Young teens, strings & pubic depilation

(353 Posts)
tsunami Tue 03-Jul-12 06:44:25

My eldest daughter is just 14 and I've found a lacy string in her room and now a big wad of pubic hair in her shower: suspect we're talking a close shave, and I dread to think how much she's taken off. I don't think there's a (serious) boy in the picture or if this is just peer-pressurised body-angst, but - while I'm no saint and have been around the block myself in my time - I really hate this current pole-dancer/porn shaved pussy trend. Call me a square (and maybe a hypocrite as I do wax up to my bikini line - sorry; TMI but I'm hoping we're all girls together in here - or can at least tolerate girl talk) I think total pubic baldness is unreconstructed pandering to male fantasy... IMO even Brazilians and landing strips are inappropriate for young teens. Still trying to cope with the string (yes, this is my first daughter, and she's growing up, so maybe I have to get used to it. We've had the high heels conversation, the provocative dressing and the make-up one...is this just the next step?)

I find it gutting that such young girls fall for this kind of stuff. OK - once you're older then it's your business, but kids need boundaries and should we and can we draw the line? Given the images they can get access to online - which they can and do, no matter what precautions you try to put in place at home - I'm not surprised they feel under pressure. Yes, I have looked - half the porn girls are bald; most have breast implants. Call me old fashioned, but - yeeuch.

I would've died if my mum had ever discussed my depilation issues with me. I can just see it: 'Darling...about your pubes...' 'Yeah, Mum, whatever: bog off.' You can't! Maybe I just tell her I don't think she should leave big clods of pubic hair in the plughole from a hygiene and self-respect POV.

What do I do? Do I do nothing, and leave it? It's her body...AIBU even to think of getting involved?

WorraLiberty Tue 03-Jul-12 09:40:55

It's not necessarily that they don't care

It's (imo) that not everyone makes the massive leap from hair removal to porn and pole-dancing etc hmm

The younger generation do not necessarily connect the two at all and I imagine there are parents out there who actually know this.

catus Tue 03-Jul-12 09:45:21

I think there must be a middle ground between saying "it's wrong, don't do it" and "it's none of my business, do what you want", surely?
Why not have a gentle chat about it, see why she feels the need to do it? To me, a 14 yo is not an adult and needs guidance.

AnyFucker Tue 03-Jul-12 09:50:29

OP, you might have been better posting this on the Feminism/Womens Rights/Chat thread

I understand your concern.

thebackson12 Tue 03-Jul-12 09:52:12

I may be alone but I think a 14 year old should be free to do what she wants with her 'down stairs' I think taking away all control of her body may be a mis step.

I waxed everything off from being about 11 , but it was more to do with periods (I started when I was 9) I do thing you have to allow some privacy. Like i said if there are other reasons for your concerns than that's different.

I don't think letting their bodies be their own is giving a green light to delinquent activity its often quite the opposite actually. young people who are in control of themselves fully are less likely to have to seek it somewhere else.

catus Tue 03-Jul-12 10:01:53

A 14 yo should be free to shave it all off, but it doesn't mean you shouldn't express concern and have a chat about what it means to her, and go from there if need be to talk about the societal pressures encoutered by women and girls.

mmmvanilla Tue 03-Jul-12 10:44:48

OP , I totally understand your concerns and the awkwardness you feel about bringing the subject up in a conversation with your DD.

I think you should have a talk though, to make sure she is aware that it is a new trend, pubic hair was normal and expected not very long ago and lots of women still choose not to shave and that choice is perfectly fine.
Trimming, tiding up, so that she feels confident in a swimming costume, is good grooming but to get rid of the pubic hair totally is not necessary at all.

Some posters here are being very unreasonable IMO, you expect mothers to discuss safe sex, contraception with their children but this issue is suddenly too private, taboo......weird.
Of course, it is sensitive subject and has to be handled as such but where else is the girl going to get the sensible grown up advice to balance the peer pressure ?

