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mamas who don't shave~ what will you tell your dd and will you/do you allow shaving? - Page 2

post #21 of 416
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ambystoma View Post
I don't shave my legs, but I do shave my underarms at the moment. I wish I didn't and now at the prospect of having a little girl in a few months, I am seriously considering letting it grow out like I planned to when I have children. Thanks for reminding me.

I think it's important that you have men in your life understand that they aren't to make negative comments to your DD about it. When I was 12, my dad looked over at my legs (which had never been shaved) and said, "god, when's the last time you shaved your legs" and I cried and my mom initiated the shaving ritual which I did for 4 years before calling B.S. (I also started shaving my armpits for a similar reason with another family member who was "disgusted" by the 4 wisps of hair growing under there when I was 10.

I am lucky in part because DH's sister (who will be our children's only aunt, and I'm sure the "cool aunt") doesn't shave at all, so there will be more than 1 female role model for any child we have.
I'm sorry you had those experiences, but it's cool that you eventually came to your own opinions about it.
I agree that your SIL will be a good example to have for your daughter and I also agree that having the men and boys in our girls lives being positive about this issue is important.
post #22 of 416
I remember my grandmother pulling me aside when I was mid-20s, giving me a "lady's shaver" and telling me that I needed to use it on my armpits because it was "unsanitary" not to. She didn't have an answer beyond, "Because that's the way it is" when I asked why it wasn't unsanitary for my grandfather-father-brother to not shave their armpits. (BTW something about shortening that to "pits" squicks me out -- don't know why.)

I do different things at different times. The hair that I do grow is fairly scraggly -- I wish it were fuller and prettier -- but I tend to get sore spots especially under my arms so I don't do it regularly. I can't see ever shaving my pubic hair completely on a regular basis again (I did before I had kids, then it felt more adult to have pubic hair plus didn't have the personal grooming time). I do trim for swimsuits and sometimes just because it's fun, but it's not a "because that's how to be attractive" thing.

ETA: I've already presented to my kids that there are various options and various opinions. The only one I don't approve is the anxiety-ridden, "I'll feel so gross if I do/don't" attitude, not that I won't understand if that message gets absorbed, but I won't just rubberstamp it.
post #23 of 416
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by churndash View Post
I think it would be a tricky discussion.

Telling a young girl "I don't shave because I think it's silly, infantilizing, a waste of your time and a symbol of male oppression but hey, you do whatever you want, it's your choice" isn't really giving them a choice, is it?

I mean, reading these posts it's very easy to pick up on the strong feelings people have, and I would think that daughters would want to comply with those feelings to please mom, even if they weren't really sure they believed them.

At least I can speak for myself and say that I often worry about detangling my children's true desires from their desire to please me, if that makes sense.

Ideally, the subject could be discussed neutrally. "Some women shave for X, Y, Z reason, some women don't for X, Y, Z reason."

But I wouldn't use judging words like "silly' and "infantilizing" as the reasons - I think that sort of language would make the daughter feel guilty if she wants to shave.
It really is tricky because the last thing that I want is o make her feel bad about natural curiosity.
I do want her to know the truth, though, and as I see it shaving has nothing good to offer.
I don't think I would feel bad if she wanted to try it or even if she liked doing it, that seems like a natural phase, it's more about her feeling like she needed to, even if that need was subconscious.
post #24 of 416
Quote:
And I also in my heart don't believe that any woman truely shaves only for her own self, that is my true belief, whether they think they do or not. (Flame if you like, but this is supposed to be a support only thread.)
I'm not going to flame you as you are entitled to your own opinion but really who are you to truly know? I just don't think things are as black and white as they are in our own minds, ykwim? To me that's like saying you don't think people get a tattoo or piercing or lose weight or dress in a specific color for themselves. Sometimes people really do do things to feel more comfortable and more "them"

