had great fun playing dressing up. It’s a natural part of growing up. Children need to be just that children, and I dislike any form of turning them into grown ups too soon.

  3. Oh my goodness, of course children should be able to dress up in whatever they want to wear. I have a three year old son. I regularly wonder whether I am actually just his wardrobe assistant because he wants to change costume so many times during the day (Captain Barnacles, Spider-man, a pirate, Andy the explorer – you name the character – we have the costume). Pen x #thesatsesh

  4. Dressing up is all about imagination and creativity. Let them I say. Its also about emulating you. My son always wanted his nails painting when i did mine. So he had them painted, usually in rainbow colours, and he went to nursery like it. In their mind it is not sexual, gender specific or political, its just FUN. The only harm is when adults attach their own alternative meaning and agendas to it.

    1. You are so right, I had a little boy when I was a child minder who liked to dress up in a pink tutu from the dressing up box, fine with me, but his dad wasn’t impressed when he came to collect him, thanks for sharing your story x

  5. Dressing up isn’t necessarily about emulating parents. One of my girls would choose a princess and the other would choose a fireman every time. It’s about letting them be who they want to be and play in an imaginative way. There’s nothing wrong with that. My children don’t have makeup to play with, it’s not something that appeals to me for children that age, I can’t honestly see why they need to play with it. There are plenty of other things they can play with or imagine. I’m always fine with them having face paints though. The girls aren’t that interested in makeup anyway as I rarely wear it. #mondaystumble

  6. I’ve got two boys and a girl. Neither of the boys are really into dressing up, although the youngest will put his cars outfit on occasionally. My daughter though is developing a little obsession with make up. I really don’t see the harm in it. #MondayStumble

  7. My children love dressing up, when my nephew was little we would go over and he would without fail come out in his mums clothes it was so sweet. Thank you for joining in the #mg link up

  8. I completely agree with you regarding pagents. I think the tan and makeup is too much – I know its for a show similar to the tan for some dance competitions, but then again, as long as the child is old enough to know this is only for the show, then I suppose its not that bad! But if they’re too young to understand that its not the everyday norm then I guess it shouldn’t be done.
    Thank you for sharing this with us at #TriumphantTales. I hope to see you back next week!

  9. My daughter is 3 and she loves to pout and put on my makeup! She loves to dress up too. I cannot understand why such a store would want to sell false eyelashes for children – thats ridiculous! #TriumphantTales

  10. I totally agree, children want to recreate what they see others doing (or what thry see in Disney movies!) and dressing up is a big part of this for some children. I couldn’t ever put my child into a pagent, though. I don’t think a parade where children get judged, at least in part, on how they look is a good thing for anybody. Thanks for linking up to #DreamTeam

  11. I agree that dressing up is really important. It’s a way for children to be like their parent, or to just explore their own imagination for play. I don’t like pageants either, actually, I find them quite creepy #TriumphantTales x

  12. I think the big distinction is whether it is child led – aka spontaneous dress up and playing in moms makeup, or whether it is adult led – pageants and such. If a child is using their imagination and playing I see no problem with whatever they want to do at home, but it’s when adults get involved and try to make kids into something that bothers me.

  13. Playing dress up is fine and part of growing up and copying. I’m not keen at all on beauty pageants for children. I’m not so keen on it for grown women either.

  14. #thesatsesh my son who is 4 currently has blue painted toe nails and thinks they look like jewels. He is happy. This is all that matters. He often wears my heels around the house and usually leaves dressed in a batmans / Spider-Man costume… he is 4 and I love this, he is exploring but I fully agree it’s my job to not let him be exploited. There is a line and if I ever feel slightly uncomfortable then I wouldn’t let him – instinct tells you where the line is.

  15. I think dressing up and being creative and experimenting is all part of growing up and v cool. However, I don’t thing paegents are about that – I think they are more about pushy parents wanting celebrity children – not v cool. #thesatsesh

  16. I think in this day and age we just have to make sure that their dress up is age appropriate, 99% of the time its absolutely fine but like you I wouldn’t want my children dressed in inappropriate clothing. #bloggerclubuk

  17. I worry about things like false eyelashes and excessive detail to grooming. It worries me that my friend’s daughters who are under 10 will watch YouTube videos on how to contour their face. I think there is a big line between a child having fun with mom’s things and a child not recognizing that their bodies are fine without all the extras. I do not envy how hard it must be for parents to monitor. #DreamTeam

  18. I think that dress up is an important part of growing up. Imaginative play is something that I will always encourage but it can be done without make up, tan and fake eye lashes. For some reason there seems to be a rush to make our babies grow up with stuff like this. #TriumphantTales

Leave a Comment