Real Dads Let Their Sons Do Their Makeup

For years, my son has been using my wife’s makeup to give his Barbie dolls makeovers and put makeup on a life-size mannequin head he got for Christmas a while back. Then he started doing my wife’s makeup regularly, so I figured it was inevitable that I would be his next victim.

IMG_9811A couple of years ago, C.J. asked if I would allow him to do my makeup. Of course I said yes. Why wouldn’t I? Why wouldn’t I want to be a part of something that brings joy to my son’s life?

If I said no to something as trivial as allowing him to paint my face, what would I be teaching him?

I’d be teaching him that playing dress-up or giving his dad a makeover is something to be ashamed of or something to hide. I don’t want to teach him that.

I want to teach him that his dad wants to spend time with him no matter what we’re doing. I want him to know that even though I’m not interested in makeup or fashion, I will play along as long as I get to sit and talk with him.

IMG_9821While he’s doing my makeup, he talks about everything. From what’s going on at school to which eye shadow brings out my blue eyes.

When I agree wholeheartedly as he discusses what makeup colors go with my skin tone, I’m teaching him that his opinions and tastes matter to me. I’m teaching him that I’ll listen to him when he wants to talk and I will find time for him even when I’m busy.

My son doing my makeup is the same as a dad throwing a football with his son. It’s not about what you are doing together; it’s about doing it together. It’s about encouraging your children to engage with you. It’s about spending time with your child doing something they enjoy doing.

Allowing your children to be themselves is very important. There are activities I do with Chase that I don’t do with C.J. because they aren’t fun for him. There are activities I do with C.J. that Chase doesn’t want to do. And, there are activities we all do together. Spending quality time with each of my sons helps strengthen my relationship with them.

IMG_9822When C.J. does my makeup, it makes me feel like I’m experiencing something with him that he loves doing. It makes me feel like maybe I’m encouraging and empowering him to have fun with something that may end up being his career as an adult. Or, it’s just something we can do together that shows him that his dad loves spending time with him no matter what we are doing.

He loves doing my makeup because he can make me look silly or dramatic and it cracks him up. Sometimes he takes it very serious, like he is really trying to make me look good. Other times it’s more of a face painting exercise than anything. Either way, he loves doing it and I love being a part of some type of activity that my son loves doing.

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About raisingmyrainbow

RaisingMyRainbow.com is a blog about the adventures in raising a fabulous, gender creative son.
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81 Responses to Real Dads Let Their Sons Do Their Makeup

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  6. You …Freakin’ …Rock!

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  11. Brian Keith Martin says:

    Thanks for making an old man cry like a baby.

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  13. I just saw your family interview on Chelsea. It made me cry. Because I had an Uncle who I never knew about because the Fuller family, very Seventh Day Adventist would have rather keep his existence hidden than admit he was a cross dresser. When I was 42 after my father died (who was jack’s big brother) I saw a photo hidden away I had never seen. I said to my Mom, who is this. Oh, this is your Uncle Jack, he died when he was 20 in a mental hospital. He drowned. But your father said Jack was an excellent swimmer and could have never drowned. It seems my Uncle Jack was very artistic, effeminate, loved drama class, and wearing female clothing. But his father wanted to make a man out of him, through beatings, then military school. Finally a mental hospital. My Dad said there was nothing wrong with Jack. It was the parents and grandparents who just couldn’t except who he was. So thank you for being the kind of parent you are. If only Jack had been born to you two. I might have known him. https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150236552212195.369869.589812194&type=1&l=5f3402483e

  14. smaulanc says:

    You’re the kind of dad that my child has and I am so grateful.

  15. Stephen Lloyd says:

    Made me cry, too.

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  20. Christopher staples says:

    I think thus is wonderful. I wish I had a dad like you. You are special and I am glad you spend the quality time with your sons. Hats off to you sir. 🙂

  21. Bryan Haley says:

    Even though I’m quite a bit older, this made me cry, wishing I had a relationship like that with either of my parents when I was a kid. No matter what bad news you ever have to give them (i.e. “no we don’t have enough money to buy a new car for you”), they are always going to love you because you cared enough to spend time with them. You take an interest in their interests instead of trying to force them to be interested in something they couldn’t care less about. It’s a story like this that makes me think there is hope for the future.