Lest you think I am just here to be a nay sayer I really am finding this thread interesting! I also find women with body hair really attractive as does DH and have for some time. It has led to some interesting conversations with friends
post #25 of 416
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by txbikegrrl View Post
I don't care what others men or women think but I have very think coarse dark hair so I shave and pluck a lot. I don't really use make up and do not like perpetuating the "baby doll" ideal of society so I want to find a way to pass that on even though I shave. That being said, DH actually shaves his legs as much or more than I do as a cyclist
I presonally find it hard to believe that if our society was excepting or even promoting of natural hair on women that you would still fel compelled to shave and pluck "a lot". TO me you must do it, on some level, because of what others will think. I am not trying to single you out to ridicule you, I just feel in the context of this discussion this is perinent.
post #26 of 416
Well, I've considered this from the other side. I shave but I want dd to decide for herself. I've told her that I shave because I prefer the way it feels. Dh actually likes my legs hairier but I still don't like the feel of it. To me it is the equivalent of getting hair on your head cut shorter if you prefer that. We don't refer to leg or underarm hair as disgusting.

Dd has watched me shave all her life. At age 9 she tells me her father's hairy legs are nicer feeling than mine. We just talk about why she likes them better.
I know that sometime she might notice that other girls she knows are starting to shave or receive a negative comment. I hope she just feels that I think she is fine the way she is and support her choice either way.

We are mostly TV free so I think any shaving pressure will come mostly from peers.
ETA- We did not stop TV to censor what dd sees. She can choose any age appropriate dvd she wants.
post #27 of 416
Quote:
Originally Posted by sisteeesmama View Post
It really is tricky because the last thing that I want is o make her feel bad about natural curiosity.
I do want her to know the truth, though, and as I see it shaving has nothing good to offer.
I don't think I would feel bad if she wanted to try it or even if she liked doing it, that seems like a natural phase, it's more about her feeling like she needed to, even if that need was subconscious.
I think maybe if shaving is presented more as a fashion thing than a "must do" or "must not do" type of thing? An example- some women prefer short hair and some long, some women shave and some don't. If it's presented as a fashion issue I think that gets more to the issue at hand- that it is more about body image than anything else generally speaking. Kind of like calling circ what it is- cosmetic surgery.
post #28 of 416
Quote:
Originally Posted by sisteeesmama View Post
And I also in my heart don't believe that any woman truely shaves only for her own self, that is my true belief, whether they think they do or not. (Flame if you like, but this is supposed to be a support only thread.)
If it's supposed to be a support thread, why are you using it to decide the motives of women you don't even know, and decide that we don't even know why we do what we do, "even if we think so"? Arrogant and insulting. My only problem with women who don't shave is that too many of them make nasty, superior-minded assumptions about why other women (including me) do. If you want support, get support - but insulting other women, and then basically saying, "you can flame me if you want, but this is supposed to be a thread for support" is just taking cheap shots. I'm not flaming anybody - but you are.
post #29 of 416
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by magstphil View Post
I'm not going to flame you as you are entitled to your own opinion but really who are you to truly know? I just don't think things are as black and white as they are in our own minds, ykwim? To me that's like saying you don't think people get a tattoo or piercing or lose weight or dress in a specific color for themselves. Sometimes people really do do things to feel more comfortable and more "them"

Lest you think I am just here to be a nay sayer I really am finding this thread interesting! I also find women with body hair really attractive as does DH and have for some time. It has led to some interesting conversations with friends
Like I said, this is just how I feel in my heart, it doesn't have to be right or wrong, it's just how I feel and I'm ok with it. I don't think shaving was ever something that a woman would have come up with living alone on a desert island never having been introduced to the idea. Again, that's just my opinion. I also feel like it is something women do to be "beautiful", not just out of boredom, I know I am never that bored and if someone were to be that bored I have some great ideas of ways to fill up that time, lol!
post #30 of 416
Quote:
Originally Posted by sisteeesmama View Post
I presonally find it hard to believe that if our society was excepting or even promoting of natural hair on women that you would still fel compelled to shave and pluck "a lot". TO me you must do it, on some level, because of what others will think. I am not trying to single you out to ridicule you, I just feel in the context of this discussion this is perinent.
In my personal experience I was cutting my body hair with scissors starting very young because I was so uncomfortable physically with it. My mom and grandparents were 100% against me shaving so I begged my older cousin to bring a razor and show me how. I cannot tell you how liberating it felt. Believe it or not shaving is the only way I am not constantly digging at my skin. So I suppose I am just thankful for the option like I am thankful for the option and that I knew someone who knew how.