TBH, reading this thread, especially some posters' entries, makes me quite depressed but at the same time I feel such a relief that I have three sons, don't have to worry about them having to battle such pressures, put up with all the expense, time wasting, humiliatation of salon waxing, the itch, the possibility of rash, ingrown hair , etc.

Another great sigh of relief , I am 41, hoooooray, I avoided all this horror in my youth and I don't have to care about it at all now.
I've been married for 17 years, still get plenty of sex, but my DH would laugh and be a bit put off if I jumped to bed bald as a plucked chicken ! ( I asked him)

PanickingIdiot Tue 03-Jul-12 11:53:09

Some posters here are being very unreasonable IMO, you expect mothers to discuss safe sex, contraception with their children but this issue is suddenly too private, taboo......weird.

This. Prior to discovering Mumsnet I wouldn't have thought pubic hair was such a controversial issue. For me it's on a par with flossing teeth, dying hair or using make-up - part personal preference, part hygiene, part aesthetic, but nothing worth getting my knickers in a twist about. All this talk about porn and "pressure" - wtf?

Tbh I would bring it up with a 14-year-old, but only to teach her how to do it properly, not to save her from becoming a porn idol or some other such lurking danger.

imnotmymum Tue 03-Jul-12 11:58:48

I shave everywhere (not head !!) as I do not like hairs at all. Nothing to do with porn. It is her body and frankly I would be more horrified if my DD went swimming with it all hanging out!! Lacy string ?? Well knicker lines do look horrid. Definitely get her to clean up though I mean that is just rude

Not read quite the whole thread but... have you actually seen what she's done anyway? If she is (ahem) of a hairy disposition, then just a tidy-up (like for swimming), maybe a neat V and trim of the longest remaining bits, could still leave quite a bit of hair in the shower, especially the first time she does it. So you might be worrying about nothing anyway! (Apologies if you did already mention this).

youngmummy17 Tue 03-Jul-12 12:07:01

I think i was around 14 when i shaved it all off, I remember in school all the boys would say a bush was disgusting and take the piss out of various other girls for having a 'bush' so i just decided to shave it off as i thought i was weird for having hair down their, it was more peer pressure and wanting to be normal, i was to scared of ever being called bush!

JenaiMarrHePlaysGuitar Tue 03-Jul-12 12:18:38

youngmummy that's dreadful. I'm all for choice - if you don't like pubic hair get rid by all means - but feeliing compelled to do so because of a bunch of little twats at school? sad

I'd go absolutely fucking nuts if I found out my ds took part in bullying like that. Where on earth do we start though?

OP, I think I was almost certainly wearing lingerie rather than training bras and pants by your dd's age. I wouldn't think too much of that.

youngmummy17 Tue 03-Jul-12 12:21:13

AM not a huge fun but i have long thick curly hair and a group of boys assumed my pubic hair would be big and bushy, after having DS i'm to scared to go to the extremes i used to! 2nd degree tear put me off full shaving for life!

PandaWatch Tue 03-Jul-12 12:21:14

OP I started trimming everything right down when I first got my period. I used towels for the first year and it felt gross to me when it got all messy down below IYSWIM. When I was 18ish I read in Cosmo or some such magazine about shaving and started doing so because it felt so much cleaner to me (not suggesting that having pubes isn't clean - just a personal choice!). It had nothing to do with sex whatsoever.

I can see why you're concerned OP for the reasons you've given but I honestly wouldn't worry. Some people just don't like pubes! grin

JenaiMarrHePlaysGuitar Tue 03-Jul-12 12:21:37

And how things change. When I was 14 you'd have been ridiculed for having no pubic hair, and envied for your maturity if you were luxuriant of bush.

KitCat26 Tue 03-Jul-12 12:43:26

Why don't you have a chat to her about it if you are worried (although tbf I think I'd have been mortified if my mum had ever said anything to me on the subject!).

