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?

tsunami Sat 10-Nov-12 17:23:03

Back from holiday. Smooth bikini line: got through 90 razors and 103 tubes of Veet. It was draughty, however. Have let everything grow back now and my spider colony down there is so much happier...

Socknickingpixie Thu 05-Jul-12 22:38:43

krum it appears to have escaped your attention but i have actually been contributing to this very intresting discussion since very early on in the thread,

several times you have gone to great lenghts to inform us about the body hair removal/oppression/patriarchy/pornography and how it all contributes towards rape so if it contributes towards rape how is it NOT blameing.

if anybody said to me that woman deserved to get raped because she is wearing a miniskirt and had 7 vodka and cokes i would wait till they were all alone and re educate them by smashing there head against a very hard wall till there brain showed some sign of intelligent thought in a christian and loving way using polite yet firm reminders of just how fucking fucked up wrong they are.

so why is it any different to say women who shave there body hair or do themselves up contribute towards widespread rape because it reiterates oppression and patriarchy because that in essance is what you are saying.

back to the point of the op, but you seam to think that a 14 year old child needs to be educated about this view point as yes its a view point not actually a fact, as opposed to perhaps asking her to clean up after herself and giving her a minor pep talk about beauty being how she sees herself not other people.

Krumbum Thu 05-Jul-12 17:58:33

Please read back through the thread before saying I am victim blaming because it is fact the complete opposite, I am blaming rapists and rape culture.
Yes rape is a criminal offence, one that is Almost entirely men against women and that is barely ever taken to court and sentenced..

Greatauntirene Thu 05-Jul-12 17:51:59

Male models don't have hairy chests ever now. Same as women don't have pubic hair.
No doubt the fashion will change back in time.

Toadskinsauce Thu 05-Jul-12 16:42:38

I think it's pretty normal I did it at 14 (itchy as hell!) and been wearing string / thongs all my life... so she's just getting to know herself and her body.

I would just as others have said get her to clean up!

Socknickingpixie Thu 05-Jul-12 16:32:02

im over 30 (quite a bit over) but i dont see it as a huge massive issue and im certainly not shocked by it.

i also rarely conform to anything that would be concidered fashionable i dress the way i dress because im comfortable with myself.if i see an outfit i like i buy it i dont give to hoots if its 'in' or not equally if i see an outfit that in i would probally not bother with it. thats mainly because im tight smile i clothes shop rarely only when i need to,and dont much care if my children laugh at me.

if i happened to prefer to compleatly shave my muff i would and i wouldnt care if it were trendy to or not as it happens i dont because imho i think it makes you childlike,but im happy to accept that not everybody agrees with me.

i cant open the doc you linked to but im more than comfortable in my stance of rape being a criminal issue and im satisfyed that my stance is based on a extreamly relivant period of extensive formal study followed by relivant employment. im also surprised that anybody thinks shaven muffs contribute towards rape,surely if you go down that route then its being a bit blaiming.we are perfectly ok to get up in arms (quite rightly) when anybody surgests that the way someone dresses could contribute but apparently those who shave there muffs are unknowingly contributing but its ok to say that.

i am also just as likly to make sure i lock my door when i leave my house to reduce the risk of having my tv stolen as i am to take due care when walking about at night i dont concider factering in that some people are criminals and sensably reducing risk as oppression and i dont think a bit of guidence to children regarding booze consumption remaining sensable as oppressive its just your job as a parent,my daughters are very aware that no means no as are my sons but they certainly dont live in fear or have there lives hindered in anyway because of this, hairy muffs or not

imnotmymum Thu 05-Jul-12 14:20:12

thanks

Krumbum Thu 05-Jul-12 14:19:22

I do agree that things are better in many ways for women. Because of feminism! But women are still disadvantaged, it's a fact.
I am aware of the history but it never affects men the way it does women eg corsets, foot binding now plastic surgery. I also believe these things are affected by wealth and class, men are oppressed too in this sense!
I honestly didn't know that about the word krumbum lol, Krum
Is a nickname anyway and i added bum cos it rhymes!

