Negative body image issues and tweens: Why do young girls wear makeup?

Young girls and makeup. What do you think of? Playtime? Dress up? The sad truth is that younger and younger girls feel the need to pile on the makeup. In fact, according to a study in 2014, one of out of every five young girls (between the ages of 12 and 14) wear a face full of makeup every single day. This says a lot about negative body image and young girls.

Another study conducted in 2013 discovered that one in five girls between the ages of 8 and 18 have negative feelings about their overall appearance when they aren’t wearing makeup. In that study, 65 percent of girls surveyed between the ages of 8 and 13 reported wearing makeup on a regular basis.

Why do young women wear makeup?

Many young women wear makeup to make feel more confident in themselves or to feel attractive. Negative body image and young girls are like bread and butter. When you add makeup into the recipe, it can lead to disaster or something extremely positive. Makeup can be an awesome outlet for self expression and creativity. But it also can attract the wrong sort of attention from your child’s peers and boys in their grade. Makeup is truly powerful – and people perceive those who wear it as powerful, too.

A recent study conducted by researchers at Scotland’s University of Stirling found that men view women who wear makeup as more prestigious than women who don’t wear makeup. Women view other women as more dominant and promiscuous.

During the middle school years, image is everything. Bullying is a huge issue in school and out of school. For some girls, makeup is a way of conforming to what they believe society expects of them. Others do it because they want to cover up acne that is the bane of many pre-teen’s lives and the cause of a lot of negative body image issues. Unfortunately, face makeup can also cause acne issues which can lead to an endless spiral of skin issues.

What to do if your daughter becomes interested in makeup

Middle school is the time when girls become interested in wearing makeup. If your daughter wants to wear makeup, it might be hard to stop her from doing it. One thing parents can do (if you give her permission to wear makeup) is to teach her how to wear makeup that looks natural. The “no makeup makeup look” is very in fashion at the moment. With the proper instruction, your daughter can wear makeup and feel pretty (not that makeup is the best way to make her feel confident about herself) without attracting the wrong sort of attention.

Getting help for negative body image issues

If your daughter struggles with negative body image issues and it has gotten out of hand, it might be time to get her therapeutic help. Asheville Academy is a therapeutic boarding school for young girls, ages 10-14. Through our clinically intensive program and nourishing environment, your child can be guided to a healthier path.

For more information about Asheville Academy for Girls, contact us today at 800.264.8709