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  24. Courtenay says:

    What a lovely read 😊 …. Thank you for sharing

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  28. Crissy says:

    You are totally the best dad ever. I love the fact you support your family and their choices.

    Bravo/Brava!

  29. Craig says:

    You are an amazing dad. You have to very lucky sons.

  30. Mrs. Abbott says:

    Props!! Being a parent is able loving your children no matter what.

  31. David says:

    Hey Matt & Lori. Fantastic post! I have a gender-creative son and I have realized he’s found his passion. I would very much like to get in touch with you both.

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  34. evahealthlove says:

    Great perspective Matt. THAT’S what being a parent, and particularly a dad is all about. Many dad’s would have no issue with their daughters painting their nails, and today society would mostly heartily approve it as quality time with their girls. Why would it be any different with their boys? Part of the problem is that either there are no dad’s for the kids to spend Any quality time with, or whatever there is may not be what the kid sees as valuable. You done good!
    https://evawiki.com/know-best-cc-cream/

  35. ag68ag says:

    Lori and Matt, thank you both for continuing to share your very important family message about loving unconditionally, while navigating a world where tolerance is at times a challenge. My own experience growing up as a very boyish girl (at 3 I was fighting off the girl attire) was constantly discouraged, belittled, disregarded, and disrespected. And that just in my own home. At 47, I still have to believe that my self-esteem and progress through life would have been exponentially better had I simply been allowed to be myself — even if only being allowed to wear boy clothes (I was forced into costume daily — dresses and skirts and weird shoes with heels.) Even coming out @ 20 put my family in a tailspin. And the truth is, we All (my family) lost out on the potential beauty of acceptance and love from and towards those who know us at a home base level. I am grateful to see the strides we have made, and it is courageous voices like yours that make us a community, a loving group sharing stories that lead to change in hearts and beliefs and attitudes. With gratitude…

  36. auntiemip says:

    I am proud to share the planet with your family. Praying for a day when every mother and father embraces their children for exactly who they in in every moment of their lives!

  37. Keirin says:

    Because of your love and support he may become a Make Up Artist Oscar Winner. Your a Father and a dad. You love.

  38. Cheryl S. says:

    I SO wish I could make my husband understand this. He always complains that he and my daughter don’t do things together. I try to explain exactly what you’ve said in your post. He needs to do what SHE wants to do. Even if it’s not “fun” for him. For whatever reason, he just can’t seem to get it.

    Love your posts. Your kids are very lucky.

  39. Mark Snyder says:

    All I can say is amazing. Doing your son right Dad. He’s going to grow up to be a fine young man thanks to your support.

  40. Lee Anne Leland says:

    My parents pushed me into the closet and I was never close to them. No tears fell when they passed. I am glad you are a father who loves your child for who they are, not for who you want them to be.

  41. Claire says:

    I never comment on anything but this post touched me. What a dad, you are an inspiration.

    I have no idea if this will be our experience, my little boy is only 18mths but the sharing of your experiences helps us all to understand how life can have many different outcomes.

  42. Ally says:

    Your family always makes my heart smile but I find the ones from Matt especially touching.

  43. ljoconnell says:

    Great job dad!! Your son will remember this his entire life. What an example you’re setting!! Love it!!

  44. Jeff Bowles says:

    Very cool.

    Would be tempted to ask the kid to try to imitate the colors, just once as an experiment, in a classic old painting that he would choose. Then photograph every last bit of the entire thing, recreating a “look” from a classic painting, in real life.

  45. David A Morse says:

    Mat, I love all your posts. You are a gold star dad. From the story imagining CJ as a masculine boy like Chase and thinking where is my CJ. To the Disney Princess moment. Making a bed for his Monster High dolls. And of coarse Lori sharing with Chase talking about dating maybe a trans boy. Mom doing her nails while Chase asks his questions relaxing in the tub. I can relate that its difficult for older boys to share concerns with parents face to face. You both are special indeed.

  46. Rene says:

    You, my daddy dear, are a thoughtful, sensitive selfless man. You’re doing good.

  47. km says:

    Please give Matt a big kiss from me.

