Deep social psychology at 5:30 am

My son woke up early and climbed into our bed.  My wife and I were already up and getting ready for work.  He was watching my wife put on makeup and asked me “what is mommy doing?”

“She’s painting her face.”


How do you answer that to 4-1/2 year old with your wife standing right there?

“To make herself more pretty” is definitely the wrong answer, so that’s out.

“She’s changing her face” was the best I could come up with.

“I want mommy to stay like mommy.”

Oh dear god, now I am going to cause the child to have some sort of complex.

Not to sound like a feminist, but I really don’t want to go into the sociology of the expectation of professional women in the workplace wearing makeup, especially with a 4-1/2 year old at 5:30 am.

“See, mommy still looks like mommy.”

“No, she doesn’t.”

He is a very literal child.

“Mommy is trying to hide her identity.”


Okay, now the child is damaged but the questioning has stopped.

Why can’t he ask normal questions like “why is the sky blue.”  I have a whole speech prepared on Rayleigh scattering to deal with that.

Trying to explain why mommy puts on makeup for work without insulting my wife or making him think that women have to wear makeup to be pretty is a philosophical challenge I was not prepared for.

Since I have discussed makeup, I feel compelled to turn this over to a higher authority on the subject than myself.



7 Replies to “Deep social psychology at 5:30 am”

  1. Honesty, provides the true compliment, “:Mommy is beautiful and doesn’t need to put makeup on, but other people she works with, like her better with makeup on, so she does it to make them happy.”

    Girls-Women, are taught from an early age that they are “Fine just the way you are, don’t let anyone change you”……then the culture inters into the mix of life and through innuendo and other psychological influences, females change just about everything about themselves in order to be…..”The best they can become”.

    Your child’s intelligent honest mindset will never grasp such double standards and cultural nonsense. Fact is she’s fine just the way she is and doesn’t need any help—the boys correct.

      1. So….you admit that you ‘do need it in order to be YOU—as you see it. I’m willing to bet you don’t need it at all, for armor or anything else. Right out of the shower, you’re absolutely FINE the way you are naturally—beauty personified.

  2. #1 daughter on makeup: more.

    #3 daughter: let’s try this, and this, and this, and etc…

    #b daughter: why?

    #b is a whole lot easier to deal with bathroom wise.

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