imnotmymum Thu 05-Jul-12 14:04:35

Ok I think I need to stop now and really finish my fish pie.
All of the above in your post I do not have the energy to argue with anymore. Quite honestly we live in different universes. Please do look at the flip side of how things for women have become better and look at the history of sexual objectivity of both males and females.
I referred to your name as it suggests that you see men as filthy and a krumbum is someone who uses his comic behaviour to get women to sleep with him just thought it quaint as it refers to a man as "filthy"

Krumbum Thu 05-Jul-12 13:54:53

The rise is raunch culture does mean women are more sexualised and objectified now.
Idolisation of glamour models, porn star Jenna janesons book being a best seller, girls gone wild, easy access to hard core porn, normalisation of strip clubs, glamourising prostitutes and so much more.
Can explain the name thing?

imnotmymum Thu 05-Jul-12 13:50:47

sexual women have been around for a long time and I disagree that more men now see women this way. Quite the opposite. As I say I can only speak from my environment not generally. .

Krumbum Thu 05-Jul-12 13:46:50

Yes that's exactly the point! Telling a women to dress differently does not protect her. It does not reduce likelihood of rape, all it does it restrict her!
But rape culture is what means more men see women as sexual objects which leads to more rape. not the fault of women.

LeBFG Thu 05-Jul-12 13:46:24

Women are choosing to follow silly rules. Yes, I agree. I'm just not convinced the patricarchy is at fault here. Men and women are social animals and a lot of our behaviour has roots in our evolutionary past - we stick together and exclude the odd-balls, strangers etc. If we were all equal, this conformism would still exert it's power. I wonder if this is why us oldies are shocked at 14yo shaving their minge - we just feel less bound to follow the pack? I certainly feel this way.

imnotmymum Thu 05-Jul-12 13:40:24

Interesting to research that Le the link between more accessiblre porn and rise or not in rape cases from a quick google (not scholarly papers but just to see what out there) it seems not however again the authors validity need to be questioned. It is recognised that rape is a power/control crime by some therefore how a girl behaves/looks becomes negated

Krumbum Thu 05-Jul-12 13:38:00

I think it's important to be able to make an informed choice and that cannot be done without an understanding of patriarchy. In an equal society I believe drastically less women would 'choose' to follow the rules of 'hotness'. Because those expectations would no longer exist.
They do have less freedom. You don't know the ins and outs of the lives of women around you. And many will be paid less, sexual assaulted and victims of domestic violence.
Why does my name suggest I have a problem with men? (Which I don't btw, I have a problem with patriarchy)

LeBFG Thu 05-Jul-12 13:33:09

This is again where I'm going to challenge this assumption of the 'patricarchy behind it all'

From the pdf: 'There is insufficient public challenging around sexist advertising, pornography, and other forms of sexism. This helps support a culture where
degradation and the sexual objectification of women is considered acceptable,
which in turn supports male violence against women.'

There is clealy more and more easily acessible porn nowadays than ever before. Is there a concomittant surge in rape crimes?

As imnotmymum says, men also experience gendered risks, like stabbing on the way home from the pub. The pdf itself quotes '22.2% of girls and 11.3% of boys' reported having experienced unwanted sexual behaviour. This is a clear sex bias, but not a women's only problem.

The stats on rape are depressing. More needs to be done. But I'm not sure that insisting it's a feminist issue helps matters. I see rape as a violence issue. It's a thoroughly hateful VIOLENT act.

imnotmymum Thu 05-Jul-12 13:29:49

Of course there is the message however I do not think it something I have heard banged on about repeatedly. As I said boys are told to be careful due to crime as well. IMO if we all started not wearing make up, stopped shavin, stopped wearing what we like ten surely the "men have taken over" if you believe that they are all trying to control women. Women do not have any less freedom where I come from.
Krumbum your name suggests you have a problem with men in general

