No Make-Up Selfies

What the ‘no make-up selfie’ says to our children


The #NoMakeUpSelfie has been without doubt an incredible phenomenon, raising millions of pounds for cancer charities. Our regular guest blogger and parenting expert Belinda Hayes from TLS Parenting has taken the opportunity to look at it from a different angle.


Over to you Belinda ……

Belinda Hayes


I don’t know about you, but I have been really interested by the reactions to the ‘no make- up selfie’ requests on social media.

Some friends have been happy to reveal their true selves, some have ignored the request and others have said, “well this is what I look like anyway – so here goes!”


When I asked my daughter what she thought about the trend, she couldn’t see a problem – why would people get so stressed about make up when they are naturally beautiful.


No Make up selfie


Now, I know that she is 10 and this can all change, but I was really pleased to hear her say that.

Often as parents we build our children up, while dragging ourselves down, and we don’t even realise we are doing it. When we criticise others, or ourselves based on our looks, our children see this, and what we model to them undermines our efforts to build them up.

Never before have children been so influenced by the visual. Television, apps and even communication is more than ever about images – with many children as young as 9 using instagram regularly. Judgement about appearances are quickly attached to these communications – like with the “hot or not” app where people are judged on their looks.

I have always thought that home should be a port in the storm of life, so this should be the one place that goes against society’s grain; and I know that we try to be, it is just that sometimes our actions and thoughts about ourselves contradict our best wishes for our children.


Make up


Now, I am not saying we should never diet, or wear makeup, but I am saying that we need to be mindful of how we do these things.



Praise matters


I am a fan of praising children, but don’t forget to praise yourself too! Let your kids know when you have done something well, or when your look great – they will catch on and praise you too.

And finally, when you are applying make-up, remember that you are merely enhancing your natural features, because let’s face it – those gorgeous kids of yours got there looks from you!


Belinda x


Photographs: Free Digital Images


Other articles by Belinda:

Taking holidays during term time






Taking Holidays During Term Time

Price hikes and prosecutions


With many holiday and travel companies putting up their prices during the school holidays it’s becoming more and more costly to share a family getaway. But with high profile cases now coming to court for parents who have taken their kids out of school during term time, it’s something of a hot topic.

We asked guest blogger and parenting expert, Belinda Hayes (TLS Parenting) for her thoughts on the pros, cons and alternatives.


Over to you Belinda ……

Belinda Hayes


It is amazing to see how social media can influence what our MPs are discussing, and this is no more obvious than with the issue of holiday price rises during school holidays.

For as long as I can remember parents (and teachers!) have been paying more to go on holiday during the school breaks.



For the extra money they get to experience their destination, be it home or abroad, at its busiest, full roads, full flights and the increased likelihood of strikes!

However, lately extreme price rises coupled with parents being fined for taking children out of school in term time has meant that the situation has escalated. Now people’s frustration has finally reached Westminster’s ears.Mother & daughter on beach

The holiday industry argues that it is a case of supply and demand; so long as there are people willing to pay the increased prices, the prices will remain inflated.

They also say that these busy periods are their chief source of revenue, and allow them to sustain their business throughout the year.



There are no easy answers


If I ruled the world I would allow parents to take their children out of school for up to 10 days with the agreement of the teachers, and would build in some kind of project for the children to undertake while away.

I would also want to try and find a way to give teachers – who don’t have a choice about their holidays – some kind of voucher or discount scheme.


Why holidays mean so much


However, since my ruling the world is not an option just now we need to think of more creative solutions.

It may be that we need to remember why holidays mean so much to us. For me, they are about having no routine, making memories, and reconnecting with my family.






So if going away isn’t an option what can we do?


Firstly, I suggest you ask yourself what you like about the holidays – is it a chance to have some you time, read a book, go to markets, do nothing?

Then, ask your children what they would like to do?

Often we assume that we know what makes our children happy – expensive days out and keeping busy; but you may be surprised. Our children are often incredibly over scheduled and may relish the thought of a pyjama day, watching TV and doing nothing!


Make a plan


So, having worked out what makes everyone happy, it is time to make a plan to make sure everyone gets something. Here are just some ideas:

  • Go walking through a forest – making dens, looking for ‘monster’ footprints, even just collecting bits of nature. You could try Delamere Forest or Alderley Edge, not to mention the many National Trust sites in the area.
  • Have movie days or nights – get in the popcorn, and relax.
  • Craft activities (including trips to local art galleries) and baking – but don’t put too much pressure on yourself – it is supposed to be fun!
  • Camp in the garden, go to the beach for the day… the list is as long as your imagination.


BUT – try and book in some time for yourself too – maybe you could exchange child care with a friend so you both get some time off. Now, all you need is spray tan and you’re all set!


Belinda x


Photographs: Free digital photos






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