Hair Removal for a 12/13 year old

(158 Posts)
Bettyj69 Sun 21-Mar-10 13:25:00

Help please Mums. My 12 year old (13 in Aug) has asked can she 'shave' her legs. She doesn't want to shave them, having had a few horror stories from friends who have cut themselves shaving.

Any recommendations as to what is the best form of hair removal for ones so young?

Much appreciated.

smile

choufleur Sun 21-Mar-10 13:27:12

cream. no pain.

TheFirstLady Sun 21-Mar-10 15:13:52

DD1 shaves her underarms, but hasn't started on legs yet. I think I'd prefer her to use cream on those though - they are much easier to cut than pits.

wotsitallabout Sun 21-Mar-10 16:04:30

My DD shaves and uses cream. She has not cut herself once. Oh and uses my electric shaver.

juuule Sun 21-Mar-10 16:14:05

Hair removing cream, like Veet?

mamas12 Sun 21-Mar-10 18:12:20

Yes cream is the best if she is just starting but if she is anything like me and my dd go straight for the waxing, it gets rid for longer.

cariboo Sun 21-Mar-10 18:15:18

I started shaving at 13, much to my mum's horror. I nicked my legs a number of times (still do!) but no lasting damage done. She'll learn. Meanwhile, keep a box of plasters on hand.

Alouiseg Sun 21-Mar-10 18:17:32

Cream is full of horrendous chemicals, i wouldn't let children touch it with a bargepole!

I havn't got girls but if i did i would investigate laser hair removal for them as soon as they needed it. If laser wasn't appropriate i would get waxing.

cariboo Sun 21-Mar-10 18:24:03

wimpshmm what is it about this generation that is so annoyingly nanny-ish? or am just in a bad mood?

I am not suggesting your daughters are all capable of wielding a razor but ffs! are you going to have the boys wax their beards? or slather on the Veet?

juuule Sun 21-Mar-10 18:28:00

If that's what they wanted, why not?
Once they know the options then they can choose.

Alouiseg Sun 21-Mar-10 18:29:28

Shaving leaves such a horrible stubble effect especially if you have dark hair. Whereas boys look cool with stubble.

But not bumfluff ;-)

EccentricaGallumbits Sun 21-Mar-10 18:30:06

DD1 shaves.
DD2 uses veet.

tis personal choice. let her play around and find something that suits.

I am having DD waxed hoping that by the time she is 25 she gets succh a small amount of growth she can just epilate it herself.

Am also going to get her eyebrows done professionally when she wants that done so she dosen;t feck it up like most young girls do and walk around having weird arches or drawn on eyebrows

Alouiseg Sun 21-Mar-10 18:38:58

Try threading for eyebrows, they look fab. I feel as if i've had a facelift when mine have been done.

I should really change my name to epilationobsessive, i've tried everything over the years.

lairymum99 Sun 21-Mar-10 20:04:14

Waxing for a 12/13 year old?? I was advised that this is too young. Hence my DD12 uses Veet for now.

Would be interested to know opinions about laser treatment. Surely beauty salons can't offer this to young girls??

BTW, have tried to have the PC chat - you know the one about how you're beautiful just as you are and that there's really no need for hair removal (just yet). She didn't buy it. hmm

maryz Sun 21-Mar-10 20:17:29

Waxing every time. dd started about a year ago and has it done about every 3-4 months. It's already substantially thinner. Underarms almost completely clear of hair.

She once used VEET, but it came back much quicker and thicker, so back to waxing.

Why would waxing not be ok for 12/13 year old lairmum (professional waxing, that is. I wouldn't trust dd with home-heated wax)? I would have thought chemicals would be worse.

I think we have all tried the PC chat - I doubt it worked for anyone grin.

ooosabeauta Sun 21-Mar-10 20:18:12

I used Veet (or Immac then) from about 10 and never had any probs apart from leaving it on too long on my face once (don't ask) and it burning. Then shaved from about 13/14. Have always been put off waxing by the fact that my mum has been doing it since she was 20, is 63 now and still has as much hair on her legs as I do before she goes! She enjoys it though. But no hair diminishing whatsoever.

Think the PC chat can be a fruitless thing. Young children can be remarkably observant, and it's not nice to have hairiness remarked upon at that age. I started after a female PE teacher at middle school mentioned that my legs were hairier than the boys'. Nice grin

I'd have to go on the waxing wagon here. Partially because she will see the benefits within a year from waxing (less hair, grows back thinner, etc) and also, she won't flinch at the idea later on once she realises that it's the best method for hair removal! I recently went back to shaving after not being able to afford wax and truly regret it, my leg hair has started growing doubly quick again!

BritFish Sun 21-Mar-10 20:29:42

yeah, best to let her get rid of it, sorry, i remember being teased by my brother!
id let her try shaving, or show her. even if she chooses it, its not going to help her being afraid to try, just show her if you are slow and careful, you're fine.

oh, and dont bother with shaving creams, total waste of money in my experience, use big cheapo bottle of hair conditioner!

Alouiseg Sun 21-Mar-10 21:23:39

My niece, now 17 has been waxed since the age of 11 then switched to laser at 13. Lucky girl now has zero underarm or leg hair and a very tidy bikini line.

Lucky girl.

NormaStanleyFletcher Sun 21-Mar-10 21:29:13

Oh dear god - is being hairless the complete panacea of pubescent girls and their mothers now?

I want to weep

Molesworth Sun 21-Mar-10 21:31:03

shock @ waxing an 11 year old

RumourOfAHurricane Sun 21-Mar-10 21:36:42

Jesus Christ.

How about saying no?

Just, you know, leaving it?

I have a dd who is coming up 12. She is always bugging me to let allow her to shave her legs. The answer has been a resounding no.

Don't get me wrong- if he legs were particularly hairy to the point where is was effecting her self esteem, then yes , I'd agree it. In fact, only last week she said some boys had teased her about her 'monobrow' so having had a look at it, I agreed to pluck it for her.

But as a routine matter of course? At 12?

Come on!!!

mamas12 Sun 21-Mar-10 21:40:44

I don't think anyone here is talking routine .
I was ans now my dd very hirsuit and needed it.
I had hairier legs than my brothers!

Alouiseg Sun 21-Mar-10 21:40:51

Maybe if you say no then it becomes more of an issue, more people will notice then the girl is likely to shave bringing with it all the associated problems.

11 year old girls cannot be expected to run a one girl crusade against body hair. No reasonably well groomed female leaves noticeable body hair hanging around. Why should a young girl.

RumourOfAHurricane Sun 21-Mar-10 21:48:28

Why should a young girl leave body hair alone? I think the answer is in the question. Because they're young, perhaps?

If the hair is particularly severe and causing self esteem problems then yeah, I see the point. Otherwise, the sensible 'parenty' thing to do is say no.

Cannot believe that anyone can argue otherwise with a 12 year old girl.

lairymum99 Sun 21-Mar-10 21:51:32

Agree, diamond. It's madness.

Unfortunately, my DD is above average hairy and developing fast in the sprouting hair everywhere department. She gets teased at school because of her underarm hair, her monobrow, her moustache FFS!!

WWYD?

As a caring mum, I am concerned. What can I do? So I wax between her eyebrows when it gets too bad, and we veet her underarms now and again.

I try to treat it as a rites of passage thing, bit like starting her period. Make her feel that it's great to be a woman. Whether we like it or not, depilating is basic grooming these days.

NormaStanleyFletcher Sun 21-Mar-10 21:58:52

"My niece, now 17 has been waxed since the age of 11 then switched to laser at 13. Lucky girl now has zero underarm or leg hair and a very tidy bikini line.

