How Early Is Too Early To Implant Self-Consciousness Into A Child?

istock_000014209545xsmallThis morning as I watched Good Morning America I saw an interview with “Teen Mom” star, Farrah Abraham, talking about how she waxes her three year old daughter’s (Sophia) uni-brow.

On her blog, sulia.com, Farrah, who is 20 years wrote:

“Recently I could not ignore it, like I know I’ve seen madonna’s duaghter have a stand out uni brow, I remember when I was little I had a unibrow, but I couldn’t remember if there was an age limit, a rule!”

“So here I am faced with a standout historical moment in motherhood when I can confirm to myself that my little, adorable,most cuddle-able cutie, baby girl has a Unibrow 😦 , I felt bad for her, and I started asking friends…. is this hair just going to fall out… is it just hormones at this age?, well the hair didn’t go away and others started saying it was here to stay.”

In an interview, Farrah said that she was also worried about her three year old daughter being teased about her uni-brow, so she talked to her daughter about waxing it, and even waxed her own eyebrows to show her daughter how it’s done.

“So I tryed to wax her, the second a dab hit the Uni, she touch it with the towel she had in her hand, UHHH so now, wax was in the towel, and I yanked it back ASAP, but fuzz was not stuck to the wax stuck to her Uni, OMG moment, So now sophia was freaking out, so I had to act like it was a cool science project to get the wax off,” Abraham said.

Once Sophia fell asleep, Farrah says she used tweezers to remove the rest.

“The next morning I showed her and told her how well she did and she didn’t even know, She was more intrigued now to be ok with upkeeping her non-unibrow. I could tell she was proud,”.

Farrah says she felt like a good mom afterwards, but some of her fans were shocked and appalled at her post.

As I heard about this story, I wish I could say I felt shocked, but I didn’t. It felt more like deja vu. Like I had heard this story, or something similar to it before.

And then of course I thought about the New Jersey mom who took her five year old daughter to a tanning booth, and the Georgia mom who allowed her ten year old son to get a tattoo.

In almost all of these and similar cases, the mothers seemed to be either clearly unstable, ignorant, uneducated or superficial.

Farrah Abraham, not to pick on her, but she doesn’t come across to me as the most educated and profound person.

At 20 years old, she is in many ways still a child herself. According to Good Morning America, she recently had a breast augmentation, a chin implant and rhinoplasty, which not only implies to me that she is superficial, but that she is also very self-conscious and may be passing this on to her daughter.

I seriously doubt that any three, four or five year old will tease her daughter over a uni-brow, but it’s much more likely that Farrah is self-conscious about it herself and is more worried about what her friends, other people or the media will say about her daughter’s uni-brow than Sophia’s peers.

What does waxing your daughters eyebrows when she is 3 years old say to her anyway? How does that affect her self-esteem and self-consciousness now and in the future?

Teaching your toddler that you should change the way you look to avoid being teased doesn’t sound like a great recipe for a healthy self-esteem and stable personality in the future.

Teaching them to love and accept themselves for who they are does. She can always do whatever makes her feel comfortable once she is old enough to understand what she is doing and why.

Many people may see nothing wrong with this story, or getting their 3 year old’s eyebrows waxed, a five year old tanned or a 10 year old tattooed.

Some comments I have read online say that it’s no big deal and that helping Sophia wax her eyebrows at 3 years old will help her get used to it and help her avoid getting teased in later years.

I don’t think this is the right approach. We all know that kids can be cruel and will tease each other about any and everything.

If they start teasing about her teeth, her hair, the way she walks, the way she talks, should she alter those things as well?

The reality of the situation is to each his own, but every decision has a consequence, positive or negative and even when you think you are doing what is in the best interest of your child, you may be implanting something in them you didn’t expect.

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