• Tue, Sep 13 2011

Your Teenager Will Find A Way To Apply That Makeup, Even If Her School Bans Mirrors

Shelley College in England pulled all the mirrors from their bathrooms in attempt to get teenage girls to stop wearing makeup in class. The high school or “college” if we’re true to English terms here has always had a “discreet makeup” law. But apparently these teenage girls were appearing just a bit too tarty for the administration, and so the school yanked all mirrors to further enforce the policy.

My high school had the exact same reaction when too many young ladies were arriving tardy to class because of tending to their faces. Aside from the annoyance of not being able to situate my contact lenses as a teenager, the ban didn’t prevent teen girls from slathering their faces in foundation. Nothing gets between young, makeup-fixated girls and their cosmetics. Where there is a will, there is most certainly an eyelash curler.

The girls who were makeup happy distinguished themselves early on; I want to say about the sixth grade. Many of their parents had very strict makeup policies at home, I remember. Many of them weren’t even allowed to buy makeup, let alone wear it. But that didn’t stop rabid 12 year olds from purchasing Wet n’ Wild off older girls at the lunch benches and running to the bathroom.

By the seventh grade, girls would get to school as much an hour earlier to rush into the bathroom and start putting their faces together. Using the bathroom before homeroom meant that I wouldn’t even get a glance at my own reflection without being elbowed by an older girl with an eyebrow pencil. I could inhale hairspray fumes if I wanted to, but I didn’t need to fix my hair that badly.

Needless to say, by high school, these same girls were more or less experts in concealing their makeup practices from grownups. So much so that by the time the ban came down, they simply shrugged and installed full makeup stations in their lockers. Taking all the mirrors out of our bathrooms must have cost much more than the magnetic vanities these crafty girls constructed admist books and highlighters.

And this was way before smartphones were available to the 18 and under set. With today’s teens, all they really have to do is turn an iPhone camera onto themselves and they have a better compact that their grandmother even had.

Getting in between teenage girls and their many eyeshadows is a fruitless endeavor. Best to let them ride out the frenzy as a phase and give them better products than Wet n’ Wild.

(photo: Shutterstock)

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  • Leigha

    Agreed. Don’t they realize there are way more practical purposes for those mirrors, too? Like contacts, as you mentioned, or checking if there’s food in your teeth after lunch, or getting that ink off that you somehow managed to smear on your face (I’ve totally done that), or making sure you don’t have anything in your hair…I’m not sure I’ve ever been in a bathroom that didn’t have a mirror. It would be very weird.

    • Jenna

      My school did not used to to have mirrors in a certain bathroom, it was the only one in the school without a mirror. And it was the closest one to my classes. But they finally installed one!