My blog has moved!

You should be automatically redirected in 5 seconds. If not, visit
http://thegirlrevolution.com
and update your bookmarks.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Bikini Waxing Tweens & Early Puberty

B2962CC3-8CB8-4905-A154-A349918CBF6F.jpg

There was a story on MSNBC.com Today Show, Too young? Preteen girls get leg, bikini waxes, about how 20% of bikini wax customers at one Hollywood salon are tweens - pre-teen children.

"Nearly 20 percent of the clients that Nance Mitchell sees for bikini waxes in her Beverly Hills, Calif., salon are tweens, she says. . . 12 is the new normal."

"But nothing prepared her for being asked by one client to book a bikini wax appointment for her 8-year-old daughter."

{{{{{GASP}}}}}

Did you share my first reaction?

But, then I thought - wait, why is it the waxing that is making me gasp in shock?

Isn't it more alarming that 8 year olds have enough pubic hair to wax?

The sub head of the story is inaccurate: Moms are bringing daughters to spas for hair removal before puberty

The fact is that 50% of girls are getting their periods by age 10 and doctors now consider it within the "range of normal" for girls to develop outward signs of puberty, including breasts and pubic hair, by age 8. It's not that even medically alarming for 6 or 7 year olds to begin puberty, and many do begin developing breast buds or pubic hair.

Isn't it more emotionally alarming and worthy of a {{{{gasp}}}} that we're seeing a dramatic shift in girls' puberty development and no public health official is coming on the nightly news declaring,

"We're going to find an answer to this most disturbing development in girls, who hold the future reproductive burden for our entire species. In the meantime, don't let your daughters drink the water full of pharmaceuticals. Stop injecting milk and meat cows and other animals with hormones. Be wary that extra weight causes girls to make estrogen and develop pubic hair and boobs early. Avoid plastics. We're going to outlaw high fructose corn syrup in foods directly marketed to children. We understand the reproductive future of our entire nation depends on it!"

Instead, we hear about the early pubic hair trend in the fashion and beauty section of MSNBC's Today Show with a sexualization of girls slant.

Shouldn't those mothers be ashamed of themselves? the story basically asks.

Should they?

The story includes a quote by Philadelphia aesthetician Melanie Engle who says the 8 year old request for a bikini wax, "was about the mother's obsession with her daughter being a supermodel."

OK. I can buy that. I've seen mothers primp their daughters as a photographer and photographer's assistant. There is definite maternal beauty pressure.

Yet, if there was nothing to wax, if she were hairless, then her mother wouldn't be thinking her daughter needed to have anything removed to "look like a supermodel." Right?

Last year I did a story about Nair directly marketing to tween and teen girls with a "new" line of hair removal cream, Nair Pretty.

"It's profoundly disturbing," I wrote. It's also disturbing that Nair caught onto this early pubic hair trend and marketed to it, before I, as a parent, caught up with it.

I also went off on some radio DJ who was bashing Lordes, Madonna's young daughter, for having a unibrow and a slight mustache. I was appalled at the DJ's lack of class and placing all this beauty pressure on a young girl.

One brave mother, Athena of 1001 Petals, wrote in the comments section of that post, "I feel kind of bad now for telling my husband yesterday that if our daughter turned out to be as hairy as me, I'd start taking her to an esthetician for waxing as soon as it became evident -- unless she said she didn't care for it. This is because if you wax regularly at such a young age, you're saved a lifetime of regular waxing later on down the road. I had to take myself starting at 12 yrs of age, and now at 30 it is still practically a daily maintenance routine. . .I spend hundreds a year and a lot of time bothering with it."

Athena's right. The more I consider this hairy subject, the more I realize that I will likely assist my daughter, in some way, with her pubic hair and if she developed a mustache or side burns, for goodness sake, I'd help her eradicate it. Like I'm going to throw her to the Mean Girls and hope she survives?

Swim suits are not designed to cover the pubic area. They haven't been for about 40 years.

In "Clean" Bikini Line I wrote about my own struggle since my teen years with various methods of shaving, Nairing, one excruciating episode with Neet and a vicious chemical burn.

I'm amused by Campaign for Unshaved Snatch (CUSS), but I still keep my bush rather trimmed, as a courtesy to my husband. I wear swim shorts rather than show off my all my private hairs when we go swimming. The itching always gets to me mid-grow.