Quote:
I don't think shaving was ever something that a woman would have come up with living alone on a desert island never having been introduced to the idea.
See the above. I wanted to get rid of my hair without really knowing how. I just wanted it gone so I started using scissors. That's how uncomfortable it makes me. I think it depends on the woman and the circumstances. If that woman was me and the sun was blaring heck yeah I'd be sharpening a rock. Same goes with trimming one's hair or beard.
post #31 of 416
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post
If it's supposed to be a support thread, why are you using it to decide the motives of women you don't even know, and decide that we don't even know why we do what we do, "even if we think so"? Arrogant and insulting. My only problem with women who don't shave is that too many of them make nasty, superior-minded assumptions about why other women (including me) do. If you want support, get support - but insulting other women, and then basically saying, "you can flame me if you want, but this is supposed to be a thread for support" is just taking cheap shots. I'm not flaming anybody - but you are.


ITA with this- well put.
(and I don't shave, if that makes any difference!)
post #32 of 416
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post
If it's supposed to be a support thread, why are you using it to decide the motives of women you don't even know, and decide that we don't even know why we do what we do, "even if we think so"? Arrogant and insulting. My only problem with women who don't shave is that too many of them make nasty, superior-minded assumptions about why other women (including me) do. If you want support, get support - but insulting other women, and then basically saying, "you can flame me if you want, but this is supposed to be a thread for support" is just taking cheap shots. I'm not flaming anybody - but you are.
I am seriously going to ignore any comments made like this, after this. This is inflammatory. I am simply saying how I feel, being as honest as possible, even though I know some people won't like it. It is actually ok not to agree with me, and it is ok for me to have opinions you don't like or even respect.
But I do have to wonder what the point of having a support thread is if people are going to just charge in and try to start a fight anyway?
I don't have all peachy-rosy opinions all the time. I don't actually like everything everyone does or why they do it. I said in my OP that I understood this was weird to some, that I have an opinion that most don't and I understand that. DOn't join in if you don't like the conversation. It's truely your choice. But I am not interested in *debating* this AT ALL. This is one sided because I am interested in people's opinions from the stand-point that I am coming from on this issue. Is that against the UA?
post #33 of 416
Quote:
Originally Posted by sisteeesmama View Post
Like I said, this is just how I feel in my heart, it doesn't have to be right or wrong, it's just how I feel and I'm ok with it. I don't think shaving was ever something that a woman would have come up with living alone on a desert island never having been introduced to the idea. Again, that's just my opinion. I also feel like it is something women do to be "beautiful", not just out of boredom, I know I am never that bored and if someone were to that bored I have some great ideas of ways to fill up that time, lol!
Sorry to take the thread off topic, but I don't agree with the "a woman would never have come up with that" idea.

All people have greater and lesser levels of body hair. Some people like body hair, some don't. Women have personal preferences, just like men. Some women prefer men with hairy chests, some prefer men with hairless chests. Or like facial hair on men or don't like it. Or think hairy backs are gross or don't.

Are women who prefer hairless chests/faces/backs are guilty of the same sorts of pejorative judgements that have been thrown around about men? (that they are trying to infantilize, that they don't accept men in their natural form, etc)?

