I Need Advice or Perspective: How Should I Deal With My Kid?

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"Back story, I'm a makeup artist, mortuary to be more specific. I have a wife (we're a 2 mom house) I'm kinda goth/emo looking. I have a 12 year old son who also loves punk looks and music like I do… Recently my 12 year old son (13 next month) told me he wants to wear makeup to school. Now we have no issue with self expression in this house, if he wants to wear it when we go out I honestly don't care and I support it. But here is my issue, we're in the Midwest and I KNOW he will be bullied, he's a unique guy, totally his own person. Idk what age is appropriate for kids to wear makeup. Do I fully inform him of the potential for bullying? And then just let him? Or do I wait longer? Maybe 14 or 15? As a mom we want to protect our kids, physically and emotionally but I also don't want to hold my son back from who he is and how he wants to see himself in the mirror. I want my children to have so much self love it spreads to others like the damn plague. I'm just a little lost, loving that he was open and honest with me but I really want to weigh all the possibilities and options. Please give me some loving perspective."

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The following top answers have been selected by a moderator from hundreds of responses to the original question.

"I say warn him, but explain their opinions don’t matter, and let him. I started with basics like liner and gloss around 12 so the age seems right. It’s 2022, midwesterners (and everyone really) can catch up with the times and worry about themselves!! The fact you’re even worried says you’re doing a good job mom!! fill his head with love so loud he can drown out any potential hate!!"

"Let him. Eyeliner on men is pretty mainstream these days. And kids are jerks no matter what you do/wear/say or whatever, if they’re going to bully they’ll find something. Let him be himself."

"I would let him know some may not be so accepting ALSO talk to the school about their makeup policies, as some may have strict policies against it."

"I’ve noticed that make-up and nail varnish seems “back in fashion” in a punk way. Bullies will always find something and actually the kids I’ve worked with seem far more accepting. I guess the Midwest thing might mean you’re nervous and I can’t comment on that but you can’t stop your son being himself and if you say no, you’re giving out a message. Maybe warn him he might get bullied but that it’s not okay to be bullied for it."

"I think it would be a great thing for him to do. I would of course just talk to him about potential bullying but he just may embolden other students to freely express themselves also."

"I would warn him about the horrible bullying he may encounter, but also inform him it his right to express himself, and that usually when kids bully other kids, they are just jealous because they dont have the courage to express themselves, so do not let the bullying effect his mental health"

"Just talk to him about it and let him express himself! My son is 9 and asked to wear nail polish. I of course had no issue with this, so we just had a little talk about how some kids weren’t raised right like he is and can be really mean about things they think are different. And then we picked out a color he wanted and we painted those nails!"

"First I would check the school handbook. Alot of schools don’t allow hair dye, make up, or anything else that would draw attention to them. Ask him if other boys at his school do or have done this. If he’s clear about the answer then I’d let him wear whatever he wanted."

"My 9 year old (12 now) wanted to wear nail polish. Also big on self expression, we didn’t say no BUT did prepare him for the possibility that not EVERYONE he met would be kind about it or as opened minded. He has continued to do so on and off since. I say let him as long as you can remind him of how mean/closed minded people can be. Best of luck"

"Be open and honest, tell him you fully support him but make him aware not everyone does, especially kids and he might attract the wrong attention, well done for being an amazing Momma and letting your son express himself they way he wants! People can be cruel sadly and alot find that out the hard way but if you make him aware he will be able to choose wisely"

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