But, is my daughter really going to be into wearing one of these modest suits that would cover her bikini area? Am I going to make her be the only kid at the swim party or pool to do so?

I shave my pits and my legs. I pluck my eyebrows. I search for stray hairs on my chin and pluck them immediately.

It is only my budget that keeps me from getting all this hair waxed off. When I lived in NYC there was hair & waxing salon on every corner and it was a mere $30 to get my bikini and eyebrows done. I did it whenever I could afford it.

It's the least painful than other methods, it lasts longer and it was the ONLY thing that prevented razor or chemical burn - in other words waxing was the only solution that I didn't trade unwanted hair for an unwanted rash.

It seems to me a young daughter growing early pubic hair is an even bigger motivator for waxing.

Certainly, the minute girls develop breasts or pubic hair society treats her with less respect and she hears more negative and sexual comments about her body. The more she looks like a teenager or woman, the sooner she will be seen as an object for male entertainment, instead of the three-demensionable little girl, the young child, she really is.

What bigger incentive is there to hide pubic hair, keep it as private as possible, or have it removed?

Does the removal of hair further sexualize girls, because the latest fashion is for adult women to remove hair and get a Brazillian wax? Ironically (and a little disturbingly) making them look more like children.

Or does the removal of a symptom or sign of puberty buy a little girl some more time to be a child?

Please comment, I really am interested in exploring this issue further.

Empowering Girls: Hootchy Clothes

Second Generation Mean Girl

Empowering Girls: Ho'oponopono for Girl Fights

Empowering Girls: Breast Cancer Risks

Empowering Girls: Early Puberty

Precocious Puberty

Image Source: Ohana Swimwear

18 comments:

Mim said...

I'm a bit conflicted over this stuff.

I'm an erratic hair remover myself, I shave my pits only in summer and my legs probably 3 or 4 times in a year and that's the only hair removal I do (I wear board shorts for swimming). My husband doesn't care whether I'm hairy or not, when asked (because I'm not beyond wondering if my flouting the "beauty rules" bothers him) he assures me he likes me equally well either way. Besides, if he gets to have a scratchy beard I get to ignore the razor too. Not that either of asked the other's permission in these matters.

I don't expect my daughter to hit puberty early, she's a tiny skinny little thing and I wasn't early myself. Plus she's very fair. So I don't anticipate much drama over hair for a while yet.

However, I have vivid memories of being 13 and not wanting to go swimming when on holiday in Greece because of my hairy arm pits and being very resistant to learning how to shave (razor blades? sharp razor blades? on my delicate skin?!!!) so I have given the matter some thought. (I did shave, and swim, in the end.)

I won't be encouraging my daughter to shave but I won't tell her she can't and I will provide her with a decent razor if she wants one. No chemicals though, and no waxing unless she can pay for it herself. And I'll be singing the praises of boyleg swim suits ;-)

I'm pretty sure I'd be planning differently if we had a genetic heritage of really noticeable hairiness though. It's much easier to adhere to a non-conformist ideology when no-one notices you're doing it.

Tracee said...

I'd have to shave even if I wear the boyleg suit. They cover more hip, but not much more crotch.

I too took up the board shorts - in my 30s. Not in my single years or my teen years when fashion and social blending in was more important to me.

Violet said...

It's kind of a double edged sword. If everyone starts doing it, it becomes the norm. I hate to think of young girls not liking their natural bodies. Pubic hair is natural. On the other hand, it has to suck to be the hairy one when everyone else is hair-free. No one wants to be different at that age.

I don't shave much. My husband likes hair and thinks the full bush is sexy. I trim a bit to keep it neat. I shave my armpits. If I go swimming, I will shave my legs, but that isn't too often. I really think it is a silly thing we all do, but that is society's standards. Damn, I miss the 70s!

Dark or prominent hair makes it harder. I remember when I met you Trace, as a teen, you often didn't shave your legs, but you were blonde so it really didn't show. Maybe that's why blondes have more fun - they aren't shaving all the time!

I don't care much about hair these days, but I remember caring deeply as a young woman. I started shaving my legs in junior high, bleaching in high school. I'd probably let a daughter shave, but I don't know about bikini waxes. It just seems so grown up for an 8-year-old. What a difficult decision!

1001 Petals said...

I guess there is a difference between going through puberty earlier, and thus wanting (needing?) to get a bikini wax, and just being predisposed to hairiness, as Mim says.