Lucky girl"

That really wants to make me cry.

RumourOfAHurricane Sun 21-Mar-10 22:03:48

I know Norma- me too! And before you think I am natural and hairy, I most definitely am not! However, a child shouldn't have to deal with this nonsense..

Lairy- in your case of course I would help her remove the hair. It is a problem for her and is effecting her. That is the difference.
Oh and call me Shiney! grin

Alouiseg Sun 21-Mar-10 22:05:52

Why??? Do you think she wanted to be hairy??? No she asked her Mum about waxing her legs and they looked into all the options and made a very adult decision.

She definitely doesn't regret it now and it will save her a fortune in waxing throughout her life.

AnyFucker Sun 21-Mar-10 22:10:41

dear god

what is wrong with some parents ?

there is a word for when young girls want to do something way ahead of the right time...

...no...

waxed from 11yo ???

like body hair is something shameful and best hidden from sensitive eyes??

shame on you

upahill Sun 21-Mar-10 22:12:03

I was 12 when I started the hair removal process!! Had eyebrows plucked, 30 odd years later it is threading. At 12 I was shaving under my arms and legs but stick to mostly waxing now. Of course she should be hair removing if she wants to. It's all part of the grooming ritual.

Although I don't have daughters I remember how I felt. My dad found out about me shaving my legs and disaproved and gave me (yet another ) lecture about 'once you start doing that you will have to do it forever' I answered back 'yeah like I have to clean my teeth every day and take a shower and wash my hair!' It's no big deal just buy a tube of Veet while you are in Tesco.

maryz Sun 21-Mar-10 22:41:52

Hang on a second - to those who think it is too young. At 11, dd's arms were hairier than her older brother's legs. By 12 (when she started waxing) she was refusing to wear shorts, you could see the hair through opaque tights and she was being teased at school.

At what age would it have been ok to let her get rid? Or should I have waited until she was refusing to go out the door?

I wax my legs. I wouldn't go out with my pubic hair sticking out of my swimming togs. Why should I expect my 12 year old to?

RumourOfAHurricane Sun 21-Mar-10 22:51:01

maryz- read through my posts and what I have said. If the hair is to the extent you describe then YES GET RID OF IT IF IT MAKES SAID 12 YEAR OLD FEEL BETTER.

But as a routine, general, legs a bit hairy kinda thing it is MADNESS

AnyFucker Sun 21-Mar-10 22:53:17

agree with shiney

extreme cases...whatever

the usual slightly, softly hairy 11 yo, which is what my 11yo was...no way

RumourOfAHurricane Sun 21-Mar-10 22:56:30

agrees with AF

grin

Honestly, it astonishes me that people are trying to argue that this is something normal for a 11/12 year old to do.

upahill Sun 21-Mar-10 23:00:57

But Shineon It was perfectly normal for me, my sister and friends and this was 30 odd years back.

It was part of our normal grooming routine because we went swimming several times a week and nobody wants tuffs hanging down!
I certainly didn't want underarm hair ( I still don't) so it took a mtter of seconds to get shut. No problem and sorted.

Sazisi Sun 21-Mar-10 23:02:01

11 year olds can make adult decisions??? hmm

upahill Sun 21-Mar-10 23:03:26

Hair removal is hardly about 'making adult decisions' It's about personal grooming.

piprabbit Sun 21-Mar-10 23:06:37

Can I refer this thread to the MN campaign to let girls be girls?

AnyFucker Sun 21-Mar-10 23:07:52

please do, pip

what next ?

thongs for 11yo's because that VPL is sooooo embarassing in the schoolyard, innit hmm

upahill Sun 21-Mar-10 23:12:02

Well it sounds like nothing has changed in 35 years tbh when me and my mates wanted Not to have hairy legs because we were girls being girls and didn't want to go round like hairy lads.

AnyFucker Sun 21-Mar-10 23:16:04

upahill ? when you were 11 ? seriously ?

I was 11 33 years ago, and I was still riding my bike and skinning my knees

removing imaginary hair from parts of my body was the last thing on my mind, I can guarantee that

then again, if my mother had suggested it, I might have thought again

think about it

piprabbit Sun 21-Mar-10 23:17:17

Done... mostly because of the sale of services such as waxing and laser hair removal to very young girls. If we are campaigning against clothes with 'sexy' written across the bum of an 11yo, then perhaps we should also campaign against said 11yo being given a brazilian.

upahill Sun 21-Mar-10 23:22:15

AF
I'm dead serious. That is the honest truth.

LeSingeEstDansLarbre Sun 21-Mar-10 23:22:54

thank god this thread took a turn for the saner better, i was reading it like this shock.

AnyFucker Sun 21-Mar-10 23:23:41

upahill, I believe ya

just not my experience

and not the experience I would wish to give my own dd

upahill Sun 21-Mar-10 23:29:52

I honestly don't see the problem and I am quite a strict parent BUT I remember being really self concious about the hair when it became unsightly i.e the sprouting tufts.
Like I said it was just part of mine and my sisters grooming.

I would imagine it would be worse now because of the 'perfect' body image that is everywhere from teen magazines, MTV etc.
For the record I am very fair skinned back to when I was 11 I was quite blond but did have and still have extremly thick hair. I remember being 14 and my aunty on one summers day when we were sat in a park commenting on my toes being hairy. Something else to shave then!!!

AnyFucker Sun 21-Mar-10 23:32:21

upahill, that is very sad, seriously

is your auntie Katie Price ?

wubblybubbly Sun 21-Mar-10 23:42:38

It really is sad that at 11 little girls are concerned over body hair. Have times really changed so much in 30 years?

I reckon I'm a fairly hairy woman and I know I had hairy legs in my early teens, as some little horror kindly pointed out, but I'm fairly sure I first shaved my legs and underarms at around age 14 and it would last for weeks!

We wore short skirts and shorts all summer long but at 11, 12 and even 13 I really wasn't that conscious of my body being so unnatural that it had to be stripped of hair? Who is telling girls they need to be shaving and waxing pre teens?

As for my bikini line, I'm quite sure it was completely au natural until I was in my early 20's and started wearing itsy bitsy bikinis. There really was no need before.

upahill Mon 22-Mar-10 08:08:21

My aunty was 17,beautiful and trendy in a hippish way when she said this and she was stating the obvious. I still have hairy toes and I still shave them!! No problem. It's not sad at all and I haven't got any issues or worries over it.

I really can't see a problem at all. Like I've said it is part of grooming and I would no sooner go out with spikey legs or wear a vest top with a mop growing under my arms as I would go out with greasy hair and uncleaned teeth.

Going back to the OP I would suggest Veet but get the sensitive to start with and make sure she does a patch test to check for reactions.

At nearly 13 she is on her way to becoming a young woman and this sounds like the start of the transistion.

LeSingeEstDansLarbre Mon 22-Mar-10 08:38:02

but hairy legs aren't unclean, you know.

teaandcakeplease Mon 22-Mar-10 08:54:11

My DD is only 2 and a half but I imagine if she was feeling self conscious about her leg hair in senior school and asked if she could shave/ veet it, I'd say yes. As school kids can be so mean, I wouldn't want her to feel embarrassed or run the risk of being teased about it if very hairy hmm

I just started to borrow my elder brothers razor when bathing in senior school myself grin He never knew and I never asked my mum. LOL. She didn't actually notice, but I am blonde I suppose.

Let them try both methods and decide. Waxing at a young age, seems a bit hmm to me.

