Once upon a time my daughter was a tomboy. She would insist on wearing shorts and tights, sneakers and caps, and her hair would always be in a ponytail. Now don’t get me wrong, I loved that she wasn’t the typical girly girl and felt that this way would be easier and less dramatic. Wishful thinking am I right?
I’m not sure when she transitioned from a sporty child into an almost 6 year old princess. At first, I was appalled and had no clue as to how I should react. I didn’t have anyone to ask for advice so I made things up as we went along. I started by trying to tell her/forbid her to try on makeup, you see, it isn’t the skirts, dresses and ballerinas that bothered me, it was the enthusiasm for experimenting with cosmetics. I took a step back and reconsidered my stance, what if I forbade her and she ended up resenting me, or applying it in secret, or being complexed about it to the extent that she will hate fixing herself up in the future, or what if she used it so over the top as an adult that she would lose her natural self? A mother can think of a long list of reasons as to why it is better to tame our girls, ranging from letting them be kids to the fact that makeup will cause allergies to their delicate faces. But the bottom line is, no matter how logical it is to keep our daughters away from these things, we cannot help but realize that this is the way all us women are, it is in our genes.
Today I have come to terms with the fact that my daughter will one day grow into a woman, this doesn’t mean that I am in a hurry for this to happen, for she will continue to be the over-the-top dramatic, bossy, sports loving, makeup experimenting, tutu wearing girl she is. I have decided that the best way to deal with this change is to embrace it and allow some flexibility at home. For instance, whenever I get ready for heading out and she is beside me asking me about the products, I reply and explain their names, and if she asks to use them, I will either say it is better not to because they will cause a rash to her face, or I might let her slightly use the products that won’t cause any harm. I figured, why alienate her when I can become her friend and confidante?
Maria Hage-Boutros Najem