Parents demand more after make-up ban for girls

Irish dancers. Photo Copyright - John Benson - CC2

Parents have welcomed the decision to ban the use of make-up and false eyelashes for Irish dancers under the age of 10 but say the move doesn’t go far enough. Many want wigs to be banned as well.

Irish dancers. Photo Copyright - John Benson - CC2

The Irish Dancing Commission announced earlier this week that girls under 10 were no longer allowed to wear make-up or false eyelashes in competitions.

The ban was been met by great support from relieved parents in America and Ireland but they are now demanding more. One parent said on Facebook: “The fake hair should go too!”

Irish dancing has become ever more popular for girls in America in recent years, since the success of the Riverdance tour. It is estimated that 100,000 girls attend classes and competitions each week.

Costumes, make-up and wigs have all been must-have accessories. The cost can be expensive for parents, especially as it is all on top of the cost of the classes themselves.

The decision to ban make-up and false eye-lashes for the under 10s comes after widespread concern that children are being encouraged to dress and behave in ways beyond their years. This applies across all of society, not just Irish dancing. There has been a growing feeling among many parents that enough is enough and it’s time to call a halt.

Asked about the wearing of make-up by young girls, one mother told “It has become progressively worse in the last 10 years. Every parent knew it was wrong and disagreed with it, but knew they had to play the game and didn’t want their daughter to be the only one on stage without the orange face.”

Niall O’Leary, a former world champion, is one major figure in favour of the move. He said: “There shouldn’t be a major emphasis put on the presentation of dancers, the focus should be on dancing and that’s the plain and simple fact.”

The decision by the Irish Dancing Commission has sparked a flurry of opinions on social media, with many parents saying little girls should be allowed to be themselves and not encouraged to grow up too quickly.