For the kiddie set, back-to-school should include crayons, but lipstick is questionable.
That’s what parents are saying in response to an image of Alec and Hilaria Baldwin’s 9-year-old daughter Carmen. On Wednesday, Hilaria, who is pregnant with her seventh child, shared a picture to Instagram of the 4th grader wearing a dark burgundy lipstick and what appears to be mascara. The post quickly drew concern. Parents and experts noted that experimenting with makeup at home can be child’s play, but going to elementary school with a fully done up face is inappropriate.
“Parents should be cautious about kids’ use of makeup outside the home until middle school,” Jamie Ratner, a Maryland-based mom of two and author of the book “ParentPreneurs” told The Post. She didn’t start letting her daughter wear makeup until age 13, and only then for her Bat Mitzvah.
“It’s [about] not wanting them at a younger age to be so focused on the way they look,” Ratner said. “In terms of development, that would be the concern.”
Baldwin’s post comes weeks after Kourtney Kardashian, 43, got flack for letting her 10-year-old daughter Penelope contour her face with foundation in a video on social media. Critics were quick to judge the reality star mom.
“At her age she shouldn’t be contouring [sic] and all that. Yeah, lipstick here and there, but really? SMH poor thing by the time she’s 18 she’s gonna be with implants looking like she’s 30 smh,” one critic said on Twitter.
It’s not the first time the Baldwins have faced backlash for sending their 9-year-old out with makeup on. The social media police sounded off in a thread on Reddit after Hilaria posted a photo of Carmen in lipstick in August.
“Putting makeup on third graders to go out is completely f—- up. This isn’t glitter-on-your-cheeks fairy costume vibes at all—It’s sexualization of a child and it’s extremely disgusting,” the user wrote.
Other parents, meanwhile, say the age of when kids should be allowed to wear make up to school depends, and getting to the root of why they want to wear it is important.
“It’s a really slippery slope – with the way our society is and the social media our kids are being exposed . . . We as parents are forced with these difficult decisions of ‘how do we encourage freedom of expression and identity but also try to preserve the innocence and encourage kids to be kids?” Stephanie Dreyer, 47, a Los Angeles-based mom of three, said. She has two daughters ages 16 and 18 and neither wore makeup to school until they were in high school, though they experimented earlier on.
“My girls were playing with eyeshadow [at home] watching YouTube tutorials and that was their creative outlet,” she said. But, she didn’t allow them to wear makeup outside the home, lest they go out looking older than they are — and attract unhealthy attention.
“We had an open conversation about what is attractive about wanting to wear makeup – what is the reason? Is it because everyone’s doing it? Is it because they don’t feel pretty without it? Is it peer pressure? There has to be a dialogue on what’s behind it,” Dreyer said.
While allowing kids to creatively express themselves is vital to their growth, parenting experts caution that wearing make up at school, especially in elementary and middle school, can have a negative effect on confidence.
“Many middle schoolers struggle with self-esteem issues as their bodies begin to change. It’s natural that they become more concerned with their clothes and hair, and most parents think it’s fine for their middle schooler to begin wearing lip gloss. Dr. Laura Markham, author of “Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids” told The Post. But, it elementary school kids are looking to wear makeup, that’s a cause for concern that warrants a conversation with your child about what’s behind their Maybelline desires.
Markham said, “It’s important for parents to talk with kids about the pressure on girls to fit societal standards of beauty,”