TeddyBare Mon 22-Mar-10 08:58:48

I find it quite shock that there are people refusing to allow their teenage dd to remove hair from her own body. It's a normal part of personal grooming for most females in the UK and girls will obviously know this. I cannot fathom why it might be considered a problem, or why some mums think it's not a decision an 12 / 13 year old can make. In a few years they'll be able to get a tattoo. Maybe it would be more helpful to stop micro-managing their lives now so they'll be able to make better decisions when they could legally make permanent changes to their bodies.

OP, Does you dd have much knowledge about non-shaving options? See what she likes the sound of most. It might be a good idea to let her try out a few options before the summer gets here and she will want to be wearing shorts.

Alouiseg Mon 22-Mar-10 09:01:18

Those people who mentioned that fuzz is all 11 year old girls have are being very unreasonable, try being a girl with coarse, dark hair where even the roots show through the skin.

Imagine having pubic hair down your inner thighs and having to swim with the school!!

If you can't then i don't feel you are qualified to comment on this thread, there is body hair and there is the forest of hell that some girls have to deal with.

Most girls are more advanced than boys at that age and can have lots more body hair to deal with and while it may not be unclean it looks bloody horrible.

LeSingeEstDansLarbre Mon 22-Mar-10 09:05:45

i don't think the OP has clarified whether or not it's fuzz or dark hair that she wants to shave, has she?

and NEWSFLASH, it's not 'just grooming' for a lot of women. you've been sold that by companies making heaps of cash out of you.

if my child was mortified by terribly dark hair then of course i would let her shave the night before swimming, but that is it. tbh covering up hairy legs might be no bad way to encourage a bit of modesty.

30andMerkin Mon 22-Mar-10 09:08:46

Sorry, another vote for waxing.

At 12ish I was a tinsy bit hairy and remember HATING that. In fact I think I became aware of it when I was around 8 or 9. That was 20 years ago, so nothing's changed much.

When I was 13 or so my mum started taking me to get waxed, which is probably the only remotely spa-like thing we'd ever do together, so you don't have to be a Katie Price type to do it. In fact it was probably because she remembers hating being hairy as a teenager, so that's nearly 40 years ago.

I went to a girls school, don't think a boy SAW my legs until I was about 17, and was a Naomi-Wolf-reading type of teenager. Depilating your legs doesn't have to mean sexualising girls too young, it can just mean that they can get a little bit of control over their own teenager body.

zazen Mon 22-Mar-10 09:09:11

Wax using NADS - specially dsigned by a mum for her daughters.

I use it and of all the waxes I've used in my time wink NADS is the best. Terrible name though grin

Of course I'll let my DD wax her legs if she likes - shaving IMO just grows back all stubbly and strong, and cremes can be absorbed into thebody if used over large areas.

My DD is a hairy monkey, just like me - I was bullied for being hairy at school - I really liked sports, but have dark hair - go figure.
This isn't a sexualisation issue for me - it's grooming innit?

upahill Mon 22-Mar-10 09:12:42

LesSing.....Heaps of companies have made money out of me for washing my hair and buying shampoo or companies have made money out of me for cleaning my teeth and using toothpaste. I really don't care if hair removing manufactures money out of me. It doesn't cost that much to buy a Bic razor but I feel so much better than if I hadn't.

GetOrfMoiLand Mon 22-Mar-10 09:13:46

DD has been shaving her legs and armpits for about 6 months or so (she is 14). She is very blonde albeit very hairy - she started to shave after she noticed hairs glistening in the sunlight on the beach last year.

She just uses a razor in the bath and only bothers in the summer or when she goes swimming. I dn't see any point in recommending waxing or veet. What's the point?

She would not have considered it at all at the age of 11.

MathsMadMummy Mon 22-Mar-10 09:14:49

if a 12yo is bothered about hairy legs then she should be allowed to shave them!!! what if she was getting teased?

if she's not bothered though, then obviously don't make her do it. lots of my blonde friends didn't shave until they were older.

IMHO shaving is the least drastic option but as her mum you should show her how to do it properly with venus foam or whatever.

TBH am saddened at the thought of preventing a 12yo girl shaving. My mum said no so I had nobody to show me how - did it totally wrong several times, cut myself very badly and felt I couldn't tell mum (normally I tell her everything!). wrapped my legs in bandages under my trousers and was in immense pain. please take note of this horrible experience!

my DSDs (12) aren't bothered yet - they wear trousers to school) but when they are I'll show them how to do it, if their mum doesn't mind obviously. She probably won't care hmm

LeSingeEstDansLarbre Mon 22-Mar-10 09:16:26

once again, the hair on your body is not unclean, so it's not comparable to dirty hair and teeth.

juuule Mon 22-Mar-10 09:21:42

I suppose with regard to grooming it's more comparable to brushing your hair and tidying up your appearance rather than a cleanliness issue.
Some people are bothered by it and some are not. Just as some people want their hair professionally cut regularly and others won't bother.

upahill Mon 22-Mar-10 09:21:50

I never said it was unclean. I just don't like it being there on display especially in summer when I am wearing t shirts and dresses. My body, my choice in this case just, as it was when I was 12.

I don't look back and think 'Oh my god I made a mistake there' when I started to shave my legs. If anything I think thank God my mum told my dad to butt out when he found out. And thank you mum for getting me the razors when you did the monthly 'big' shop at Kwik Save!

TeddyBare Mon 22-Mar-10 09:25:32

Lesinge - would you refuse to let your ds shave his face if he had a little hair and wanted to? If your dd is using a roll on or stick deodorant then it won't work as effectivly if she isn't shaving.

LeSingeEstDansLarbre Mon 22-Mar-10 09:34:51

i wouldn't let a child use an anti-perspirant deod in any case, and a crystal deodorant works fine with some underarm hair.

and lol, what boy do you know who wants to shave his face when he gets hair on it. they all want to grow it as much as possible, to demonstrate how mature they are.

i just can't believe how many of you buy into the 'hair is ugly' line. it's so... depressing. the reason kids feel ugly is because you do.

crumpette Mon 22-Mar-10 09:38:04

I shaved my legs when I was 10, I cut myself pretty badly I still have a scar! I wasn't very hairy, it was that light peachy fuzz.

With hindsight I wish I hadn't. I also wish I hadn't had my bikini line waxed when I was an older teen.. it grew back a lot worse than before and became messy, not tidy

I think try to encourage young girls to just be OK with what they've got, for as long as possible. Shaving creates a problem, really, once you start it needs to be done often. Creams do contain nasty chemicals. If anything I'd say encourage waxing over other options but only for summer months.

crumpette Mon 22-Mar-10 09:39:58

And not before 14 unless it's really really causing a big problem with self esteem

TeddyBare Mon 22-Mar-10 09:44:26

You seem to have missed that a 12 / 13 year old is not a child who can't make a minor decision like what type of deodorant to use or whether they want to remove their body hair. Would you allow a 12 or 13 year old to decide how long they want their hair, or what style, or which sports they want to do, what to read, what time of day to do homework? Hair removal isn't harmful and it's not irreversable - on what grounds is this a decision which a teenager can't make?

Gracie123 Mon 22-Mar-10 09:54:04

Waxing cannot be done in a salon until your daughter is 16, but you could talk to your daughter about sugaring.

It's much gentler, no chemicals, would easily manage the small amount of hair that she presumably has at that age, and you could do it for her, say once every 6 weeks.

Much easier than having her spend ages in the shower every day trying not to cut herself with a razor. Ultimately you would be doing her a massive favour, as she will eventually have less hair to deal with.

willowstar Mon 22-Mar-10 10:00:17

haven't read all the responses but have just seen

'it is really sad that at 11 little girls are concerned over body hair, have times really changed so much in 30 years?

