A Book? For Straight A’s?

Hi, I’m so glad you have a website like this, because honestly. I need someone to talk to. I love your Alice seires, it really is fantastic. But, now, I need to vent to someone, who actually might understand me. I’m 12, I am in the seventh grade, and I am obsessed with make up. I love it, I love how you can look pretty bad one moment, but the next you can look gorgeous with just some makeup. One HUGE problem, my mom forbids me from it. I never minded, until around the end of Sixth grade. Lots of girls wear make up now, and they look very pretty.  I know I do, when I wear it. (Not to be concieted) but, when I don’t….I feel plain, and ugly. But when I do, I feel pretty, and confident. It really just…I don’t know.  So I’ve been in 7th grade for about three months now, and every day; I run to the bathroom to put make up on. Every morning, as soon as I get there, that’s where I head. I hate doing it, I hate betraying my parents. But I’m very self-concious. I get so jealous when I see my friends wearing make up, and having no worries in the world. Because guess what? Their parents understand, and know what its like. My parents don’t. So, I thought maybe if I tried really hard in school, my parents would finally let me. Because in the past, I’ve been quite the slacker. Hardly turned in homework, got b’s and c’s. And my parents are total physcos about being a good studnet. So, our first report card just came back. Straight A’s. Every subject. Oh, and get this. A+ in english. Guess what my reward was….a book.  I do love reading, but a book? For straight A’s? I just don’t see the point in trying anything anymore. All my parents reall every pushed me about was, school. Both my parents are smart, and have great jobs that pay very well. Both of them went to good colleges, and blah blah blah. My dad really pushed me to do good in school. So when I finally do, a book?! I cry to them, and tell them. You probably think I’m shallow, which I guess I am. But I can’t help that. My friends don’t understand, because they can go around wearing make up whenever they’d like. “Lade la la” It felt really good to let this out. You wouldn’t even know.  I hope you answer soon….



Phyllis replied:


Okay.  I understand your pain, and I know that make-up can help a little–sometimes a lot–with a girl’s looks.  (I also know that it takes real skill to apply it so that it looks natural).  Since my own mother made no rules about what we could or could not wear, when we could have a boyfriend, or when we could wear make-up, I never had your problem.  We just had to figure all these things out ourselves, with an occasional comment from Mom if she felt we overdid it.  But here’s where your reasoning is all wacky:  I get so jealous when I see my friends wearing makeup, having no worries in the world.   Are you serious?  I get a few letters about make-up, but tons of letters about best friends deserting them, about parents divorcing, about their legs or butts not looking as they like them, about weight, about pregnancy, about boyfriends threatening suicide…  All your problems will not disappear if you are allowed to wear all the makeup you like.   That said, you are getting to the age where you should be allowed to make some decisions for yourself.  And though I’m not recommending that you keep secrets from your parents, as you get older you won’t feel the need, nor should you have to, tell them everything little thing you think or feel or do, though it’s wonderful if you have a relationship that allows this.  What I wish is that sometime when your mom is feeling relaxed and in a good mood, you tell her that you want to talk.  That you would like the kind of relationship with her where you could tell her almost everything, but that you are really upset that you are not allowed to wear makeup, and that you’ve been wearing some at school.  That you don’t feel good about this, but feel that she and your dad are being unreasonable about a decision that you should be able to make yourself.  Assure her that wearing makeup is not going to affect your grades (and make sure it doesn’t), but that you feel prettier and more confident when you look nicer, and perhaps she could even help you with makeup to decide what looks the most natural.  I would at least give her the chance to be your buddy in this, if she’s willing.   If I were your parent, which I’m not, I would consider this a small decision that you could make yourself, and I’d choose my battles carefully, and argue about bigger issues than this.  But I’m not your parent.  You have to deal with the ones you have, but I hope this opens the door to a better relationship with them, and a little more freedom for you.

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