I was getting my eyebrows and upper lip waxed at 12, but I didn't need a bikini wax. I was a late bloomer. In contrast, my youngest sister has never been very hairy, but went through puberty 2 yrs after I did, and she's 7 yrs younger than me. She also LOVES meat. I hated meat growing up (and am mostly vegan now.) While the rest of us were snacking on fruit and cookies, she was chomping on a pork chop or bit of sausage :) (I'm so not kidding!)

Years later, when the hype around hormones in meat came up in the news, I became convinced this is why my sister entered puberty so young. But still, she was never overly hairy -- just average, like most people.

Then I think about how kids are getting cell phones and their own computers at such a young age, so maybe this waxing news is related to kids just growing up faster -- physically and lifestyle-wise (I don't know if they could be mentally and emotionally. . .)

I guess sometimes early puberty and waxing are related, and sometimes they're not. Ultimately, I agree with you that the news should be more focused on health issues, and less on blame.

Tracee said...

I may not have shaved my legs as a teen (though I don't remember not doing it, I remember thinking it made me very grown up in jr. high - but maybe I got lazy)

But, I didn't go swimming or laying out without shaving my bikini line. I had one embarrassing episode when the boy I liked was talking to me and I realized my pubic hair was on the outside of my swimsuit and I was mortified - it's pubic hair. Not arm or pit hair. It's connected to my private parts. Not really anything I wanted him to see yet. I've tried to get rid of it ever since.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Tracee. I read about this in a blog and accepted the author's invitation to chortle at those Hollywood moms, so concerned over appearance and spending the big money. I never stopped to think about whether these girls needed to wax and what that meant. So thanks for giving another interpretation.

I too had a pubic hair moment, but it was around my then boyfriend's best friend and wife and while I'm sure no one noticed, I did and I was very embarrassed. It doesn't help that she's a former pageanteer and always looks her best while I'm more casual.

I think part of the problem is there are so many different possible reasons why early puberty is happening. And since we're pretty complex organisms it could, and probably is, a combination of factors. And sadly, it may not be possible in today's political climate to stand up and say, "This is horrible and we don't know why it's happening. We'll keep you posted." But somebody should be studying this, publicly studying this, if only to show it is a matter of deep concern.

Jenn

Anonymous said...

Good post. I'm not ready, I can tell you that. But my pediatrician made a correlation between tooth loss and early puberty. (Both my girls have lost 8 teeth, ahead of their peers). And that freaked me out. But she assured me no breast buds. My freaky step mom made SUCH a bid deal about shaving legs when I asked in middle school, that is my main motivation (currently) for letting my kids shave when they want to. Wax? Haven't even thought about it. Yet.

-Vanessa
amidoingokay.blogspot.com

Tracee said...

I haven't come across the teeth correlation.
I know what you mean Vanessa. Waxing sounds more . . . violent?

The fast ripping off of the paper seems very unchildish. The shaving - even with a rash - seems much more humane if you're going to assist with hair removal. But, from experience waxing has a certain logic. Certainly waxing would hide the fact of pubic hair for longer in a young girl. At 8 it definately seems like something mothers and children would be motivated to hide.

So complicated - this issue and so many conflicting emotions involved for moms.

Carol Saha said...

My 10 yr old and I had a recent conversation about her shaving her legs. She is not in puberty yet. But we are hairy girls in this family. The rule in my family growing up was you could shave your legs when it was time to shave your armpits. I told my Tabby Cat that I didn't want her to shave her legs (she's embarrassed by hairy they are and her bff shaves already) because she would have nubbies growing in and would have to continue shaving whether she wanted to or not. Then we discussed the possibility of waxing. And that that hurts. She's willing to try. I think I would let her but we left it with getting a second opinion from her grown sister. The subject hasn't come up since.

Tracee said...

I've always been confused about waxing legs.

Don't you have to grow the hair all the way out to wax them? Doesn't that defeat the purpose to have half-grown hair half the time?

By day 2 I always shave my legs because they get itchy.

Amanda said...

Damn, this is hard. I think, as I have three daughters, that I will try to do the things that prevent ridicule across the boards. I guess I really hope we don't get to a point where girls, little girls, want things that oughtn't be for little girls. Talking circles. So hard.

Anonymous said...

