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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 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?

LilBlondePessimist Tue 03-Jul-12 08:30:27

And why the hostility towards the OP - its her young daughter and she's a bit concerned. Sensitivity anyone?

Gibbous Tue 03-Jul-12 08:30:53

I personally wouldn't mention the clog drained, in relation to pubic hair anyway, maybe make out you're concerned at the amount of head hair in it and could she ensure she clears up after herself, but as a young teen I would have been MORTIFIED at that being picked upon.

And fwiw, again, my plug hole hasn't been blocked with pubic hair again several months later apart from my own

Gibbous Tue 03-Jul-12 08:31:15

*clogged drain. It's early.

catus Tue 03-Jul-12 08:33:38

I don't have much experience of teenage girls, but I would be worrying a bit in your situation.
It's not a really serious issue, obviously, but I would try to have a chat with her, try to understand why she feels the need to remove her pubic hair. And maybe talk about societal pressures on women and girls.
You are her mother and she is only 14, so I don't see why you can't have a chat with her, in a non judgmental, non confrontational way.

tsunami Tue 03-Jul-12 08:35:51

I dunno - I may say I'm very grateful to all you ladies for getting down and dirty in this topic, btw: thanks for your frank comments. I do genuinely trust my daughter and I respect her own autonomy over herself, which is why I haven't barged straight in and spoken to her about it. I don't think she's up to anything silly - I just want to look out for her: it's interesting to know where other Mums stand on this. You worry about how their perceptions get manipulated, and how under peer pressure or reading mags/looking at sites they might feel inadequate for no reason. At school a teacher told them they weren't allowed to swim or have a bath when they had their period, which I think is the sort of thing my Granny would have thought but never expected to hear in this day and age. People have different ideas about stuff and I like that it comes out in the open. Look at it this way: I would hate for her to be taking it all off because she had a friend, or yes, maybe a boyfriend, who'd made her think she was dirty or somehow not 'right' being natural.

Cockwomble Tue 03-Jul-12 08:36:06

If you don't want to have to mention the drain, pop a hair catcher in the plughole maybe? That will catch it all and make it obvious to her it's there to be cleared iyswim.

I have a friend whose shaved hers off since she got them, as that's what she prefers! Please don't worry too much.

squeakytoy Tue 03-Jul-12 08:38:34

"but as I said while having smooth legs and armpits is one thing and I get why the bikini line, I happen to think habitually removing all your pubes aged 14 would be a weird thing to do"

you dont know that she has removed them all, and it really isnt any of your business if she has done anyway..

I would be more concerned about ensuring she is using contraception if you suspect she might be having sex though.

tsunami Tue 03-Jul-12 08:44:34

I'm not worrying too much...just wondering; honestly. It's not about tidying up her bikini line - there was way too much stuff. The plughole will survive, as it has much else before. I never said 'public' depilation, but it's hilarious - sounds positively medieval.

And thank you, LilBlondePessimist - exactly.

tsunami Tue 03-Jul-12 08:46:22

'I would be more concerned about ensuring she is using contraception if you suspect she might be having sex though.' - thanks for your concern, but this has nothing to do with sex or contraception: it's just about body hair and body perceptions.

CoteDAzur Tue 03-Jul-12 08:48:53

I don't agree that it's not OP's "business". At 14, her DD is legally a child and OP still has the duty to prepare her for the world, including matters of a sexual/body image nature.

squeakytoy Tue 03-Jul-12 08:48:58

It may be about body hair, but if you suspect she is doing it for a boyfriend, along with the lace string then that implies that she is possibly having sex with that boyfriend.

Hair will grow back, babies and STI's are a bit more long term and complicated.

BertieBotts Tue 03-Jul-12 08:49:03

I think it would be worth having a conversation just saying if you want to do this of course it's fine, but you know you don't have to do it, don't you?

I know most of my friends at school shaved theirs and I did feel a pressure to because "everyone else did" and there was a bit of a general feeling of "eurgh" about it. And for the record I'm 24 and have only ever had one bloke object, and he was a knob anyway. Good discussion point: If a boy/man puts pressure on you to look a certain way, he's not a loving caring person who appreciates you for who you are, and this transcends "old" ness (as she may well think you're out of touch and don't know what boys her age are like these days - sorry!)

I used to remove it mainly because I hated it getting all bloody and matted during my period (surely we're past TMI warnings now? grin) although since I've started using a mooncup it hasn't been an issue. But if she uses pads it may be bothering her.

CoteDAzur Tue 03-Jul-12 08:50:05

LOL. I actually saw "public" in thread title, and so did mynewpassion, it seems grin

OneHandFlapping Tue 03-Jul-12 08:52:12

I understand your concern. I hate the idea that girls are forced to undergo time-consuming and uncomfortable rituals to conform with male expectations. And the fact that even our genitals are no longer good enough au naturel is deeply offensive to me.

However, your daughter will want to conform. Teenage girls are sheep, and I expect if you were a fly on the bathroom wall of her friends, you'd find they've all done exactly the same.