If it's okay for me as a woman to be more attracted to a man with a hairless chest, why is it not okay for me, as a women, to prefer myself with hairless legs? (and I'm not even saying these are my preferences, I'm just playing devil's advocate.)
post #34 of 416
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by magstphil View Post
In my personal experience I was cutting my body hair with scissors starting very young because I was so uncomfortable physically with it. My mom and grandparents were 100% against me shaving so I begged my older cousin to bring a razor and show me how. I cannot tell you how liberating it felt. Believe it or not shaving is the only way I am not constantly digging at my skin. So I suppose I am just thankful for the option like I am thankful for the option and that I knew someone who knew how.


See the above. I wanted to get rid of my hair without really knowing how. I just wanted it gone so I started using scissors. That's how uncomfortable it makes me. I think it depends on the woman and the circumstances. If that woman was me and the sun was blaring heck yeah I'd be sharpening a rock. Same goes with trimming one's hair or beard.
Mag~ You know I like you But I really don't want to debate this at all. I am comfortable with my opinions on this and I really really don't want this to turn into a discussion where someone is trying to comvince someone else. That's why I said that in my OP.
post #35 of 416
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by churndash View Post
I'm just playing devil's advocate.
Why? I really thought I made it clear what I was looking for in my OP.....
post #36 of 416
well, I do shave (not as often as I would like to, so sometimes my leg hairs get pretty dang long, and fwiw DH does not mind at all) BUT, whether I shave or not has nothing to do with my DD's decision to shave or not. I would never not allow her, or force her to, shave. Either way it's controlling, and silly to make those decisions for another human being. I mean, I wouldn't give my 4 yo a razor, and say do what makes you happy, but if my pre-teen DD was at a point where she herself wanted to shave, I would give her an electric razor like I use myself (it's pretty impossible to cut yourself, and to me that's the biggest risk I see when 'letting' your child shave).
post #37 of 416
Quote:
Originally Posted by churndash View Post
Sorry to take the thread off topic, but I don't agree with the "a woman would never have come up with that" idea.

All people have greater and lesser levels of body hair. Some people like body hair, some don't. Women have personal preferences, just like men. Some women prefer men with hairy chests, some prefer men with hairless chests. Or like facial hair on men or don't like it. Or think hairy backs are gross or don't.

Are women who prefer hairless chests/faces/backs are guilty of the same sorts of pejorative judgements that have been thrown around about men? (that they are trying to infantilize, that they don't accept men in their natural form, etc)?

If it's okay for me as a woman to be more attracted to a man with a hairless chest, why is it not okay for me, as a women, to prefer myself with hairless legs? (and I'm not even saying these are my preferences, I'm just playing devil's advocate.)
Yup!

And also I think I have figured out why I never thought of shaving as meaning you are trying to look like a child- because I had loads of body hair as a child! :
post #38 of 416
Hmm, I always find the shaving conversation fascinating!

I do shave sometimes. Not because my hair is particularly course and thick. Not because it's more comfortable. But, just because I like to, and my particular iteration of my queer femme identity sometimes involves shaved legs. My DP does not shave, nor do any of the (mostly butch) women with whom I've had relationships over the past ten years.

The very fact of our family (queer femme me, genderqueer DP) means that my DD will be exposed to a variety of ideas about masculinity and femininity, gender and beauty, and what bodies look like. It absolutely terrifies me to think of all the Disney princess crap that she'll be exposed to in the world, but I have to believe that growing up in a house where a range of different notions about gender and beauty and bodies are, well, embodied, will help her to feel confident in herself, and in whatever choices she ultimately makes.

Just my $.02...
post #39 of 416
I think to not "allow" my dd to shave would way too controlling. It is her body to do as she wishes.
post #40 of 416
Quote:
Originally Posted by sisteeesmama View Post
I do not shave because I feel like it is a disgusting habit invented by men to make grown women look more like little girls. I am a woman, I have hair, embrace it!