It's a bad start in the wrong direction. It only encourages body image issues for girls as they get older; i.e unless they do these things they will become some fat, hairy, foul-smelling beast. It also whets the appetites of a bunch of sickos who fantasize sex with teen or pre-teen girls. Real women have hair down there, and real men appreciate real women.

Tracee said...

Real women may have hair down there but until now 8-10 year-olds did not. I fear the perverts would interpret the existence of hair as an invitation to view a child as a teenager.

It's evident that we don't truly feel teenagers are in need of protection in this country.

Anonymous said...

That is a non-sequitur, Tracee. There are laws against statutory rape - and they should be vigorously enforced too (as an aside I personally have no problem with making rape a capital offense in cases involving very young children). I don't think pubic hair has anything to do with protecting teenagers.

Tracee said...

There are ineffective laws that aren't enforced against statutory rape.

The minute a girl shows outward signs of sexuality she is subjected to sexual comments and remarks about her body.

I think I would spare my daughter that for as long as possible - even if that meant making sure no one at the pool knows she has pubic hair.

Anonymous said...

I think that is a hella crazy leap to make. That if women don't shave or wax their daughters they are not protecting them from predators. Please.

Again. Predators do not pick children for their clothing or their body types or their pubic hair or what kind of underwear they wear or because they have long hair instead of short or because they got breasts at 11 instead of 13.

They pick girls who are emotionally vulnerable.

Everything else are just excuses they tell themselves, and they will come up with one for every girl. If she's not hairless, she "knows what she's doing." If she doesn't have breasts, she "gave me a look." Or she ran around in a towel after bathing. Or she sat on his lap. Or she waxes her legs - she must be old enough!

I can understand wanting to prevent other children from teasing your own, but comments like that one only give pedophiles new excuses and puts the blame on mothers and girls instead of squarely where it belongs - on the predators themselves.

You need to rethink your comment.

Tracee said...

I'm not taking a definite position on whether mothers should or shoudn't help their daughters with their body hair issues. I'm exploring the different issues.

Certainly, I value your perspective. Maybe you're right.

I think it's crazy to assume that anything I might say would give psychotic pedophiles ideas. Their heads are full of ideas and sick thoughts I have no control over whatsoever.

If I can steal a line from my mother to see if it might help you get the point - showing pubic hair in any situation would be "immodest."

brony said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Bikini Waxing Tweens & Early Puberty

B2962CC3-8CB8-4905-A154-A349918CBF6F.jpg

There was a story on MSNBC.com Today Show, Too young? Preteen girls get leg, bikini waxes, about how 20% of bikini wax customers at one Hollywood salon are tweens - pre-teen children.

"Nearly 20 percent of the clients that Nance Mitchell sees for bikini waxes in her Beverly Hills, Calif., salon are tweens, she says. . . 12 is the new normal."

"But nothing prepared her for being asked by one client to book a bikini wax appointment for her 8-year-old daughter."

{{{{{GASP}}}}}

Did you share my first reaction?

But, then I thought - wait, why is it the waxing that is making me gasp in shock?

Isn't it more alarming that 8 year olds have enough pubic hair to wax?

The sub head of the story is inaccurate: Moms are bringing daughters to spas for hair removal before puberty

The fact is that 50% of girls are getting their periods by age 10 and doctors now consider it within the "range of normal" for girls to develop outward signs of puberty, including breasts and pubic hair, by age 8. It's not that even medically alarming for 6 or 7 year olds to begin puberty, and many do begin developing breast buds or pubic hair.

Isn't it more emotionally alarming and worthy of a {{{{gasp}}}} that we're seeing a dramatic shift in girls' puberty development and no public health official is coming on the nightly news declaring,

"We're going to find an answer to this most disturbing development in girls, who hold the future reproductive burden for our entire species. In the meantime, don't let your daughters drink the water full of pharmaceuticals. Stop injecting milk and meat cows and other animals with hormones. Be wary that extra weight causes girls to make estrogen and develop pubic hair and boobs early. Avoid plastics. We're going to outlaw high fructose corn syrup in foods directly marketed to children. We understand the reproductive future of our entire nation depends on it!"

Instead, we hear about the early pubic hair trend in the fashion and beauty section of MSNBC's Today Show with a sexualization of girls slant.

Shouldn't those mothers be ashamed of themselves? the story basically asks.

Should they?

The story includes a quote by Philadelphia aesthetician Melanie Engle who says the 8 year old request for a bikini wax, "was about the mother's obsession with her daughter being a supermodel."