I am 36. I started my periods when I was 9 years old, I had breasts by 10 and by 11 i was very hairy in my underarms and legs and would try to get out of swimming because of it, I was so embarrassed. I also developed pubic hair around then too. I cut myself many times from sneaking my mums razor and trying to get rid of it. When she finally found out she got me a razor of my own and showed me how to do it but I remember very well the embarrasment of being so much further developed that everyone else (or it felt like that).

If my daughter is anything like me I would have absolutely no problem with her getting rid of her hair when the time comes.

I agree that waxing is great for getting rid of it but I have been doing it for 20 years or so on and off and am still very hairy. My bikini line spreads out all over the top of my legs. it is disgusting. if I could afford it would get laser without a doubt.

maryz Mon 22-Mar-10 10:18:18

Shiney, my comment wasn't aimed at you specifically. It was aimed at people who say 11/12 is definitely too young

For those without pre-teen and teenage daughters, things have changed a lot in 30 years! Not only are girls (and boys) more aware of appearance, they have also physically changed. Puberty is coming earlier - dd was just 11 when she got her first period, and had been hairy for a while before that. I would think that all bar one of her friends now (at 13) would have obviously hairly legs/underarms.

And it isn't that adults think that hair is ugly. It is that girls are aware of it, and boys laugh at it. So in a mixed school, with mixed swimming lessons, I bet there isn't a single girl who is happy to be hairy.

Gracie123 Mon 22-Mar-10 10:20:55

Willowstar - have you spoken to a salon about sugaring? If you have very dark hair it might be a better option than waxing.

Waxing very stubborn hair can sometimes cause it to break, rather than actually taking it from the root like it does with finer hair. This leaves you no better off than using a cream of epilator (also break a lot of hairs).

It's a lot less painful than laser, and doesn't take as long (laser often takes weeks of treatment to get it smooth, and can grow back. Sugaring leaves you smooth straight away, but most will grow back). Should still grow back finer than if it has been broken by wax/shaving/epilator though.

Rubyrubyruby Mon 22-Mar-10 10:24:18

Epilate

RumourOfAHurricane Mon 22-Mar-10 10:27:52

some posters are completely missing the point. no one has said that if hair is problematic that it should stay put and that as a parent this MUST be enforced.

merely that it should not be removed as some rite of passage because a child turns 12 hmm

RumourOfAHurricane Mon 22-Mar-10 10:30:34

i know that mary smile

Bicnod Mon 22-Mar-10 10:31:28

Haven't read the whole thread but just wanted to say that when I was 13 I had dark hair on my legs and asked my Mum if I could shave them.

I was really embarrassed about them and was teased by boys at school - it was definitely affecting my self-esteem.

My Mum said no, I was too young. I didn't know what to do and in the end I stole my dad's razors and shaved them anyway as I just couldn't carry on going to school with such hairy legs.

I hid this fact from my Mum by wearing long socks.

If I have a DD (currently have a DS, 11 months, so not really an issue) I will definitely listen to her when she says she wants to shave her legs/wear deoderant/pluck her eyebrows. I wasn't allowed to do any of the above and ended up being quite devious and doing them all anyway...

LeSingeEstDansLarbre Mon 22-Mar-10 10:42:00

yep, shiny, it's quite different taking things on a case by case basis to just assuming that your child is better off hairless. that might be some people's hang-up, but it's not universal.

also i take it that these girls were never teased again by boys, having waxed? because god forbid they start slagging her off for having no tits, cos you'll have to cough up for the boob job.

it's all so unquestioning, it's so depressing.

cariboo Mon 22-Mar-10 10:47:51

All of sudden the thread veered to 10-11 yr olds - I believe OP said 12-13?hmm

At the age of puberty and only if the child feels uncomfortable with her body hair. Any younger is ridiculous & dangerous.

RumourOfAHurricane Mon 22-Mar-10 10:51:14

lesinge - I do find it quite depressing. As far as I can recall, I just whipped out a razor and shredded my legs to pieces when I was about 13 or 14. Didn't ask my mum I'm sure - but then, that was normal back then in the 80s! And I have no massive problem with a 13 or 14 year old shaving - again, this is normal for this age. And, to reiterate, no issue with my 11 year old doing it - IF it was problematic. And I can tell the difference between fuzzy legs and hirsute smile

LeSingeEstDansLarbre Mon 22-Mar-10 10:58:33

but cariboo, might it not also be a good thing to discuss why a child would feel uncomfortable with what is a natural part of her puberty? should everything that young girls do be governed by a fear of teasing?

i think i was about fourteen as well, shiny, and used my dad's disposable bics. my mum wasn't much help as she is pretty hair free, but me and my sister inherited our dad's dark hair. tbh it's such a faff to get rid of that i had to mostly get used to it. shaving or veet gives me an atrocious rash and by the time that clears up the stubble is back, and waxing is UNBELIEVABLY painful, so bad that i have to take to my bed for the afternoon as i have such an adrenalin rush that i crash. the hairs in my case are apparently very deeply embedded. so, i got used to them, shaved them for a first shag or three and then back they come. no man ever teased me about it, because confidence is sexy.

I shave the lower legs for summer and that's about it... and yet here i am, married, with children, a career and a brain, not a social outcast... how can that even be possible?! wink

Rubyrubyruby Mon 22-Mar-10 11:02:26

epilate

juuule Mon 22-Mar-10 11:06:06

Lesinge i'm not sure what point it is that you are trying to make. Are you saying that girls shouldn't remove hair? or are you saying it's okay from 14y (when you started to remove yours) or just that it shouldn't be taken as "at 12 you should shave" type of thing (which I don't think is the case anyway).

If mine want to remove hair then I'd give them advice on it. I have never brought it up first as unless it is bothering them then it's not bothering me either.

RumourOfAHurricane Mon 22-Mar-10 11:06:59

lesinge - I am sure it cannot be possible grin

LeSingeEstDansLarbre Mon 22-Mar-10 11:09:21

i'm saying that women shouldn't unthinkingly equate hair with dirt, as a few have done here. i tried shaving at fourteen, it didn't really work, as i say, so i've had to come to terms with it. it's not a given that people will tease and that self-esteem will suffer, and to assume that this will be the case for everyone is dangerous, unhealthy, anti-feminist and a bit thick. is wot i think.

Rubyrubyruby Mon 22-Mar-10 11:11:11

epilate

midnightexpress Mon 22-Mar-10 11:20:46

I'm with singe on this one. My DN is 16 and she and all her female friends now shave/wax their entire pubic area - it's now regarded a completely normal, and I think that A (some of the comments on this thread) leads to B (premature sexualisation, feelings of shame about bodily hair etc etc). It's just another thing for girls to get hung up about, which they need like a hole in the head.

zazen Mon 22-Mar-10 11:21:47

Wow a lot of crazy judgements on this thread.

I was an early developer, by that I mean that I developed before my peer group, not that I was outside the normal range of development for girls of my socio-economic group /class and race. I had a lot of very noticiable black pubic hair at 10.

If my hairy Dd wants to wax at 9 or even 8 then I will let her. I let her see me wax my legs with the sugaring product NADS - it's important to be able to talk about these things, not hide them away so children have to steal and experiment and hide the results.

I was bullied relentlessly by non hairy girls in school and it almost put me off doing things I loved - like swimming, basket ball and hockey. I really hated those hairless bitches and their self satisfied comments - still do I suppose sad.

Bring hairy in a hairless world - whether some girls aren't developed or just have non-hairy genes - is TORTURE.