I was about 15 or so when I started trimming and probably 17 when I started experimenting whipping the whole lot off (waxing - shaving is too itchy). I was wearing thongs at 15 too.

Perhaps your DD doesn't want pubes sticking out of her lacey string? Either way let her get on with it or suggest longer lasting methods of hair removal which wont block your plug! (waxing should put her off for a while wink).

WorraLiberty Tue 03-Jul-12 12:49:51

You have to remember as well that thongs are still popular...especially under leggings or skinny jeans because they reduce VPL.

If a girl regularly wears thongs, she'll probably give herself a more 'severe' hair removal rather than have pubes sticking out.

When I was 14 there were no thongs and even knickers and swimsuits had more material in them.

Bonsoir Tue 03-Jul-12 12:55:08

I don't think this is any of your business, apart from the fact that your DD left her shaved pubes clogging the shower! Definitely remind her to remember to clear out shaved body hair (you don't have to say pubic hair) after her shower.

thebackson12 Tue 03-Jul-12 13:53:11

Yes, I'd perhaps remind her to clean up after herself.

Chundle Tue 03-Jul-12 14:00:34

I think some replies have been very harsh the OP was just asking for advice.

OP I imagine when your DD realises how bloody itchy it will be when it regrows she won't do it again! You can perhaps leave the chat til you catch her itching then a small passing comment like "won't be doing that again will you!" Should suffice ;)
Fwiw my neighbours boy is 12 and has just shaved all his pubic hair off she thinks its because he didn't want to grow up and is now walking round itching like a mad thing ;)

My DD1 has been having waxes since about 14, she has it all off, which is something I have done for years and what she is used to seeing on me.

When she first asked me to take her for a wax she told me that its common topic at school from the minute pubes arrive, amongst her friends and other girls, this was then confirmed by my nieces (teen girls of various ages).

These things do trickle down e.g. Someone sees it and tries it or has an older sister/mother/friend they know who does this then they try it and share that with their friendship circle.

There can be a sexual element but most of the teens I know don't associate hair removal and porn. They don't even associate breast implants and porn or glamour modelling. These things have become modern acceptable lifestyle choices and I think you are really over thinking it.

Tell her to clean up, teach her to do it properly.

Also wtf is a lacy string?

Feminine Tue 03-Jul-12 14:22:28

G-string perhaps? Ruby

susitwoshoes Tue 03-Jul-12 14:31:56

I would be very concerned about this. Although for some posters on here their removal of pubic hair had nothing to do with sex, it would be very naive to think today, when porn is so easily accessible and all porn stars seem to have no pubes, that it might have something to do with it. Whatever the reason, I would hate to think of my DD feeling pressurized into removing her pubic hair. (TMI alert) I have very thick dark hair EVERYWHERE down below and I can't imagine letting a razor get that close to my bits, or the pain of having hair ripped out of my labia. And the ingrowing hairs and itchy grow-back just from a normal bikini line wax is a nightmare. Maybe she'll be different - maybe not. But I think it's totally fair of the OP to be concerned and to talk to her daughter about it. I find it extraordinary that there are parents on here who are totally happy that their daughters bow to this pressure rather than let them realize that there is nothing odd or disgusting about pubic hair, however misguided their peers may be on the subject.

Ohhhhhhhh Ok, Thanks Feminine yes that does make sense. I was thinking it was some kind of hair removal contraption. Maybe she had gone threading rogue and done it with a lacy string? confused Clearly not.

Bonsoir Tue 03-Jul-12 14:40:14

When I was a teenager a lot of my friends were Italian and German. Their mothers didn't want them removing their underarm hair for much the same reasons as some posters don't think it is appropriate for teens to remove pubic hair.

thebackson12 Tue 03-Jul-12 14:43:25

It is and it isn't susiwhoshoes more to do with feeling like a grown up.

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