OK. I can buy that. I've seen mothers primp their daughters as a photographer and photographer's assistant. There is definite maternal beauty pressure.

Yet, if there was nothing to wax, if she were hairless, then her mother wouldn't be thinking her daughter needed to have anything removed to "look like a supermodel." Right?

Last year I did a story about Nair directly marketing to tween and teen girls with a "new" line of hair removal cream, Nair Pretty.

"It's profoundly disturbing," I wrote. It's also disturbing that Nair caught onto this early pubic hair trend and marketed to it, before I, as a parent, caught up with it.

I also went off on some radio DJ who was bashing Lordes, Madonna's young daughter, for having a unibrow and a slight mustache. I was appalled at the DJ's lack of class and placing all this beauty pressure on a young girl.

One brave mother, Athena of 1001 Petals, wrote in the comments section of that post, "I feel kind of bad now for telling my husband yesterday that if our daughter turned out to be as hairy as me, I'd start taking her to an esthetician for waxing as soon as it became evident -- unless she said she didn't care for it. This is because if you wax regularly at such a young age, you're saved a lifetime of regular waxing later on down the road. I had to take myself starting at 12 yrs of age, and now at 30 it is still practically a daily maintenance routine. . .I spend hundreds a year and a lot of time bothering with it."

Athena's right. The more I consider this hairy subject, the more I realize that I will likely assist my daughter, in some way, with her pubic hair and if she developed a mustache or side burns, for goodness sake, I'd help her eradicate it. Like I'm going to throw her to the Mean Girls and hope she survives?

Swim suits are not designed to cover the pubic area. They haven't been for about 40 years.

In "Clean" Bikini Line I wrote about my own struggle since my teen years with various methods of shaving, Nairing, one excruciating episode with Neet and a vicious chemical burn.

I'm amused by Campaign for Unshaved Snatch (CUSS), but I still keep my bush rather trimmed, as a courtesy to my husband. I wear swim shorts rather than show off my all my private hairs when we go swimming. The itching always gets to me mid-grow.

But, is my daughter really going to be into wearing one of these modest suits that would cover her bikini area? Am I going to make her be the only kid at the swim party or pool to do so?

I shave my pits and my legs. I pluck my eyebrows. I search for stray hairs on my chin and pluck them immediately.

It is only my budget that keeps me from getting all this hair waxed off. When I lived in NYC there was hair & waxing salon on every corner and it was a mere $30 to get my bikini and eyebrows done. I did it whenever I could afford it.

It's the least painful than other methods, it lasts longer and it was the ONLY thing that prevented razor or chemical burn - in other words waxing was the only solution that I didn't trade unwanted hair for an unwanted rash.

It seems to me a young daughter growing early pubic hair is an even bigger motivator for waxing.

Certainly, the minute girls develop breasts or pubic hair society treats her with less respect and she hears more negative and sexual comments about her body. The more she looks like a teenager or woman, the sooner she will be seen as an object for male entertainment, instead of the three-demensionable little girl, the young child, she really is.

What bigger incentive is there to hide pubic hair, keep it as private as possible, or have it removed?

Does the removal of hair further sexualize girls, because the latest fashion is for adult women to remove hair and get a Brazillian wax? Ironically (and a little disturbingly) making them look more like children.

Or does the removal of a symptom or sign of puberty buy a little girl some more time to be a child?

Please comment, I really am interested in exploring this issue further.

Empowering Girls: Hootchy Clothes

Second Generation Mean Girl

Empowering Girls: Ho'oponopono for Girl Fights

Empowering Girls: Breast Cancer Risks

Empowering Girls: Early Puberty

Precocious Puberty

Image Source: Ohana Swimwear

18 comments:

Mim said...

I'm a bit conflicted over this stuff.

I'm an erratic hair remover myself, I shave my pits only in summer and my legs probably 3 or 4 times in a year and that's the only hair removal I do (I wear board shorts for swimming). My husband doesn't care whether I'm hairy or not, when asked (because I'm not beyond wondering if my flouting the "beauty rules" bothers him) he assures me he likes me equally well either way. Besides, if he gets to have a scratchy beard I get to ignore the razor too. Not that either of asked the other's permission in these matters.

I don't expect my daughter to hit puberty early, she's a tiny skinny little thing and I wasn't early myself. Plus she's very fair. So I don't anticipate much drama over hair for a while yet.