All you can do is talk to her generally about beauty standards and the pressure they impose. Oh, and get her to cean out the plug hole.

I don't understand why other posters are being so aggressive. Maybe it's early morning pre-coffee grumps.

tsunami Tue 03-Jul-12 08:59:29

I keep trying to log off as I have to take a (younger, probably non-depilated) daughter to the orthodontist, but this thread has me... BertieBotts 'surely we're past TMI warnings now?' grin grin grin shame-no-icon-for-belly-laugh. I agree - probably some kind of conversation, a light-footed one, at an easy moment. She totally thinks I'm old...fair point; I'm 32 years older than she is so, er, I am. Partly why I posted in the first place is that I do suspect this is an age thing, but I'm not in the habit of asking any old 20 year old on the street if they've whipped off all their pubes or just some of them. I do teach in a school full of teenage girls/boys so I see a fair bit of how they are and what they say and do....but ditto: it isn't a casual conversation you can have, really, is it?!

Mooncups are great. My girl won't even entertain the idea of sticking anything up there, so the clean thing may after all be an issue for her.

CanIhavesomeginnowplease Tue 03-Jul-12 09:00:04

Oh gosh, just leave her to it! They're her pubes. Let her do what she wants with them. And as for the state of the shower, a simple "wash out the shower when you're done" should suffice. She'll get the jist.

tsunami Tue 03-Jul-12 09:02:31

christ! the orthodontist!! thanks everyone - gotta go

fizzfiend Tue 03-Jul-12 09:02:35

I brought this up a while back and was told it was nothing to do with me. I felt like such a prude but I hate that girls feel the need to do this at such a young age. To me the only reason to shave it all off is for a sexual purpose. After all, everyone managed to keep clean in the bushy 70s/80s.

I feel its just too early to start such high maintenance stuff too, and therefore would discourage dd from highlighting hair,etc. I'm not sure what the answer is but I don't want my 14 year old dd trying to emulate porn stars. I know I don't have much say in the matter, but I would try and make my views gently clear without trying to dictate or lay down the law.

GailTheGoldfish Tue 03-Jul-12 09:10:37

Could you buy her a trimmer and explain that she doesn't need to take it all off?

WorraLiberty Tue 03-Jul-12 09:13:51

'I would be more concerned about ensuring she is using contraception if you suspect she might be having sex though.' - thanks for your concern, but this has nothing to do with sex or contraception: it's just about body hair and body perceptions

Well you're the one who brought "pole dancer/porn/shaved pussy trend" into it.

And unless you know exactly how much pubic hair she had in the first place, you can't possibly know whether it was simply an over enthusiastic bikini hair removal.

Either way, not everyone removes their own personal hair because of pole dancers and their 'shaved pussies' hmm

Just make sure she tidies up the bathroom and butt out.

thebackson12 Tue 03-Jul-12 09:17:42

I didn't leave school very long ago,

every girl had a 'shaven haven' very few of them were actually having sex.

its was just expected that women shaved 'that area' , I wouldn't assume she is having sex.

and lacy knickers, they just want to feel 'grown up' its just slightly upping the notch on 'toddling around in mummies shoes.

I wouldn't be overly concerned.

Dancergirl Tue 03-Jul-12 09:20:48

cotedazur I completely agree with you.

'Her body, her choice'??! You know, call me old-fashioned but this attitude of just letting teens do what they damn well please without any intervention from adults is partly responsible for them getting into all sorts of trouble these days. And yes, if it were my dd, I probably would share the OP's concern for her reasoning.

And no, not all teenage girls are sheep....and I certainly wouldn't encourage them to be so.

WorraLiberty Tue 03-Jul-12 09:26:23

Right so how do you stop a teenager removing their pubes?

Do you sit them on the naughty step for every hair they take off?

No-one has to be a 'sheep' but you'll find that most teens tend to want to dress like their peers/have hair styles like their peers/shoes like their peers/make up like their peers.

By 14 (or a lot earlier) many teens are already removing their leg hair and the hair under their arms.

To many, tidying up their bikini lines or going a step further is a totally 'normal' thing....even if the older generation don't like it or insist on comparing it to porn stars and pole dancers.

thebackson12 Tue 03-Jul-12 09:29:26

With all due respect even at 14 , their fanny their rules.

you can't encourage , ownership and bodily intergrity and then be sergeant major on how you 'groom yourself' she maybe not be 18, but she is NOT a child, she is a young adult.

once you start having periods you are no longer a child with no bodily autonomy.

Dancergirl Tue 03-Jul-12 09:35:48

worraliberty, you are completely missing my point. I don't think the OP wants to 'stop' her dd removing her pubes, just wants to have a possible discussion with her. I'm not saying at all that you can stop or want to stop your teen doing certain things, not at all. I'm just surprised that many parents don't seem to care what things they get up to and just assume it's part of normal teenage culture. Body/sexual image is really important and I wouldn't want my teenage dd going through all these things without an adult to help and guide her. If a parent doesn't care what she does, then who else will??

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