Unless you have been a hairy pre teen or a hairy teen you really don't know what bitchiness is, and I think you aren't really informed enough to spout rubbish that grooming is about early sexualisation of girls.
I just can't see how removing hair on leg or underarms can lead to thongs - like some kind of entry level grooming - and they'll end up in a strip club in vegas!! Please hmm

I'm advocating upholding a young girl's self esteem, by allowing her to groom herself as she sees fit.

Most of our Dds are going to develop earlier due to better nutrition etc. What are we going to do then, stick our heads in the sand wrt to their personal grooming and never know that they are being bullied or harming themselves with stolen razors, because they are 'hairy marys', on principle?

I don't think personal grooming as sexualisation -it's a self esteem issue - I wonder if we're not too hypervigalent about sexualisation and have lost common sense.

"Honi soit qui mal y pense"

.

gonaenodaethat Mon 22-Mar-10 11:26:19

What about one of these?
I used this as a teenager. No pain, no chemicals, easy to use and a good result.

choosyfloosy Mon 22-Mar-10 11:28:59

When I read these threads I pretty much think the only answer is niqabs all round and single-sex education. God. I think it's awful that any pubescent child feels self-conscious about their hair. And I think it's awful that any parent would prevent their child from feeling more comfortable at school/out and about. My heart goes out to all daughters and mothers of daughters dealing with this. If I ever hear my son make any comment about a woman's body hair, God help him angry

AnyFucker Mon 22-Mar-10 11:31:27

and so the posters continue to miss the point...

< sigh >

LeSingeEstDansLarbre Mon 22-Mar-10 11:39:23

zazen, i started my periods at ten and was and am hairy. really, this is a self-confidence thing. i was never bullied about my hair, why bother, when they had spots and specs to pick on? grin

seriously, what are you going to do in the coming years when all your kids' pals are getting boob jobs and botox? teach your daughters how to handle bullies, don't just give into them. because once their legs are hairless they'll find something else to pick on if they're so inclined.

LeSingeEstDansLarbre Mon 22-Mar-10 11:41:38

and choosy, to be clear. what i am advocating is helping children to feel comfortable in their own skin, and if that's a bit hairy, then okay. not just ignoring a child who is being bullied, or capitulating to the bullies.

piprabbit Mon 22-Mar-10 11:41:59

What I don't understand is why, for example, one poster felt teased about having hairy legs so shaved and then hid the evidence by wearing long socks. Why not just wear the long socks in the first place.

Why if girls are teased about their body hair, do we feel the only solution is to remove the body hair? WHy not try and give our daughters the tools they will need to handle the inevitable teasing about all most anything that seems to be part of being at secondary school.

tom57 Mon 22-Mar-10 11:59:58

Betty.Children copy adults.DD asked at 10 if she could remove the hair from her legs,I found some of those 'sandpaper' mits-remember them? very exciting for her sanding away.No chemicals,no scary home waxing or big trips to the salon.In fact it was such a non event she's only done it a few times in the last year and now has hairy legs again but not an issue for her.

upahill Mon 22-Mar-10 12:03:36

I believe the OP asked for recommendations for hair removal not for a rant on the sexulisation of pubescent females.

In response Betty as I have said before I suggest a cream such as Veet but remember to patch test first. Other ideas such as sugaring and the mitt are good. Waxing does seem a bit brutal tbh but it something that can be explored at a later date.

Rubyrubyruby Mon 22-Mar-10 12:04:20

epilate

weisum Mon 22-Mar-10 12:12:45

I say do the wax and then look at laser for later if she wants to.

LeSinge, I absolutely agree. Hate this concept that hair = dirt and must be eradicated at all costs or we won't be attractive worthy people. It's such bollocks.

I just hope that in a couple of hundred years people will be able to look back on the last century and laugh at how silly we all were, going through unnecessary pain ripping hairs out by the roots, wasting time and money in order to convince everyone we are less hairy than we are. Mad.

Whatever the rights and wrongs are of this thread, I am amused by Rubyrubyrbub's insistence of epilate. If the OP's dd wants one, I've got a phillips jobby that dh got me for my birthday last year. Used for about 20 seconds.

moonmother Mon 22-Mar-10 12:31:18

It's my DD's birthday today, she is 10. I have bought her a ladyshave(cheap one) as part of her birthday present.

Now before anyone jumps on me, shouting shes 10! She's too young, my DD has been going through puberty since 8. She has to wear deo, she has spots and blackheads, that I help her with, she's been wearing Bra's for the past year (not fake kiddie bras) and she has body hair.

There are only 2 girls in her year, her and a friend this advanced. They're friends are starting to notice that they are maturing more than them. A couple of girls have made comments about the hair under her arms, not nasty comments, but comments all the same.

My DD is ok with her body maturing before her friends, but I don't want her teased about it.I don't want her to feel uncomfortable about it, and she is quite a sensitive soul, bless her.

In fact with regards to the stages of puberty, she's only got her periods to come now. We've had a chat about it, she's prepared in a practical way, and although she says she ok with it all I want the transition form child to young woman to go as easily and smoothly as possible for her.

At the moment the ladyshave will only be removing the underarm, hair, but if she asks if she can start doing her legs then I will agree and show her how to. Same with her eyebrows, she is very dark haired.

Growing up and going through puberty is difficult enough with all the hormones raging through your body. Bullying is very commonplace now sad, and even more sadly girls can be very cruel at times, without even realising. I just want everything to be easy for her , and her not feel like she sticks out like a sore thumb.

RumourOfAHurricane Mon 22-Mar-10 12:37:57

And moonmother - in the situation you describe I would do the same thing.

abouteve Mon 22-Mar-10 12:42:53

DD started shaving underarms at aged 9! I know very young but she had to swim and it's not fair to insist that they don't remove it.

Some girls have more of a problem than others. I would recommend full leg waxing as soon as is required. Also get checked out for any hormonal problems. The contraceptive pill can help minimise it over time, together with the waxing.

upahill Mon 22-Mar-10 13:00:39

Jamesandthegiantbanana.......It's going to take more than a couple of centuries for the thought of hair removal to be deemed as a daft.
The history of hair removal goes back to the Stone Age,around 100,00BC where 2 shells were used as tweezers.

Women have used depilatries from 4,000 - 3,000Bc when they used ingredients that you won't find in your average tube of Veet, arsenic, quicklime and starch.

Romen women used razors (probably not Bic though) and used Bryonia as their chosen hair remover.
However the Greek Women were a bit more robust in their approach to being fuzz free. Around about 400BC they removed hair from their legs by singeing it with a lamp!
(Now that makes waxing look like hair removal for softies tbh!!)

Poppaea, Nero's wife, liked to use deplitaory on a daily basis - obviously a women with far too much time on her hands - she used ingrediants such as ivy gum, ass's fat and (yikes!!) powdered viper.

The Op's DD only want to shave her legs. However in the Middle Ages the ideal of beauty was the removal of all hair including eyebrows an lashes.

Now in the 1600's Aritocratic women still plucked their hair and shaved their foreheads to - GET THIS - press on mouse skin eyebrows.

The French had to take things furher though in the 1700's. They went completly bald so that they could wear a wig!

By the 1800's European women were still making depilatries but this time the inngrediants were a bit kinder as they contained chopped oak and French wine.

And so it goes on..... The Hollywood Screne Legends in the 1940's would shave off their eyebrows and pencil them back on.

I found that quite interesting and thought I'd share it with you all! The pursuit of being hair free is nothing new and I don't think it will be going away any time soon

I don't think for one minute body hair is 'unclean' I, like many thousands of women, feel better without it on show.

