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Should I bring up shaving/hair removal with DD?

(19 Posts)
CrieffBobsledTeam Wed 29-Jun-16 08:50:46

She's coming up for 14 and this last year seems to have gone through puberty really fast. She's totally uninterested in her appearance so I have to gently suggest things like she may need to wash her hair more often/get a bigger bra etc, and this is always well-received - she's very sweet-natured, thankfully.

I've been wondering whether to suggest/discuss hair-removal with her. I know it doesn't fall into the same category as greasy hair and too-small bras, obviously it would be her choice but does she need to know it's an option or do I just wait for her to decide herself? Obviously she knows I shave but it's probably not occurred to her that she could if she wanted. This is partly on my mind because it went badly for me, I was a bit other-worldly in my early teens and I have awful memories of a school exchange trip where I basically baked myself in jeans for 2 weeks because I suddenly became aware of how I was the only one with hairy legs. Even when I got back and asked my mum she said I was too young (I was nearly 15). I would hate DD to find herself in that position but on the other hand I have always tried really hard never to come across as critical of her body.

So basically, as it's an optional extra, do I bring it up or just let her work it out for herself?

Diddlydokey Wed 29-Jun-16 08:53:51

I would bring it up - she sounds like she would take it as intended. Some women choose to remove hair from their legs, armpits etc, let me know if you want me to get you a razor and show you how to do it.

lljkk Wed 29-Jun-16 09:25:16

Speaking as someone who was a scruffy 14yo who chose to shave nothing, and the custodian of a fashionista 14yo now, I can NOT believe she doesn't know that most girls shave most places.

I could understand asking "Why don't you want to shave?" and let her lead the way about what she wants to do.

AnnaMarlowe Wed 29-Jun-16 09:29:18

Erm, it is perfectly acceptable for her not to want to shave.

If you think she's shy on the subject, casually work it into the conversation as a general topic and take her lead from there. She shouldn't be pressured.

EdithWeston Wed 29-Jun-16 09:32:06

No don't raise it, leave it to her.

It's not a matter of hygiene or comfort (where you might need to intervene), so she'll make her choice in her own time.

CrieffBobsledTeam Wed 29-Jun-16 10:27:27

Wow, 4 answers, all saying different things! Hadn't really expected that! Thanks everyone.

lljkk - I know it sounds unlikely but it is possible she doesn't know (I'm not saying she doesn't, she's probably just not very interested either way) as her little group of friends spend their time talking about maths/fantasy novels/school clubs rather than personal appearance, they wear trousers to school so she doesn't see other legs (!) and her best friend is from a Muslim family so she isn't shaving either.

I can't imagine myself saying "Why don't you want to shave?" in a way that doesn't sound critical so I don't think that will work for me. I don't mind if she does or doesn't - I hope I didn't give the impression that I wanted her to, Anna - as I said, it would be up to her, I just don't want her to be in some awful embarrassing situation if she suddenly does notice she's the only one in a particular place or whatever, as I did.

My idea was something along the lines of what Diddly said, but my reservations were exactly Edith's point - it's not a hygiene or comfort issue, so genuinely optional. Having those two points reinforced by others at least makes me feel I'm not being daft about it!

I'll definitely leave it for now, she's so busy with end of year projects, performances etc we're not getting much chance to chat anyway, and see if it comes up in the holidays.

Thanks again, guys.

roundandroundthehouses Wed 29-Jun-16 10:40:56

She sounds like my oldest in her interests, etc. Dd1 still doesn't shave her legs at 17, by choice although she's well aware she's in a minority. Now that school games are compulsory she rarely gets her legs out anyway, but wears vest tops without shaving underarms (I think!). I'd never have dared at her age, but she's quite happy and doesn't get ridiculed AFAIK. Dd2 (14) does shave, but only for PE.

I took the same approach with both of mine, when it became clear that they weren't going to think of it by themselves. I just went: "Oh, my legs have got pretty hairy - think I'll give them a shave. Hey, would you like me to show you how to do that?" That way they both know they're allowed, and know how to do it, but whether they actually want to or not is up to them.

lljkk Wed 29-Jun-16 14:00:24

I think me, Anna & Diddly are saying the same thing. "Why don't you want..." doesn't have to sound like criticism.

MessyBun247 Wed 29-Jun-16 14:09:50

I would just leave a packet of disposable razors and shaving gel in the bathroom. If she wants to shave, she will. Or she will at least bring it up in conversation.

If she doesn't want to, well fair enough!

MaddyHatter Wed 29-Jun-16 14:14:21

i would couch it in a 'if ever you want to shave, do you want me to get you a razor and show you how?' kind of way.

wobblywonderwoman Wed 29-Jun-16 14:17:44

She sounds lovely. I would take her to boots and treat her to new toiletries and look at options for hair removal with her.

Ginmakesitallok Wed 29-Jun-16 14:18:41

With dd1 I had to suggest she shave her armpits when she was being a bridesmaid, then had to remind her a couple of months later that she might want to think about doing it again. It's up to her what she does, don't think she's gone near her legs or bikini line yet.

BobbinThreadbare123 Wed 29-Jun-16 14:19:02

I wish someone had done this for me when I was that age; I got picked on a lot and my mother did nothing. She did for my sister though. You're all wonderful for thinking about your daughters like this.

ThenLaterWhenItGotDark Wed 29-Jun-16 14:24:18

That's how I did it, Maddy smile. Asked her last summer (she was 11) if she wanted to, she said yes, I showed her, now she does it herself.

She's coming up to 13 now and I just said to her the other day (I notice most of her friends wear a bit of lipgloss, eyeliner) that if she ever wants to, it's not a problem.

MaddyHatter Wed 29-Jun-16 15:48:28

i was allowed to shave, but wasn't allowed a razor, lol, mom got me a battery operated ladyshave thing.

I think i was 18 before i braved a razor.

seventhgonickname Thu 30-Jun-16 00:33:38

My daughter asked if she could shave under her arm aged 11 because of PE.I refused to let her shave her legs but relented this year as she is 13.She has fine blond hair on her legs so it doesn't need doing often but she fits in with her friends.Hope she doesn't want to shave anywhere else for a long,long time.

CrieffBobsledTeam Thu 30-Jun-16 12:55:50

Thank you so much everyone, it's lovely to hear from so many people with different ideas of ways I might phrase it etc. I've just remembered she finishes school a few days before her sister so we can get some time together then.

wobbly thanks, she is lovely, takes after her dad at being very calm and placid. I'm thankful to be having my first go at parenting a teen with her, DD2 is my little force of nature and things are always very different with her! A trip to Boots sounds like a nice thing to do, we can tie it in with a coffee somewhere and hopefully get a bit of a catch up before the summer holidays start.

Maddy I had one of those shavers too (when I was finally allowed) - I remember it being ok on legs but it used to chew my skin under my arms!

Bobbin how upsetting for you - kids can be so mean about difference, can't they? The main reason I've started thinking about this kind of thing is because of my own experience (though not as bad as yours), I suppose we all learn from our parents' mistakes.

Papergirl1968 Fri 01-Jul-16 19:28:45

My dd, 14, is the opposite. I have to limit razor use otherwise she'd spend hours doing it every day. She even shaves her forearms despite my pleas and advice not too...

BobbinThreadbare123 Fri 01-Jul-16 20:13:53

I have almost black hair, so it's not a surprise that I might have visible arm, leg and alas, upper lip hair. But the 'you're a horrible gorilla' comments were not very nice.

I have no idea why my mum was like that; she had the same experience from her mum so I'd have thought she would want mine to be better!

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