Pinktified: In Defense of Makeup

Our girls can't be bossy anymore because leadership skills don't sound bitchy

We can't let them play with barbies because they promote unhealthy body image and Princess culture is too pink. 

Pink? Yeah. About that. It's gender confirming and we are sending them straight to the therapist if we let them like it. 

We shouldn't tell them they are pretty because they'll grow up to think pretty is all they are and that their brains don't matter and their bodies are the It Factor for how they are and will be perceived physically. Pink will become the entire basis of their self-worth and we just can't have that now, can we?

Makeup is the new evil - which sounds way more sinister than Orange Being the New Black - because we are supposed to love ourselves as we are and Hello Bad Example for the Littles!

Dolls don't encourage critical thinking and are bad for self-esteem and will never be the reason a future engineer decided to pursue a fulfilling career.

High heels are sexist and only feed into the ideal that women dress for men and sex is the only thing that sells, so skip the plastic princess heels and hand her something - ANYTHING AND DO IT QUICK, DAMMIT - that isn't Pink, Frilly, Princessy, to steer her back in the "right" direction which, I might add, is NOT the girly pinkified toy section at Toys R Us. 

Ya know what? I'm sick of it. Tired of having to defend the pink my kid declared her favorite color when she was two even though her father and I painted her nursery a gender neutral shade of green. I'm done with Bossy/Bad Leadership Skils/Good because you guys? IT'S ALL BULLSHIT

Don't get your panties in a bunch, people. I tell her she's pretty AND smart because Jenni Chiu said to. I buy her the pink because she wants it and tell her she can go right on ahead wearing her frilly tutu over her riding pants and I don't get pissy it gets muddied up and smells like horse at the end of her lessons. And she plays with her dolls before she sits down to read fucking Shakespeare because she's almost 8 and she's fucking brilliant and she knows it and that's okay, too. 

Maybe for some girls, Barbie triggers feelings that need to be addressed and therefore should be avoided (and maybe it's not Barbie because Deflecting Barbie isn't A Thing yet). Maybe pink is too girly for the girls who are anything but. Maybe makeup is a disguise for the insecure and maybe that little girl running recess like a military training camp is perhaps being a total bitch and YES IT IS OKAY TO TELL HER TO STOP BEING SO DAMNED BOSSY. 

But you know what? Maybe Nicki from Nickie Tutorials is right. Her video, posted above, got me all riled up for the right reasons. Thing is, this brain-numbing mindset is not just limited to makeup. It's everything. The love of pink does not mean your girl will never aspire to be amazing. Wearing makeup isn't going to teach her that she's only worth YOUR approval when she's all glammed up unless that's how you feel and she picks up on that vibe. Our kids, and I mean both our girls and our boys, are brilliant little people who pick up on our inner workings and take a piece of that as part of the foundation of their future selves. 

If you think you're a fat ass and food is bad and skinny is good, we've got a problem. If you tell her it's okay to love her body as it is while polishing off a dozen cupcakes because your feelings taste like chocolate then her feelings will taste like chocolate, too, and emotional eating will rule her life like the cruel master that any and all eating disorders are. If you tell her to love her body and she grows up with a healthy self image and happens to not be a size zero as an adult, you are not promoting fatness and encouraging her to never strive for whatever healthy means for her and her body type. 

If you criticize yourself in front of them, even if you're just frowning at your reflection in the mirror while sucking in your gut, they are listening even when we think they are not and its that voice - OUR VOICE - that they hear in their heads telling them they aren't good enough now and probably won't be - not now and not ever - when they find themselves standing in front of a mirror ten years from now. 

And if we keep going this way, we are only circling right back to that place where pretty, skinny, perfect, and pink actually were words that meant out girls had to hide their smarts because no boy would want them; where dolls were for girls because they were considered too delicate and fragile to run wild through the grass barefoot with the boys, and where her future as a doctor would have been traded for her future as the pregnant house wife with no aspirations other than to make more babies and have dinner in the table when her husband arrives home from his day at the office. 

We need to stop, you guys. We need to stop limiting this celebrating of ourselves to not include anything we may think does not fit our personal description. We need to stop criminalizing what we think is holding us back because in doing so, we are telling the Girly Girl that she's not as fabulous as the Sporty Girl and the Princess Girl that she can't be a Super Hero Princess and Tutu Lover that Tutus are Bad because she loves tutus and that must mean SHE is bad when she's not and... they aren't and you aren't and I'm not because OHMYFUCKINGGAWD!!! 