Free choice and all that but I feel a teenager at 13 is quite capable of making decisions on body hair and what she feels happy with. I mean it's not like it irreversable if she gets fed up and wants to not bother during the winter months.

glasjam Mon 22-Mar-10 13:02:47

It's obviously VERY important that we do not allow our young boys to be disgusted by the sight of female hair shock With the exception of extremely hirsute pubescents, we seem to be talking here about removing hair as soon as it appears so that we can pretend it doesn't even exist. Very, very screwed up. I worry for my son as well as my daughter.

abouteve Mon 22-Mar-10 13:18:28

You are right to be worried about sons, also, as the fashion is for them to have hair free chests. Lot's of women say they don't like the sight of back hair on men so it works both ways.

juuule Mon 22-Mar-10 13:21:02

Good (and interesting) post Upahill.

Very interesting but it still doesn't take away from the fact that it is a daft, pointless vain practice, one that I hope eventually we do grow out of.

upahill Mon 22-Mar-10 13:35:25

But is it any more vain than wanting to keep up to date with the style of your clothes, or manicuring your nails or getting a hair cut in a style that suits and flatters your shape?
It can be argued that all these things are unnecessary and vain but not many people on MN would go out through the front door without checking that they looked OK. Once they think they look ok they FEEL Ok.

Lots of things can be seen to be vain and pointless - getting ears piereced, putting on some lip gloss, curling hair, using GHD's, anything- but people do both male and female young and old.

AnyFucker Mon 22-Mar-10 13:41:16

upahill, I absolutely agree with you

lots of things are vain and pointless.... and should be restricted to adults

I would rather my young dd spent her time concentrating on schoolwork, playing with our dog, listening to the pre-pubescent Justin Bieber over and over again grin

than worrying about the best way to remove all traces of horrible, nasty hair from her body...

does that seem a good use of a young girl's time, to you ?

upahill Mon 22-Mar-10 13:49:31

Nobody suggested all the body hair to be removed. I don't think it is nasty and I don't think hair removal takes up that much time that they can't still watch Glee, go out with mates, do homework and every thing else. If they are shaving it takes a couple of minutes in the shower. If they are using a cream it takes 15 mins once every week or so. Hardly life halting and restricting tbh.

Going back to the OP, the DD is nearly 13. She is at a transitional stage and will be learning new things. If it was my daughter AND she had asked me what she should do I would be looking at all options. If it hadn't been mentioned I would leave it to the time it was and not force an issue.

Every other parent can do what is right for them and their children. I was responding to this post by giving the OP advised she asked for.

AnyFucker Mon 22-Mar-10 13:55:42

systematic removal does suggest there is something nasty and un-natural about body hair though...in my world that isn't a thought I would be reinforcing in a young girl

and that was my response to the OP

paisleyleaf Mon 22-Mar-10 14:02:13

gonaenodaethat, are those mittens okay then? or would your hair need to be very fine like youngsters? Also, does it take a long time?
My ladyshave has a bar of that sandpapery stuff and it does smooth the skin.

Bonsoir Mon 22-Mar-10 14:06:52

Wax if she is quite hairy, epilate if not very hairy.

MrsPixie Mon 22-Mar-10 14:11:16

I HATE the idea that boys are teasing girls for their body hair angry

There is something so intrinsically wrong with that.

DD is only 3 now and if genes are anything to go by will have fine blonde fuzz all her life as myself and father do, however if that were not the case after discussion I would allow her to remove the hair that was making her miserable. But I do wonder how this "extreme" removal of body hair trend (the hollywood, Brazilian etc.) is affecting young people who perceive female pubic hair as something disgusting.

crumpette Mon 22-Mar-10 14:12:15

Oh yes the sandpapery hair removal mits are fabulous for legs- it rubs it all off, doesn't hurt, comes back finer, and you can't cut yourself. No stubble involved. No commitment required. Recommended

Bonsoir Mon 22-Mar-10 14:14:13

I really don't get why some posters are so excited about the removal of female body hair. Lots and lots of cultures have practised the removal of body hair, throughout history, because they found the female body more attractive when hairless. Why is this different to washing and styling one's head hair, in order to be more attractive, or taking care of your feet and hands so that they are soft and the nails neat?

upahill Mon 22-Mar-10 14:14:23

Fair enough AF. I just remember spikey hairs poking through my tights at school and when I noticed hair at the top of my thighs when I was in a swimming costume I knew that I didn't want it. No big deal at all. I just got shut of it. Nobody suggested it was unclean or dirty or anything like that. It didn't take over my life. I still found time to do my homework and read Sounds and have friends. I can't even remember discussing what other mates did to get rid of their hair tbh. It was a non issue.

A bigger deal was made in our house because I asked if I could use tampons instead of towels. NOW that was an issue!

AnyFucker Mon 22-Mar-10 14:16:53

ohhh, let's not go there, upahill grin

we shall agree to disagree < reasonable emoticon >

upahill Mon 22-Mar-10 14:17:57

yeah AF of course! grin

Bicnod Mon 22-Mar-10 15:42:49

piprabbit that was me blush - I used to wear the socks long as I left the house so my Mum couldn't see that I'd shaved and then push them down on the school bus (it was very very uncool to wear long socks long when I was at school).

I wish that I hadn't been teased, or that I'd had lighter hair so it didn't show as much, or that I had been a super-confident child who could toss her head at the bullies and say I don't care what you think. Sadly none of the above were true for me and at the time the only solution I could see was to remove the hair.

LeSingeEstDansLarbre Mon 22-Mar-10 17:57:58

the plenty of cultures thing isn't such a great line. other cultures circumcise, other cultures put plates in their lips, other cultures extend their ears, other cultures put rings round their necks, other cultures subjugate women in an open and systematic manner because they think they are lesser creatures.

LeSingeEstDansLarbre Mon 22-Mar-10 17:59:44

well of course you wish that, bicnod, i think that;;s fair enough. i wish that, rather than your mum saying no and leaving it at that, she had sought to discuss the matter with you and opened your mind up to whether or not it was the right thing to do. you may well have decided it was, btw, but at least you'd have addressed the issues, iykwim?

AnyFucker Mon 22-Mar-10 17:59:56

good point singey,

juuule Mon 22-Mar-10 18:13:09

Singe - Are you saying that removing hair from your legs or underarms is subjugating women?
Is men shaving or removing chest hair subjugating men?

Removing body hair doesn't have to be permanent (usually isn't afaik) and isn't harmful to the individual so not quite in the same league as some of the othe things you mention. It is more on a par with having a haircut.

Bicnod Mon 22-Mar-10 18:36:26

Yep, I agree LeSinge. It would have been better for my Mum to have a conversation about it. Sadly she just said no - it wasn't even no, you're lovely as you are, it was just no. I suspect that it was more about control with my Mum rather than some deep-seated feminist beliefs, but that's a whole other thread!

If I ever have a DD who wants to remove hair at 12/13 I would definitely want to talk to her about it and find out why she wanted to. But I wouldn't ever stop her if she was unhappy/being teased etc.

I agree that a shift in society's attitude towards women and hair is what's needed but I seriously doubt that I would be prepared to sacrifice my DD's happiness in pursuit of that end.

Bicnod Mon 22-Mar-10 18:38:31

On the subject of hair I would also like to point out that, being a hairy-handed trucker myself, I find it very offensive that we are referred to in such negative terms so frequently on MN. What has the hairiness of our hands got to do with anything?

LeSingeEstDansLarbre Mon 22-Mar-10 19:02:37

well it clearly has its roots in female subjugation, yes. it is not something that without teasing etc women would put themselves to the faff of doing without their having received messages from a young age about the attractiveness of hair. (really, it isn't, you're not all going out having your labia trimmed but men are programmed to prefer fresh, neat labia, you're doing it because you've been taught it's more attractive. the labia thing is coming, though, already it's a plastic surgery procedure, so your granddaughters may well be having an argument about it with my granddaughters in time).

but no, i'm not equating shaving your legs with female circumcision, funnily enough, and i kinda resent the inference that i would make such a facile and offensive point.

