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Ask Dr. Meg: My Stepson Wears Makeup

Sometimes, the things that our children do is to gain attention. Here's my response to a worried mother.
Last Updated
April 22, 2019
posted on
March 30, 2016
Minute Read

Hi, I have a 17-year-old stepson who is gay and likes to wear makeup. His father has asked him not to wear makeup in front of his 8-year-old brother, pretty much prohibiting the use of it. I support this, are we wrong in asking him? I don’t know if we’re doing the right thing or how to approach this situation. We love him!

Dear Mom –

No, you are not wrong and the fact that you are writing lets me see that you love him, as well you should. Whether your son is gay or not has nothing to do with the rules that you set in your home. You and his father are in charge of the home. Setting some reasonable rules is not only expected, it is your responsibility.

My concern, however, is that your son may be seeking attention by wearing make up. When teens get excessive tattoos, piercings and wild hair do’s, they are making a cry for help. Certainly most teens go through a period where they try to assert their independence. But when teens go overboard by doing things they know are either bad for them or make their parents worry, I get concerned about something deeper going on. So let me ask you. How are his grades? Sleep patterns? Does he use weed or drink a lot? Does he have good friends? Is he sexually promiscuous?

These are signs that he may really be struggling with some emotional issues and if you are suspicious take him to his doctor and talk about ways to help.

Dr. Meg Meeker, MD

Practicing pediatrician, parent, grandparent, coach, speaker, and author. Say hello @MegMeekerMD

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