  48. chloealexa8888 says:

    C.J. is welcome at my house anytime, as he is learning to be Himself, another creative being.

  49. Every child could benefit from a father like this one. It’s so wonderful!

  50. Susan says:

    Lovely. Just wonderful!,

  51. Chip says:

    This is awesome! Thank you for being such an awesome dad to your children! You are setting an amazing example for them. Major kudos to you and your wife.

  52. pyriterenny says:

    Such a great dad!

  53. Calie says:

    What a wonderful father!

    I featured this post on T-Central.

  54. Leeann says:

    Wonderful dad! Keep doing whatyou’re doing! Great family!

  55. Kim says:

    I love hearing your perspective as I always love hearing Lori’s. But this is so fantastic and what it’s all about to be a parent. Keep the stories coming!!

  56. Isabelle says:

    Thank you for writing this! You’ve expressed so well why it is important to connect with our children even when their interests don’t match ours. We have plenty of father-son makeup happening in our house too.

  57. OMG, look at C.J., all grown up!!! Where’d the 4-year-old go?! You guys have the best family dynamics, if I ever do have children, the both of you will be my inspiration in raising them…

  58. Ed Ferrara says:

    Greetings and Happy Easter or Happy Bunny Day,
    Matt, its awesome you can sit and chat with both your sons. It’s awesome that you can sit for CJ and have him do your make-up. Just the fact he is learning this, it could mean as it was stated something he does as a livelihood. Who knows he could win an Oscar one day for costume design and makeup. CJ rocks and it would be awesome to hear more about how Chase is doing. Both guys are great as young men but sometimes, I feel sad for Chase, in that, I wonder if he feels like the second fiddle in the grand scheme of things. It would be an honor to meet both of your sons one day. Do the young man ever make appearance with Mom when she lectures? Does she ever lecture in NYC or NJ?

  59. Very glad you can be there for your son. Every child does not have that privilege.

  60. Sheridan Johnson says:

    YOU are a great dad and I really hope that he follows his passion! BTW his hair looks uh-mazing!

    • bestpi says:

      I agree. His hair is amazing. I’ll bet mom and/or dad love spending as much time as they can get him to sit still for, brushing it out.

  61. fit40sblog says:

    Good man. Thanks for sharing this. It’s always nice to see a dad getting it right.

  62. Isabelle says:

    Love this post!!

  63. bestpi says:

    What a great dad you are. And I think you are absolutely correct. Both my sons are grown and I look back and wish I had spent every minute I could with them. Both turned out to be great, loving compassionate men and I’m proud of them both. But those moments we built when they were very young are cherished memories for each of us. I just wish I could have made more with them.

    Your kids will remember these moments and it will make your bond hat much stronger when they have important things to ask and not sure who they can ask. I suspect your kids will not hesitate and THAT is something that you can not place a value on. Well done.

  64. John Dodig says:

    Here is the definition of unconditional love. What a dad!

  65. Paula says:

    I just love your family!

  66. Mike says:

    Best Dad ever! It brought tears to my eyes, wishing I had that with my Dad when I was a kid. Your kids are very lucky to have a dad like you.

  67. every time i read your wife’s or your posts i cry. keep doing what you’re doing

  68. mdaniels4 says:

    Great perspective Matt. THAT’S what being a parent, and particularly a dad is all about. Many dad’s would have no issue with their daughters painting their nails, and today society would mostly heartily approve it as quality time with their girls. Why would it be any different with their boys? Part of the problem is that either there are no dad’s for the kids to spend Any quality time with, or whatever there is may not be what the kid sees as valuable. You done good!

  69. Patsy says:

    You and your wife need to be cloned. Your words are spot on and from the heart, great advice for any parent raising a child but truly important for kids made to feel different by uninformed folks.

  70. koolaidmoms says:

    I love this because you are just doing what a dad should do!

  71. Dan Woog says:

    Best. Dad. Ever.

  72. Laura says:

    Love love love this. What an amazing dad!

  73. GeorgeB says:

    He’s one cool dad !!

  74. Brian says:

    CAN’T WAIT to see you in makeup without the beard 🙂

    Up to a doing an event in drag?

  75. I love this!! Props to you man!

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