Krumbum Thu 05-Jul-12 13:24:10

So you dont think there is a message to women not to walk the streets alone (i dont just mean girls, women too) ? Not Drink freely? Wear revealing clothes that might attract the wrong attention? 'lead men on'?
Because I don't know a single woman who hasn't been told this over and over.
Even though most rapes are commited by somebody the victim knows! So this 'advice' doesn't actually protect. It just means women have less freedoms.

imnotmymum Thu 05-Jul-12 13:18:18

I of course cannot speak on how other women feel but do women really live in this fear. The only females that I can draw on are my friends and family and I believe it is not a "fear" they hold. As a pointer I tell my SS and DS to be careful in the streets as to the threat of fighting or stabbings may occur when out, to be aware but not to instil a sense of fear. Krumbum as a women and surrounded by many women in my work, personal and family life I do not recognize that we are told "over and over" and to "constantly fear rape". Have you been bought up like this?

Krumbum Thu 05-Jul-12 13:15:18

www.fawcettsociety.org.uk/documents/Rape%20-%20The%20Facts.doc

The fact that it is almost never convicted means that rape is practically legal, so we must compromise our lives and then if it happens there is nothing we can do about. This is what feminism wants to stop.

Krumbum Thu 05-Jul-12 13:12:05

I think you are vastly underestimating the risk of rape if you dont feel the fear that most women do. Women are told over and over not to walk the streets at night in a way men arnt, that is constantly telling them to fear rape. women are told what they wear and how much they drink means they are more likely to raped. It is a constant fear that means women have to compromise their lives and freedoms.

imnotmymum Thu 05-Jul-12 13:04:29

Read your link and need first to question a few things.I do not believe my life is controlled by the threat or existence of sexual violence nor that of Daughters. However of course we make our children ,both boys and girls, aware of the dangers of their environment. I am stating my point from a rural south west UK stance therefore believe that regional differences may account for our fears however it is not solely from the stance of sexual violations we prepare our children, but from the view point of keeping safe in all manners. Mugging, fights, domestic violence, drugs etc., we do inform our children of people who may take advantage and pressure them yet really cannot let it rule their or our lives as the world is a fantastic place with many opportunities it would be a disservice to our children in my opinion to, for example, not wear ,make up or a short skirt or not shave our pubic hair in an attempt to bring down the patriarchy, if it does exist. I whole heartedly agree that of course the woman should not be blamed, additionally agree that as a community we must be aware and create an understanding as to why it happens. It is written by women from a rape centre therefore they have had first hand experience for for the paper to be truly powerful an opposite argument needs to be addressed so as not to appear bias or as propaganda. Very interesting though. Thank you.

LeBFG Thu 05-Jul-12 12:56:06

"corrupted by men and the new-style porn"...

Two points here:
1. Do men seek to corrupt women's 'thoughts and feeling about their public hair'? I don't think so. This is about consumerism and advertising IMO and not the patriarchy. Why do I think this? Because hairy muffs have gone in and out of fashion for decades if not centuries (check the origin of the word merkin).

2. 'the new-style porn': which came first, people's changing preferences or the new porn-industry norm? I reckon this hairless muff trend started with an abhorrence of all pubic body hair, linked into the cleanliness hysteria our society is going through. Ultimately finding it's origins in advertising/consumerism.

Krumbum Thu 05-Jul-12 12:34:40

Jean, I'm 23 and find it sad too! But I know I'm in the minority sadly.

jeanvaljean Thu 05-Jul-12 12:27:11

This topic has been done before on MN. What happens is it splits down the middle very distinctly by age. All the over 30s find it a troubling sign of female oppression and feminism in decline, and all the under 30s, who have grown up in an internet-pornoised world see nothing wrong with it at all.

Being over 30 I am appalled by it, mostly because I feel the under-30s don't even realise that their thoughts and feelings about their pubic hair have been so thoroughly corrupted by men and the new-style porn. So they parrot the 'it's more hygenic, it's more comfortable' arguments truly believing this to be why they remove the hair. When in reality it is a paradigm shift caused by the prevalence of internet porn and the abhorrence of those men who've grown up on it now have towards pubic hair.

I find it terribly sad.

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