I'm the mother of a pink-loving, tutu-wearing, always bossy/sometimes bitchy, Chingona Princessy Future CEO of whatever the hell she wants to be and I'm proud. And guess what? So is she.

You can go right on ahead telling your Jock Girl that she doesn't have to wear pink if she doesn't want to. Because she doesn't have to. You can skip the makeup of it makes you feel like you aren't you with it on. Because you are the best you when you feel comfortable with the face looking you back in the mirror. 

When my kid is putting on her best game face while posing in a super hero stance in her Wonder Woman bathing suit and positioning her head just so as to keep her sparkly tiara from falling to the floor, please leave your opinion out of the picture I'm taking, capturing the moment my little girl is every bit the person she is meant to be

That Time I Referred to Rick Najera as Motivational and Not an Asshole


And when I say traveled, I mean four hours driving from my home to Portland, Maine, for the hotel that happens to be located right by the Amtrak depot, an overnight stay at said hotel, two hours on a bus the next morning, and then six on a train into Penn Station. Eliana travels with me. Score for Team Crazy Mexican Homeschooling! Kiddo was so excited to see the New York City skyline it made me a bit teary to think about packing up for the Land of Moose and Snow, but turns out we both love living in the Maine tundra as much as we love our little forays into Places Normal People Live. So it all works out in the end.

We had just arrived at Penn Station. How warm is it, she wanted to know. So I told her. 50 degrees. Back home it was was 27 and look like the tundra. After looking around a bit, maybe weighing her options, she made up her mind. Mom, she says, do you mind if I take off my fuzzy sweater? I answered by taking off my own.  While we exchanged sly smiles at the New Yorkers rushing by bundled in their winter layers, because we left winter in the back of my Yukon which was parked in the hotel lot back in Portland. All we brought with us? A fleece pullover and a spring rain trench.  'Cuz we're hard core, that's why.

The only SNAFU occurred when my original babysitting plan went out the window because that's just how shit works. Instead of a relatively easy drop-off in the Bronx, Eliana and I ended up taking a train to upstate NY to meet a Wendy DelMonte, my forever friend whom I now owe a pony, who drove an hour and a half south from Connecticut to pick up Eliana for the night. My child had the time of her life because Wendy and her kids are fabulous and that two-minutes I had on the platform before jumping in the return train for the hour-and-a-half ride back so I could haul ass yet again to my hotel to drop off my Too Much Luggage, shower off the travel stink, and change just in time to get lost on the way to the venue and show up an hour late?  Yeah...those two minutes may be the only time I actually breathed that day.

Meet Dennis Sanchez, the genius behind MVM Events. He's the lucky guy smack in the middle between me and the only white chick in the room. That's Sarah Fader and I think it's important to note we became friends because I saw an update about Three Year Olds being Assholes and was all It's Like you KNOW Me and this is probably also a good time to mention that she'll tell you she's Jewish and that isn't the same thing as white.  I'm not disagreeing. I'm only stating that it wasn't the Not White chick's face I had to work my ass off to make visible while editing this photo.  Also? You can step away from the tanning bed now, Dennis.  You're *welcome*.


This girl is hereby nominated as President of Any Fan Club Ever Created in My Honor Should I Become Important Enough for One. Her name is Joyce and you should follow her on twitter and instagram (@hvnlee) because I just made her important.  And yes, thanks, my therapist says I'm making major strides on that self-confidence thing.

I spoke. Dennis spoke. Rick spoke. And after calling Rick a motivational asshole and only stuttering three times, there was much merriment at the after party (I drank water because allergies suck), and then I went back to the Hotel from Hell to not sleep because security couldn't figure out the door I was pointing to was actually mine when I called about my key not working. I woke up at 2 p.m. after going to bef at 5 a.m. and suddenly it was time to drag my Too Much Luggage back to the subway and the train for the hour-and-a-half ride to upstate NY to meet Wendy and pick up Eliana just in time to go back the way we came, hop another bazillion subway trains once in the city, and make our way to the Bronx to meet up with another friend for the rest of our stay.