Alouiseg Mon 22-Mar-10 19:11:49

Ok so there is a whole debate about hair removal going on and as a child i definitely removed my hair so i didn't look like a freak, i had a lot of fair skinned blonde friends who just didn't have the problem i did. I would have looked like in ape by comparison.

Now i remove my hair because it's fairly repulsive to look at a thatch of underam/leg/pubic hair and these days i go for the full Hollywood because it's marvellous for my sex life. Tmi??

I don't feel subjugated at all in fact i would suggest it's liberating for me.

zazen Mon 22-Mar-10 19:31:50

We seem to think that hair is disgusting and that women have never altered their appearance for the sake of it before brazillins and and full on hollywoods made their appearance. I think this view is a massive red herring TBH, and might be better discussed on another thread.

I agree with Upahill: Women in ancient Persian culture used to thread all their hair off - it was thought of as cleaner if there was no hair - and in the absense of en-suite bathrooms and running water i would agree - hair is designed to hold sweat and concentrate smells. This an evolutionary step to indicate that the hairy person is ready to reproduce.

I was definately not be ready to reproduce at 10, and hypothetically neither will my DD. If my DD turns out as hairy as I was at an early age, and she wants to be like her peer group - and learn how to form those sustaining social bonds - she can use the sugar wax NADS which was designed and developed by and Australian woman who has daughters who had dark noticable hair.

Having a hairy body and having adult body odour (and needing to use deoderant, or maybe that's another [sigh] subjugation Singe) are signs of fertility.

I will allow my DD to fit into her peer group - I don't think that will be subjugating her. Rather I think it will be empowering her to have control over what she wants the world to know her as, and how to treat her.

Having an opinion, and making decisions on the basis of observations about body hair is instinctive - most girls at age 10 DO NOT have noticable hair - and it's a clear indicator of being different - it's obvious and in your face unaviodable. Evolutionarily we are programmed to reject the outsider to our group - they are a liability.

I feel that it is more damaging to be excluded for being a freak at this age than removing the cause of the discrimination. Girls are designed to be micro discriminators - a lot os at stake if we are to choose the wrong mate.

Good on you Singe - seems you not only have hair but extremely thick skin.
Not all of us were as self reliant as you at such a tender age.

The OP's DD has a hair problem, she herself has expressed a desire to rid herself of the hair on her legs - I suggest NADS sugar wax - it's pretty painless and the results last for a few weeks.

LeSingeEstDansLarbre Mon 22-Mar-10 20:02:30

god, i hate all that 'good on you' bullshit when you're actually being pretty snide. hmm

magicwand Mon 22-Mar-10 20:15:18

waxing.

my niece started doing it when she was 11. does hurt a bit to begin with, but you get used to it.

if you can do it at home its a lot cheaper. veet does a wax kit which is water soluble so mistakes can be wiped off easily.

cariboo Mon 22-Mar-10 21:57:03

(the pedant in me refuses to take anyone seriously who can't spell indefinite)

McBitchy Wed 24-Mar-10 01:04:42

so agree norma - I weep with you

McBitchy Wed 24-Mar-10 01:07:15

zazen - my dd does NOT have hair at 15 does that mean she is a 'freak' and a 'liability' oddly she is very popular hmm

shockers Wed 24-Mar-10 01:21:17

DD (12) is the hairiest member of our family... very occasionally we 'tickle' each other with my epilator on our legs.

This gets rid of the worst of it for both of us and ensures that she will not be 'noticed' for exeptional hairiness without me pointing out that hair is not viewed with fondness in this country.

It's sad but I don't want my daughter to notice her unusual amount of body hair at the hands of someone unpleasant. At the moment, it's just fun tickling each other.

Bonsoir Wed 24-Mar-10 09:04:07

It is very wrong, IMO, to teach young girls that any action they undertake to make themselves more attractive is a form of female subjugation.

They should first and foremost want to make themselves more attractive to themselves. Of course their view of what constitutes attractive humanity will have been formed in great part by observing the other humans around them, and comparing and contrasting those humans.

Wanting and being able to make the best of oneself is not oppressive but liberating.

Rubyrubyruby Wed 24-Mar-10 10:42:41

Bonsoir - good post, so true.

If she wants to shave her legs because her friends are doing it and it's what grownups do - say no.

If she wants to remove actual hair from her body because she doesn't like how it looks/feels - go for something cheap and simple - a decent razor and some conditioner/shaving gel or Veet cream will do it.

Waxing/sugaring/epilating hurts, and only works if the hair is a certain thickness - I have v fine leg hairs and epilators do not grip them properly.

StuffedFullOfNothing Wed 24-Mar-10 11:17:59

Bonsoir, I totally agree with you.

What is the big deal about this? I started shaving my legs at 12, most of us did. We had bare legs and felt self-conscious having hairy legs on display. It wasn't about being prematurely sexualised or anything like that. I didn't wear makeup till I was 15!

MathsMadMummy Wed 24-Mar-10 11:20:50

what Bonsoir said.

I was never taught any of this looking-after-myself stuff, and have a vivid memory of nan saying to my parents that I was vain for looking in the mirror! hmm

I'm so lucky that my DH fancies the pants off me no matter what I wear or if my legs are hairy etc. When I make an effort, it's for me, not him. I have very low self esteem and would love to be able to put more effort into my appearance. Maybe if he was an arse who agreed with me when I say how rubbish I look it'd be easier! confused

sorry wandered off on a tangent didn't I blush

Rubyrubyruby Wed 24-Mar-10 11:22:40

.... and what about boys shaving? Would anyone object to that?

because I can't see the difference.

MathsMadMummy Wed 24-Mar-10 11:23:14

also, forgot to write this on my first post on this thread, but at 12 many girls have started their period! if they're old enough to deal with STs/tampons surely they can be taught to use a razor

mathanxiety Wed 24-Mar-10 15:18:04

LeSinger -- deodorant crystals may work fine for you, but they are not for all. I have always needed to use a much stronger product.

DS started shaving a good while before he needed to, as far as I could see, in hopes of training his facial hair perhaps, to grow in? He shaves every morning, weekends included, now that he actually needs to, has never tried the whiskery look, and nor have any of his pals. They attend a school where they could grow a full beard if they wanted to and still prefer the shaven look.

As a fairly young teen, with a mother who never had any leg hair for some reason, I shaved my legs and pits without ever asking her permission, and also tackled my eyebrows with a tweezers. Mum never noticed any of the shaving, afaik. I know I probably did a really good job on my eyebrows cos one day she remarked, when I was about 17, that I should never touch my eyebrows as they were so beautiful. LOLOL, mum, I had been doing them from age 12 -- she was completely shocked to realise I paid any attention to my appearance. I think she was off with the fairies in some regards....

My own DDs have gone ahead and shaved their legs and god knows what else. I taught them how to do it properly and how not to cut themselves. I think that accepting their experiences and preferences about their own personal appearance, and teaching them how to do things properly has given them the message that I think it's fine with me that they are growing up and developing their own taste as far as their personal appearance and grooming goes. Also that I'm proud of their technical competence in accomplishing complicated hairstyles, neatness with nail polish and nail trimming, etc. All of that goes along with learning about finances, banking, credit cards, savings, doing their own laundry, saving their babysitting money for clothes purchases -- it's all a part of teaching personal responsibility and letting them become independent with my blessing.