However, I have vivid memories of being 13 and not wanting to go swimming when on holiday in Greece because of my hairy arm pits and being very resistant to learning how to shave (razor blades? sharp razor blades? on my delicate skin?!!!) so I have given the matter some thought. (I did shave, and swim, in the end.)

I won't be encouraging my daughter to shave but I won't tell her she can't and I will provide her with a decent razor if she wants one. No chemicals though, and no waxing unless she can pay for it herself. And I'll be singing the praises of boyleg swim suits ;-)

I'm pretty sure I'd be planning differently if we had a genetic heritage of really noticeable hairiness though. It's much easier to adhere to a non-conformist ideology when no-one notices you're doing it.

Tracee said...

I'd have to shave even if I wear the boyleg suit. They cover more hip, but not much more crotch.

I too took up the board shorts - in my 30s. Not in my single years or my teen years when fashion and social blending in was more important to me.

Violet said...

It's kind of a double edged sword. If everyone starts doing it, it becomes the norm. I hate to think of young girls not liking their natural bodies. Pubic hair is natural. On the other hand, it has to suck to be the hairy one when everyone else is hair-free. No one wants to be different at that age.

I don't shave much. My husband likes hair and thinks the full bush is sexy. I trim a bit to keep it neat. I shave my armpits. If I go swimming, I will shave my legs, but that isn't too often. I really think it is a silly thing we all do, but that is society's standards. Damn, I miss the 70s!

Dark or prominent hair makes it harder. I remember when I met you Trace, as a teen, you often didn't shave your legs, but you were blonde so it really didn't show. Maybe that's why blondes have more fun - they aren't shaving all the time!

I don't care much about hair these days, but I remember caring deeply as a young woman. I started shaving my legs in junior high, bleaching in high school. I'd probably let a daughter shave, but I don't know about bikini waxes. It just seems so grown up for an 8-year-old. What a difficult decision!

1001 Petals said...

I guess there is a difference between going through puberty earlier, and thus wanting (needing?) to get a bikini wax, and just being predisposed to hairiness, as Mim says.

I was getting my eyebrows and upper lip waxed at 12, but I didn't need a bikini wax. I was a late bloomer. In contrast, my youngest sister has never been very hairy, but went through puberty 2 yrs after I did, and she's 7 yrs younger than me. She also LOVES meat. I hated meat growing up (and am mostly vegan now.) While the rest of us were snacking on fruit and cookies, she was chomping on a pork chop or bit of sausage :) (I'm so not kidding!)

Years later, when the hype around hormones in meat came up in the news, I became convinced this is why my sister entered puberty so young. But still, she was never overly hairy -- just average, like most people.

Then I think about how kids are getting cell phones and their own computers at such a young age, so maybe this waxing news is related to kids just growing up faster -- physically and lifestyle-wise (I don't know if they could be mentally and emotionally. . .)

I guess sometimes early puberty and waxing are related, and sometimes they're not. Ultimately, I agree with you that the news should be more focused on health issues, and less on blame.

Tracee said...

I may not have shaved my legs as a teen (though I don't remember not doing it, I remember thinking it made me very grown up in jr. high - but maybe I got lazy)

But, I didn't go swimming or laying out without shaving my bikini line. I had one embarrassing episode when the boy I liked was talking to me and I realized my pubic hair was on the outside of my swimsuit and I was mortified - it's pubic hair. Not arm or pit hair. It's connected to my private parts. Not really anything I wanted him to see yet. I've tried to get rid of it ever since.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Tracee. I read about this in a blog and accepted the author's invitation to chortle at those Hollywood moms, so concerned over appearance and spending the big money. I never stopped to think about whether these girls needed to wax and what that meant. So thanks for giving another interpretation.

I too had a pubic hair moment, but it was around my then boyfriend's best friend and wife and while I'm sure no one noticed, I did and I was very embarrassed. It doesn't help that she's a former pageanteer and always looks her best while I'm more casual.

I think part of the problem is there are so many different possible reasons why early puberty is happening. And since we're pretty complex organisms it could, and probably is, a combination of factors. And sadly, it may not be possible in today's political climate to stand up and say, "This is horrible and we don't know why it's happening. We'll keep you posted." But somebody should be studying this, publicly studying this, if only to show it is a matter of deep concern.

