MotherTalkers

Where real moms tell it like it is.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Puberty and The Importance of Looks/Confidence

Ok...I have a problem. It's not a big one, but it's a problem, nonetheless. My daughter is 11-years-old. She is growing up and looking beautiful. She's smart, kind and funny. She's the daughter that anyone would be lucky to have. So, what's the problem? She takes after me. Now, before you jump into conclusions, let me explain. She's hairy.

I consider her hairiness to be cute. She's fair skinned and the hair she sports on her arms and legs are blond. So, they're not a big deal...to me. When I was her age, I was sporting hair that made me feel like a primate. A monkey. I'm very ethnic looking. Mexican. Dark. My hair? DARK! I remember wanting to shave my legs and arms SO BADLY, and not being allowed to by my VERY strict parents. I wasn't allowed to start shaving until I was 16-years-old. THE HORROR!!

My daughter has recently shown self-consciousness and has even asked...BEGGED to start shaving. Not only legs. No. Arms too. My problem is, how young is too young to start shaving?? I'm open to any suggestions!!

50 Comments:

At Thursday, January 26, 2006 11:15:00 AM, Blogger Erika said...

I say let her shave.

Let's face it, there are few things in life more painful than being an 11-year-old girl. Think back to how excruciatingly awkward a time that was, and how cruel girls that age can be. If she says she is ready for the responsibility and maintenance involved with shaving, then I say go for it.

I am pretty fair-skinned with naturally black hair. While I'm not particularly hairy, my leg hair was very obvious, and I, too, begged my mom to let me shave when I was 11. She said no. So I did it behind her back, and made sure to always wear pants around her so she wouldn't find out.

Now that I'm 30, I've been known to go months without shaving my legs (especially in winter). But I still remember how very important it was when I was 11.

 
At Thursday, January 26, 2006 2:38:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I too was 11 or 12 -- sixth grade -- when I started shaving my legs. Like you, my parents were really strict and didnt' let me, so I did it behind their backs.

I understand how your daughter feels. I think it's especially hard for a young girl growing up in a bikini-clad area like L.A. or Miami. I remember being peer-pressured into shaving my pubes! (Thankfully, I outgrew that phase when I went to college.) Still, I got these painful and itchy ingrown hairs when I let the hair around my bikini line grow in. I would also get them under my arms when I wouldn't keep up with the shaving.

It would have been nice to receive some guidance from my mother -- who could have told me this would happen. It's best for you to teach your daughter how to shave and let her know she has to keep it up to maintain the "look" she is going for.
-Elisa

 
At Thursday, January 26, 2006 2:40:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gloria, it's Elisa by the way! I posted from Amy's computer, didn't want to lose my comment, and clicked "anonymous" instead. Yeah, Markos's computer is really messed up -- I can't wait for it to get fixed and get mine back!

 
At Thursday, January 26, 2006 8:00:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My respects to your daughter for not being shy about her wishes in wanting/needing to shave. I on the other hand was secretive, intimidated and not so hairy. But everyone else was shaving, why can't I? So I thought to start small...chose a "patch" area and work from there. To this day...it remains the most hairiest part of me...my knees. Couldn't emancipate from there. Here, here. But then again I had three hairs on each leg. More power to your daughter.

 
At Friday, January 27, 2006 9:37:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The good thing is that your daughter felt comfortable enough to come to you and talk with you about it. You don't want to lose that. I say, let her do it! But, like the others before me mentioned, explain to her the responsibilities of maintenance.

 
At Friday, January 27, 2006 9:50:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think you should let her do it!!!! I think shes old enough to handle the responsibilities, shes not a little girl anymore. She is becoming a young woman so why not??
Jenny

 
At Friday, February 03, 2006 4:38:00 AM, Blogger Carol said...

The responsibilities of maintenance are less than taking care of the puppy that they were gung-ho about for week and then letting Mom deal with it for the next 12 years. It's a self-limiting responsibility -- if she stops, the perceived consequences are hers, and hers alone.

Eleven can be an entire year of PMS. View it with kindness. The question I always felt was vital was whether it was something that was really important to them. If it is, unclench and let her. She'll remember it later.

And I'm saying this as someone who stopped shaving her armpits in high school in 1969, and who hasn't since. It hasn't grown to be like Rapunzel's hair, and I don't regret being free of that fetish.

I did shave my public hair into a heart shape when I was 17, just out of curiosity and an interest in topiary. There are some things like that or wearing fishnet stockings that you don't want to repeat. :)

 
At Tuesday, January 16, 2007 10:36:00 AM, Anonymous Cindy said...

Hi,
Just found this site and thought I'd add a practical suggestion. I had the same problem and as a child my mother would bleach my hairy arms. It was awful, having to stand there for 20 min. w/ smelly, itchy cream all over my arms. And it looked odd having blond hair on my arms and black everywhere else, and very strange when the hair started growing back it was half/half. Shaving isn't a good option because the stubble looks bad and unnatural as well. As an adult I used to take sissors and "trim" the length of the unruley long hair until once when I cut myself pretty bad. My husband asked about the cut and I explained. He said, "why don't you just use my trimmer?" Men's trimmers can be set to cut the majority of the lenghth off the hair, without any danger of cuts, and then when you are done, it still looks natural, just much shorter. You'd be surprised how much better it looks after a trim. Try it!

 
At Monday, June 25, 2007 6:35:00 PM, Anonymous Rose said...

Eeek. My daughter turns 11 in September and although she's a blondie she's asked me if she can start shaving her legs. We talked about how often I have to shave and what it's like when you don't shave for a few days and how the texture of the hair is different, etc.... She seemed less excited about the prospect, but still interested. I told her that we'd revisit the issue at the end of the summer. I'm just not ready for her to take that step.
*sigh*
I miss my baby.

 
At Sunday, May 04, 2008 8:07:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What responsibility? If she doesn't keep on shaving she's simply going to get back the hair she'd have if she didn't shave.

 
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Now that I'm 30, I've been known to go months without shaving my legs (especially in winter). But I still remember how very important it was when I was 11.
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At Thursday, November 10, 2011 7:13:00 AM, Blogger Admin said...

I am pretty fair-skinned with naturally black hair. While I'm not particularly hairy, my leg hair was very obvious, and I, too, begged my mom to let me shave when I was 11. She said no. So I did it behind her back, and made sure to always wear pants around her so she wouldn't find out.
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I am pretty fair-skinned with naturally black hair. While I'm not particularly hairy, my leg hair was very obvious, and I, too, begged my mom to let me shave when I was 11. She said no. So I did it behind her back, and made sure to always wear pants around her so she wouldn't find out.
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At Saturday, April 28, 2012 12:00:00 AM, Blogger MR.HIEU said...

Let's face it, there are few things in life more painful than being an 11-year-old girl. Think back to how excruciatingly awkward a time that was, and how cruel girls that age can be. If she says she is ready for the responsibility and maintenance involved with shaving, then I say go for it.John Greed Voucher Codes

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