I also allow them to use makeup, and they have their own preferences there. It has been a very nice experience for me and hopefully for them to steer them in the right direction wrt foundation shades, eyeshadow colours, mascara techniques; I think this sort of bonding experience has been a positive for my DDs.

I have found the book 'Teenage Beauty' by Bobbi Brown a fabulous bible of sorts for my DDs as they experiment with their looks and become competent with makeup and other aspects of grooming. They have avoided major disasters, and seem happy about the way they look going out to school in the morning or off for an evening with friends. Which is quite an accomplishment for a teenage girl. A bit of confidence goes a long way, and so what if something skin deep adds to that feeling? Better to add to a young girl's confidence level about her appearance (which is important to teenage girls whether it's fair or right or not) than to make her miserable and self-conscious about it, imo.

Having had a mother who was quite a hippy in her own way, I found the experience of trying to find my way through the teenage years and deal with the question of personal appearance to be a lonely one, as far as my relationship with my mum went, it was a negative; I don't think it's a positive thing to have no conversations at all on the topic of personal grooming, nor do I feel that making a teenage girl battle it out with a mother for permission to be like her peers is a good thing. Some of my approach has been a conscious effort to do things differently from the way my mother did it. I have found that being open and approachable and positive about makeup, shaving, etc., has led to openness and approachability between us on questions such as sex, boyfriends, contraception, relationships, and many other things that are very important to be able to communicate about.

Teenage girls are not children any more. Maybe the fact that concern for appearance in the form of asking to shave, is a sign that our DDs are starting to grow up, and maybe there are some who are not 100% comfortable with or ready for that to happen?

MathsMadMummy Wed 24-Mar-10 15:53:20

great post mathanxiety - nice to hear your DDs are growing up into confident young ladies

Loshad Sun 04-Apr-10 21:42:57

I'm with Lesinger all the way, too many people on here allowing themselves, and their dds to be oppressed and forcing them to conform to some ideals decided by who??

nappyaddict Wed 14-Apr-10 12:27:10

I had my legs waxed from the age of 9 (I was very hairy). Now aged 21 I barely have any hair on my legs as a result which is a big bonus.

farmerjones Wed 14-Apr-10 12:50:03

a 13 year old is not too young for hair removal.
personally, i was pouring hot wax on my legs at that age, and burning myself, coz mum didnt believe in women confomring to barbie doll images. my friends on the other hand were having their legs either waxed progesssionally, or by moms who were profficient at it. much safer all round i feel.
when dd wants hair removed, i shall take her along to salon to get waxing/threading etc done, properly. no burning or scarring happening coz mother foisting her own extra feminsist views. blah blah blah.

optimisticmumma Wed 14-Apr-10 15:27:14

Great post mathanxiety.

OP - my DD uses a good razor and when she was 14 had her eyebrows done in a salon to give them a good shape (they are dark and thick)- she has kept it up herself for over a year! That's it. No particular peer pressure, no big deal from me. I certainly would not want her to go to a salon regularly as apart from anything else it sets up an expectation on her part that it is not a treat but a necessity.

allbie Thu 15-Apr-10 21:40:46

My DD has the nick name hairy wolf !!!!!!!! We use cream whenever she feels the need! She shaves her underarms and keeps all hairy zones sorted as she wishes. She's a young lady now and should be treated as such. I give her all the assistance she wants and we discuss such matters openly. I went to boarding school and had no input from my mum. Her confidence and self esteem is paramount.

This thread has got me thinking, I never discussed shaving underarm with my daughter really she just helped herself to a razor out of the cupboard and got on with it. She is fair and doesn't bother with her legs, if they start to bother her I will take her to try being waxed as it is much better than shaving and will keep her hairs fine. She has perfect eyebrows - naturally!

snowkitten Thu 29-Apr-10 22:19:34

i treated dd to a leg wax age 12 as she is heavily involved in squad gymnasticsa nd has to show her legs off a lot. She was vry excited about it and 8 weeks later we are just bookig our next appt. It was dome privately at the waxers home and she was totall comfortable with teh whole experience. it was well worth it!

deaddei Sat 01-May-10 12:05:41

DD (nearly 14) is going for first leg wax in a few weeks- she's off to Spain for a sports trip and also does gymnastics like snowkitten's dd.
I wish my mum had done that with me- I am 50 and am considering having laser treatment on legs- I shave every day.
I hate hairy legs and armpits- if others want to have them that's fine. But I don't.
DD does not wear makeup apart from lip gloss, and is not interested in boys.
But she has a good skin care regime, eats sensibly and does loads of sport.

NicholasArnold Thu 06-May-10 10:28:38

I am researching a paper which I am writing on our culture's sexualisation of pre-pubescent girls (I have two children), and came across your website. I found all the comments on this issue interesting and illuminating. One or two Urban Myths are floating around:

How do we know the age of puberty is dropping? = we don't - no-one is collecting any statistics on it now, and no-one was before.

Cultures have been depilating for millenia = yes, SOME cultures; others don't care or like their hair - and South American Amerindians (very smooth) are fanatical depilators. Remember that if your pubic hair fell out because of disease in the C18, you got a pubic wig, a "merkin". It'd ALL a matter of temporary cultural preference.

- and so on.

The debate is (naturally) very much about contemporary English (and American) culture. I don't under-rate for a second the merciless pressure daughters are under from their peers, carefully tribalised to provide the easiest pickings for our consumer economy. But I am coming to the conclusion that the sexualisation of the immature is mirrored by the infantilisation of adults - and the increasingly pathological loathing of body-hair, especially the shaved pubis, seems to me to be a very sinister sign: one of its (not directly intended) messages is "have sex with children" - and lo and behold we have sexualised them all ready for it. Of course, we can't admit that our culture is doing this all for cash, so we invent armies of predatory paedophiles - whom we actually encourage by the pressure we put on little girls to become sex objects.

It's not a nice culture we live in.

However, after that digression: it's a pity that young daughters should have to consider such things, but contemporary culture is very much less tolerant and very much less individualistic than it used to be. You do as your peers tell you, or woe betide you... As long as the girl in question is given the perspective, is allowed to realise that this is an illogical external pressure, which she is at liberty to resist, now or later, as long as she does not become fetishistic about depilation, it seeems to me that the issue comes down to what is most physically pleasant and least physically damaging.

(Let's not get into the psychological damage...)

snowkitten Sun 16-May-10 19:46:53

had dd's waxed twice now. Over in 20 mins and lasts about 6 - 8 weeks. Sorted!

Bunny007 Thu 09-May-13 21:48:41

normastanleyfletcher "Oh dear god - is being hairless the complete panacea of pubescent girls and their mothers now". Maybe you could build my 12yr old daughters self-esteem back up after nasty comments about facial hair? Or maybe you would like to explain why you feel we shouldn't be trying to make our child's school life less miserable by helping them to combat these insecurities? shouldn't we as parents be allowed to help our children in any way we can during puberty? Maybe you don't have children which is why you're producing such an insensitive comment!!!?

MissFenella Thu 09-May-13 21:59:08

My DD is 7 and has thick dark hair on her legs. She is very concious of it, not because she is sexualised but because she is the only person in school with thick dark hair on their legs.

As soon as I feel she is old enough, if she wants to (and I am sure she will ask) I will help her remove the hair in the safest way possible.

Yes she should be able to be 'natural', but we don't live in that world do we.

pseudonymousperson Wed 09-Apr-14 01:54:29

I am not a parent. But a thirteen yo and just wanted to say that I have been waxing since I was 7 if it is an emergency I will use veet. But I recommend waxing it stopped stinging yrs ago

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