Jenn

Anonymous said...

Good post. I'm not ready, I can tell you that. But my pediatrician made a correlation between tooth loss and early puberty. (Both my girls have lost 8 teeth, ahead of their peers). And that freaked me out. But she assured me no breast buds. My freaky step mom made SUCH a bid deal about shaving legs when I asked in middle school, that is my main motivation (currently) for letting my kids shave when they want to. Wax? Haven't even thought about it. Yet.

-Vanessa
amidoingokay.blogspot.com

Tracee said...

I haven't come across the teeth correlation.
I know what you mean Vanessa. Waxing sounds more . . . violent?

The fast ripping off of the paper seems very unchildish. The shaving - even with a rash - seems much more humane if you're going to assist with hair removal. But, from experience waxing has a certain logic. Certainly waxing would hide the fact of pubic hair for longer in a young girl. At 8 it definately seems like something mothers and children would be motivated to hide.

So complicated - this issue and so many conflicting emotions involved for moms.

Carol Saha said...

My 10 yr old and I had a recent conversation about her shaving her legs. She is not in puberty yet. But we are hairy girls in this family. The rule in my family growing up was you could shave your legs when it was time to shave your armpits. I told my Tabby Cat that I didn't want her to shave her legs (she's embarrassed by hairy they are and her bff shaves already) because she would have nubbies growing in and would have to continue shaving whether she wanted to or not. Then we discussed the possibility of waxing. And that that hurts. She's willing to try. I think I would let her but we left it with getting a second opinion from her grown sister. The subject hasn't come up since.

Tracee said...

I've always been confused about waxing legs.

Don't you have to grow the hair all the way out to wax them? Doesn't that defeat the purpose to have half-grown hair half the time?

By day 2 I always shave my legs because they get itchy.

Amanda said...

Damn, this is hard. I think, as I have three daughters, that I will try to do the things that prevent ridicule across the boards. I guess I really hope we don't get to a point where girls, little girls, want things that oughtn't be for little girls. Talking circles. So hard.

Anonymous said...

It's a bad start in the wrong direction. It only encourages body image issues for girls as they get older; i.e unless they do these things they will become some fat, hairy, foul-smelling beast. It also whets the appetites of a bunch of sickos who fantasize sex with teen or pre-teen girls. Real women have hair down there, and real men appreciate real women.

Tracee said...

Real women may have hair down there but until now 8-10 year-olds did not. I fear the perverts would interpret the existence of hair as an invitation to view a child as a teenager.

It's evident that we don't truly feel teenagers are in need of protection in this country.

Anonymous said...

That is a non-sequitur, Tracee. There are laws against statutory rape - and they should be vigorously enforced too (as an aside I personally have no problem with making rape a capital offense in cases involving very young children). I don't think pubic hair has anything to do with protecting teenagers.

Tracee said...

There are ineffective laws that aren't enforced against statutory rape.

The minute a girl shows outward signs of sexuality she is subjected to sexual comments and remarks about her body.

I think I would spare my daughter that for as long as possible - even if that meant making sure no one at the pool knows she has pubic hair.

Anonymous said...

I think that is a hella crazy leap to make. That if women don't shave or wax their daughters they are not protecting them from predators. Please.

Again. Predators do not pick children for their clothing or their body types or their pubic hair or what kind of underwear they wear or because they have long hair instead of short or because they got breasts at 11 instead of 13.

They pick girls who are emotionally vulnerable.

Everything else are just excuses they tell themselves, and they will come up with one for every girl. If she's not hairless, she "knows what she's doing." If she doesn't have breasts, she "gave me a look." Or she ran around in a towel after bathing. Or she sat on his lap. Or she waxes her legs - she must be old enough!

I can understand wanting to prevent other children from teasing your own, but comments like that one only give pedophiles new excuses and puts the blame on mothers and girls instead of squarely where it belongs - on the predators themselves.

You need to rethink your comment.

Tracee said...

I'm not taking a definite position on whether mothers should or shoudn't help their daughters with their body hair issues. I'm exploring the different issues.

Certainly, I value your perspective. Maybe you're right.

I think it's crazy to assume that anything I might say would give psychotic pedophiles ideas. Their heads are full of ideas and sick thoughts I have no control over whatsoever.

If I can steal a line from my mother to see if it might help you get the point - showing pubic hair in any situation would be "immodest."

brony said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.