I’m not a makeup person. People notice and (mis)take me for a feminist, but the truth is, I simply can’t be bothered. Either way, there’s lots of face painting going on at home. Sometimes my little boy wants to be a pirate, so I’ll paint him some stubble. Then my little girl wants to be the pirate’s fearless cat, so a cat I’ll turn her into. Or he wants to be Sharptooth, the infamous dinosaur. And she wants to be Sharptooth’s amazing blue cat. Or he wants to be Spiderman. And she wants to be Spidercat. Hence, painting your face in our house is nothing special.
Unless momma paints hers.
Once, after such a face painting session, I had to go to a party. As one of nature’s introverts, I’m not a party animal. I like being in the kitchen. And leaving early. Either way, such occasions always make me think I need a disguise. A shell. An extra layer of protection. That’s when I turn to makeup. Because, just like clothes, that’s what makeup is – armor.
So I stood in front of the mirror, applying powder. My little girl watched me. Wise and observant as any four-year-old, she asked, “What are you dressing up as?”
I looked at my own reflection and decided to tell her the truth. “I’m dressing up as an adult.”
“So that the other adults will be fooled into believing I’m one of them.”
She nodded, sagely, and that was that. Or so I thought.
A few days ago, I found myself in front of the mirror again, doing my face.
My little girl barged in. “Are you dressing up as an adult again?”
“Yep,” I admitted.
“So that the other adults will recognize you as being grown-up?”
“Something like that, yes.”
She frowned. At length, she told me, “Don’t you ever worry, Mom. We’ll recognize you even without paint.”