“I explained it to her in these terms: you are wasting time, your brother is not going to waste any time doing this,” Smith said during the Edinburgh International Book Festival. “Every day of his life he will put a shirt on, he’s out the door and he doesn’t give a sh*t if you waste an hour and a half doing your makeup.”
But the author of White Teeth and Swing Time, said she didn’t have to lecture her daughter about female beauty. Instead, the adolescent took her mother’s mirror-time rule as a practical time-saving method.
“She sees me and how I get dressed and how long it takes,” said Smith.
The natural beauty typically rocks her hair in a turban and wears bohemian chic clothing and minimal makeup. In her 2005 novel, On Beauty, Smith explored the relationship women have with themselves and the struggle of shielding daughters from the inevitable self-esteem struggles associated with being a woman.
“Kiki had dreaded having girls: she knew she wouldn’t be able to protect them from self-disgust,” Smith wrote in On Beauty. “To that end she had tried banning television in the early years, and never had a lipstick or a woman’s magazine crossed the threshold of the Belsey home to Kiki’s knowledge, but these and other precautionary measures had made no difference. It was in the air, or so it seemed to Kiki, this hatred of women and their bodies.”