Is it ever okay to let a 4-year-old girl wear make-up in public?

Like any little girl, my 5-year-old daughter loves make-up. I've never given her any of the real adult stuff, but she has a pink box full of all types of play make-up from lip glosses to sparkly eye shadow that she doesn't really know how to even use--and I have every intention of keeping it that way.

She's allowed to put it on once in a while when she's playing dress-up, but I will never let her leave the house with any kind of make-up on--including nail polish--unless it's halloween and it's part of her costume. But not every mom of a little girl feels the same way as I recently found out after reading a post about a mom who confesses she puts a full face of make-up on her 4-year-old daughter for special events like going to church on Easter.


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This is nothing like the poor little girls on that horrible TLC show Toddlers & Tiaras, but it's still grown-up make-up, including eye shadow and lipstick. The little girl, interviewed on Good Morning America, says she loves to put make-up on because it makes her feel pretty. But the mom thinks it's no bid deal and her child is just being that, a child. 

Mom Lindsay Cross' post and her appearance on the ABC morning show have sparked a gigantic debate about at what age it's okay for little girls to wear make-up. People (and experts) are saying that what she's doing is totally wrong, inappropriate and it sends the wrong message to the little girl because we all know that beauty has nothing to do with make-up...

I agree completely that parents should be allowed to parent however they want as long as they're not putting their child's life in danger, but I'm so against what Cross is doing that I can't help but share my opinion on this matter. 

While I seriously doubt that letting a 4-year-old put make-up and have her go out in public is detrimental to her well-being, I just think there's a time and a place for everything in life. Cross says it's just child's play and that her daughter is immitating mommy, but there's lots of ways to let her do just that without having to resort to putting make-up on the face of a 4-year-old!

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Children already grow up so freaking quickly, why would we want them to look so much older than they actually are? To each his own, I guess... 

What do you think? Do you let your little girls wear make-up?

Image via Kanko*/flickr