I’ll be honest – I’m guilty of casual face painting gender stereotyping. It’s not something I do intentionally, but something I do as a practical measure. So let’s set the record straight. I don’t believe there are gender specific face painting designs.

In this post I’ll be sharing my personal opinion on gender stereotyping.

Face Painting Gender Stereotyping – what does it mean?

Face Painting Gender StereotypingBasically I am talking about any time I have referred to a particular design as a ‘girls’ design or a ‘boys’ design. It’s not that I believe there are specific designs for boys or girls. I simply use those terms for ease of communication.

When I say boys designs, people know intuitively that I am talking about face painting designs that boys are more likely to choose – for example Superheroes, monsters, cars etc. It makes it so much easier to say boys designs than ‘none-gender-specific-spider-person’.

The truth is that the majority of boys and girls usually WILL choose designs from their stereotypical ‘label’, anyway. Either way, they are ALL awesome!

Face Painting is not a Limiting Art Form

However, it should be emphasised that Face Painting as an art form is pretty much the opposite of stereotyping. It is the “Anti-Stereotype”. Experiencing face painting encourages freedom of expression, using your imagination and thinking outside of the box.

Face Painting Has No Gender Tiger Face Paint Boys GirlsFace Painting tells a child (or adult) that they can be whatever they want to be. It gives them confidence because when they have their face painted by a professional, they KNOW they look amazing, and through this form of role play can feel more comfortable just being themselves.

Many people think it’s ‘just’ a bit of paint slapped on a face, but the reality is so much more than that. From the moment you see your face in the mirror, you are transformed, you feel ‘different’.

It could be said that Face Painting literally changes your state of mind! You might take it for granted that 99%* of people smile when seeing their painted faces in the mirror. Yet no-one actually stops to think why that might be.

It’s because face painting helps you be what you want to be. The experience gives you a creative outlet to express yourself and feel beautiful, powerful or cool at the same time!

We should encourage this, not stifle it!

We all want the best for ourselves and our kids, and in the case of the latter, we love them unconditionally. I think it’s safe to say that all we want is for them to reach their best potential and most of all BE HAPPY.

You might never have imagined yourself sitting and reading a blog that claims face painting can help towards manifesting happiness, but here you are!

Face Painting Gender Stereotyping Butterfly BoyPersonally I love to encourage children to choose any design they like, whether a girl wants to be Captain America or a boy wants to be a Princess, it doesn’t matter to me. I obviously respect a parents wishes in the first instance – because honestly, I cannot be doing with the hassle. My solution will usually be a half way point ‘compromise’. (Another part of healthy development).

However, it truly warms my heart when I see parents who just want their kids to be themselves. The ones who stand back and let their kids make their own choices on who (or what) they will be.

Next time you are at a party or event where there is face painting, you might think about what actually goes on beneath the surface whenever someone sits in that chair. You might suddenly notice how transformative the process is when you see their smile light up their face.

It might be face painting – but it goes so much deeper than that!

Thanks for reading!

Rachel x

*(The 1% are the unlucky souls who have been subjected to amateurs with incorrect products. Please check the quality of your painter before hiring. Check they carry insurance and professional products safe for the skin.)



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All round creative and spreader of happiness at Geordie Face Painter
Rachel is a professional Face and Body Artist from Newcastle upon Tyne in the North East of England.

She is committed to raising the profile and standards of the face painting industry and is passionate about helping other Face Painting Business Owners up their game, and book out their calendars!

In addition to being the Tutorials Producer for The Face Painting Shop, Rachel is also the Reviews Columnist for the award winning Dupe Magazine.
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