Star of Teen Mom OG and mom to 6-year-old Sophia Farrah Abraham can’t seem to catch a break from criticism these days. Just last week fans scrutinized her for her new business venture, Farrah’s Friends Live, an adult webcam business. This week her parenting choices are under attack.
During the Jan. 25 episode of Teen Mom OG, Abraham is shown applying a full face of makeup on Sophia. This isn’t Sophia’s first experience with makeup, but Teen Mom fans aren’t holding back on their concerns. It seems Abraham is using beauty products not specifically created for children and that she isn’t applying the makeup for a special occasion — they are simply headed to her grandmother’s house.
While we’re not interested in attacking anyone’s parenting choices, the makeup debate isn’t one that’s going away anytime soon, and it behooves moms to do their research before playing dress-up with their girls.
For instance, girls seem to be wearing makeup much earlier, according to a survey by The Renfrew Center Foundation, which found that two-thirds of girls between the ages of 8 and 13 wear makeup. Additionally, more than a quarter of survey respondents in this age group who reported wearing makeup admitted they were uncomfortable with the idea of leaving the house without their makeup on.
So the norm surrounding makeup wearing among young girls and teens seems to be changing, but does that mean it is OK for parents to conform? The truth is, it seems to be best to limit makeup use in young girls to special occasions or dress-up, since there are major concerns surrounding consistent use of makeup in young girls.
First is the concern of how an obsession with appearance can shape their confidence as they grow older. Parents are encouraged to spend school years and early adolescence focusing on their daughter’s character and passions, not their looks. Allowing or encouraging our daughters to wear makeup so young sends a conflicting message about the value of character versus beauty.
Secondly, there are major health concerns associated with regular use of adult beauty products. An increased risk of cancer, hormone imbalances and depression have been found to be linked with some of the chemicals present in the most commonly used cosmetics, according to research by Environmental Working Group.
We know most parenting decisions need to be made from child to child, carefully considering the risks and benefits along with each child’s unique personality and circumstances. Still, we hope that more parents, including Abraham, will consider the evidence that strongly supports waiting to allow regular use of makeup in young girls.