So many subway stops. So many flights of stairs to drag my Too Much Luggage up to catch the next train. My Jawbone Up band tells me I clocked an average of 23k steps per day while in NC. But this?

And these guys? They all made me want to plan a trip devoted to interviewing the subway artists and performers. There are so many stories to tell.

Eventually we made it to the Bronx. My friend Heiddi was worried I'd be worried because Bronx and Perception. I smiled. Then I reminded her I might *live* in Maine but I'm *from* Detroit.

A surprise planned for the next day meant pulling out the stick on nails I had brought home from BlogHer 13 and Eliana had saved for a special occasion. Girlfriend was all kinds of proud of these nails -- which, by the way -- she made sure every person on every train *knew* she was wearing fake nails because she was fancy.

We hustled from train to train to take our kids to a surprise involving The Story Pirates and were delayed when these guys swarmed my kid. So I took a picture. Then the minion pointed to his necklace which says "Tips".  Heiddi said this is why she doesn't stop for these idiots. The minion stopped pointing to his necklace after I pointed out they may wanna reconsider baiting the impressionable children of bitchy mothers until they've collected the requisite cash from said bitch mom.  Heiddi nodded. Detroit, right?  Detroit, born and bred.

This is, obviously, a first-grader. At least, that's what they script says. The Story Pirates were worth the throwdown with Strawberry Shortcake. We will be returning.

A stop at Jennifer Esposito's gluten-free bakery was in order. I bought what I can't eat because I'm allergic to ALL the Things, but even the non-gluten free were impressed. Also? Thank you to Victoria for hiding my iPhone until I frantically returned in search of my sanity. Jennifer? Victoria totally gets a raise.  Victoria? *You're Welcome*.

photo 3(1)

photo 5(3)

Leaving New York for upstate for our final stop and New York wins. She gave up naps at 15 months. I may have to move. Or at least visit regularly.


Because my life is a sitcom without the laugh track.  11:00 p.m. and still 100 miles from home after various stops for eating and car sickness and more eating because throwing up left her hungry but eating made her car sick again.  Then of course, there was Starbucks two hours ago because Obviously and me not making her go potty and the child with the bladder of a camel decides she must pee and she must pee NOW. She told me to pull over. In the middle of a deserted freeway where moose and Random Wildlife live, because she wasn't kidding.  I'll squat, she said. She didn't, I observed.  We changed her, bagged up her wet clothes, and as settled back in to drive. Just as my own bladder reminded me that I'd knocked back two trenta green teas and maybe I should consider squatting.  I opted for getting the hell out of whatever scene Stephen King was writing before the evil clowns showed up and held it until we got to the only rest stop between nowhere and home.

And now we are home and slowly getting back on track and there is much snow and no subways and I'm firing my dogs for not noticing the herd of deer leaping through the backyard as they circled for a spot to do their thing. Also, stick around if you're new. That #mexicaninmaine hashtag will start to make a lot more sense.

The End.



I forgot to mention that Rick sent me home with three copies of his book, Almost White: Forced Confessions of a Latino in Hollywood. One is mine, so step off and we can still be friends.

The second I gave to Ana Roca-Castro because I know Latism stands for all that Rick discusses in his book. I can't wait to hear what she thinks.

The last, y'all, I saved for you. Or...well, one of you, at least.

Picture Proof that I actually HAVE the book in my possession. The line for My New Best Friend forms *here*.

Rick Najera's autograph. Related: My favorite things are Starbucks Iced Green Teas, ponies, and MAC Russian red lipstick. Priority consideration will be focused on those who try to buy my love. *Nods head*

To enter for your chance at the book, here's the not-so-fine-print:

* First let's make sure everyone knows I am incapable of kissing ass so a free book isn't going to buy anyone a flowing review. If I don't like it, I'm simply not going to mention it. End. Of. Story.

* The rules:

**Leave a comment on this post. It can be anything as long as anything includes your email so I can contact you if you win. Bonus points if your comment actually pertains to the discussion at hand. Giving a damn is always nice.

** Share the following on your social media channels and leave me a separate comment for each share with the URL:

Check out this post by @pauline_campos: Enter to win an autographed copy of  by  

** Deadline is midnight, EST, April 22.

And that's it. I'm excited to share this book with all of you and am live-tweeting quotes as I read a chapter each night. Which means that yes, I love #AlmostWhite.

So...who's in?