Sunday, October 3, 2010

Advice: From one stranger to a mother

            Have you ever thought, when viewing a situation that is precarious, that "Well....there just seems to be a better way of going about it..."? I went to Walmart, looking to buy shampoo and to also stop by the "beauty" section because I was out of concealer. Naturally, Walmart didn't have my Almay brand. Fact: Walmart has everything, except what you really need. Anyway, since I had to find a substitute concealer, I was perusing the shelves and also noticed a mother and her obviously insecure 14 year old high school freshman daughter (I assume this because of A) her need to buy NYC brand eye liner and B) her attempt to try to look as cool as possible while shopping with her mom in the makeup section of Walmart) arguing over the right color eye liner.
              Anyway, as I'm looking through the makeup, the mom approaches me and says "Hey, let me ask you a question." (I knew at this point that this would not turn out well for me or for the daughter). She proceeds to ask me for my opinion on whether her daughter, based on her facial features, skin tone, and hair color, should be wearing "Dark Brown" or "Brown-Black" eye liner. For the record, as far as NYC eye liner is concerned, there's not a HUGE difference between the two. As this mother is talking to me, I look over to the poor girl and her body language is saying "Mom! Shut up!" as she tries as hard as she can to become invisible. She had put her hoodie up, her shoulders were slouched, she was standing slightly bow legged, and she had pursed her lips (kinda like what I do when I'm watching someone do something embarrassing). I felt bad for her, really. Not only is her mom (which, to the 14 year old girl, doesn't know a thing) asking strangers about makeup choices for her, but she is also asking this stranger to take a look at her face, analyze it, and give her mother her opinion. I mean, come on mom! Now, I'm a logical person, and I understand the mom's side. As an adult woman, you naturally want your friends and even the occasional same-sex stranger to tell you what looks good on you. This is perfectly acceptable. But to this girl? This is the worst thing in the world!
            A message to mothers of young teenage daughters. Don't ask a stranger for makeup advice for your daughter while she's standing there. Most girls that age are trying as hard as they can to blend in and "be cool" and this makes them completely vulnerable. There will come a time when you and your daughter are looking at makeup in Sephora and you both strike up a conversation with the lady next to you about your argument over which shade of nectar lip gloss looks best on your daughter; and your daughter will be ok with it. And probably join in on the conversation. But just not yet....
           In the end, I attempted to make the girl feel as comfortable as possible by referencing how gorgeous her eyes were and that she could wear whatever makeup she wanted and still look beautiful. I also gave her a look that not all mothers catch that said, "Don't worry, I understand how embarrassing this is." I got a slight smile from her as her mother thanked me and they walked away.

And for the record, I had to go to Target for my concealer...