This is what I say all the time, but I still find myself shaving my armpit hair in the hot summers about once a week. This is solely for my comfort and for reducing my armpit sweat odor. (And why do I feel I must defend my choice to shave my armpit hair in the summer? when I'm on a support only thread, no less.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by sisteeesmama View Post
So what I'm wondering is how I will approach this with my dd. I know that TV and media in general support shaving, promote shaving and advertise shaving products like mad. We are not TV free.
I want to instill in her the idea that she is already created perfectly by God in his image. That she doesn't have to conform to society's gender roles like 'smooth big breasted sexy kitten girl' and what not.
But I don't want to alienate her if she is interested in shaving, either.

Do I need to just go TV free and really sensor her media? I am pretty anit-censorship, but I don't want to program her with ideas I don't agree with just for the sake of not censoring, y'know?
I don't think you need to go TV free. I just think you need to be there to offer a healthy perspective, to put in your two cents, to open up a discussion, so she won't feel the media is the one and only truth.


I agree with thismana and katie:

Quote:
Originally Posted by thismama View Post
I don't shave, and I think shaving is silly and yes infantalizing and uncomfortable. I will probably tell my daughter that if/when she asks, but what she does with her own body is her choice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by katiesk View Post
i don't shave and i have wondered about these things...and what i emphasize when talking to other people about why i don't shave is that - our society puts A LOT of pressure on women to appear as very young girls - with tiny noses, no body hair, etc. this is the 'ideal' for women's appearance and the underlying concept is that men prefer young girls to mature women?

anyway, i think it is messed up, and while many women shave because they like it, is is more comfortable, etc, i don't shave because i do not want to perpetuate these "beauty myths". and while i don't really care if anyone else shaves or not (obviously not my business...) i do think that when women shave they are collectively perpetuating this "myth".

and...how much money are these people who sell shaving products making? TONS.

that is where i am coming from and my dd will know that. i would not forbid her to shave...obviously, but i don't know how much money i will be willing to spend on shaving products. and i hope that she has a different image and perspective around beauty and what that means for her.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tbone_kneegrabber View Post
I don't shave, but I did when I was younger.
but I stopped shaving in my teens when I got involved in the punk/queer/feminist scenes.

I wouldn't censor media simply to avoid shaved women, but having an open dialogue about shaving, beauty standards, what has been beautiful through out time and how that changes etc.


Quote:
Originally Posted by tbone_kneegrabber View Post
I also don't wear make up and don't really have any in the house

However, I do pluck the surprising number of errant facial and chin hairs I have that seem to have multiplied since pregnancy, although I always feel like a hypocrite while I do it!
Me, too, to both.


Quote:
Originally Posted by thismama View Post
Eh, in parenting I think it's okay to be and offer myself, as a person, to the job. So I'm okay with giving my uncensored opinions on things, instead of some evenhanded laying out of all the options with no personal opinion or guidance offered. I do however, know that my opinions are my own, my choices are my own made in the context of my own life and supports, and that my child may have different opinions and make different choices. I think it's okay to be ourselves as long as we respect that we don't know everything and our children may come to different, and equally valid, conclusions.


Quote:
Originally Posted by sisteeesmama View Post
This is exactly how I feel. I know I can't really change people's minds but it makes me pretty sad that women are willingly buying into these "ideals" hook, line and sinker. I long for a world where women truly feel beautiful exactly as they are, where other people don't put emphasis on these kinds of things, where women and girls were not held to a man's standard of beauty which I think is RIDICULOUS!



Quote:
Originally Posted by sisteeesmama View Post
I agree that giving her the info is really all I can do and I will not feel like I failed if she shaves, but I will be grossed out if she dates a guy who likes her "clean and shaven" like a lot of my friends say about guys they have dated. Just the idea that she could or will feel unclean if she doesn't shave makes me really sad.
I'd have a really big problem if some guy wanted my daughters to shave (once they're of dating age, of course!). I would think they were pervs or pedophiles or freaks and I wouldn't want them anywhere around my daughters.
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