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When did they start shaving? - Page 2

post #21 of 37

If you have a really close relationship, I think you'll find plenty of opportunity to let her know your feelings on shaving and beauty.  She may already know those feelings and might feel bad about going against what you want so she's only bringing it up now as a possibility.  I wanted to shave for ages but when I would casually mention it my mom would dismiss it by saying I didn't need to.  I didn't feel close enough to her to say 'Hey mom, this is really important to me' though. I think a lot of the angst in our relationship is because it was hard for her to let go as I got older and not just make my own decisions, but respect them as my own.  So... shaving brings up a pretty wide variety of parenting issues for me. 

 

OP, you mentioned possibly putting some razors and shaving cream in her holiday sock... Did you wind up doing that or talking to her about it more?  I think the stocking stuffer idea was a good one. 

 

If you start shaving, you can always stop.  There might be a while of awkward spikiness, but eventually you'll wind up with your same old hair back.  It also avoids the chemical issue in other products.  I've never used those myself.  I would let my kid shave as soon as they were able to safely use a razor.

post #22 of 37

I'm of the opinion that children should be encouraged to reject peer pressure.  Women being expected to be hair free is sexist and there are other things her friends will expect her to do that she needs to have the strength to reject - like smoking, drinking, other drugs, inappropriate boyfriends, under-age sex, but also not obviously 'harmful' things like having to wear the 'right' clothes, spending too much money on expensive trainers or designer clothes and so on and so on.

 

Being able to reject peer pressure is one of the most important skills she can learn and that's exactly what wanting to shave is - it's a cultural, social expectation based on unrealistic and sexist ideals of what women 'should' be like.

 

Shaving, waxing etc, how much, how often and where on her body, if at all, are decisions she needs to learn to make for herself and whereas fitting in is important to teenagers, so is being able to say 'stuff it - I'm me!'

 

If she wants to do it because she thinks it's expected of her, I wouldn't stop her, but I would make her aware of the problems of changing how she looks just to 'fit in'

 

So most of my preparations for this would be based on discussions about peer pressure, expectations and working out what she wants compared to what other people expect of her.  Sure, that means letting her have the stuff for if she wants it, and showing her how to use it safely, but that is only a small part of what's really going on here.

post #23 of 37

yeahthat.gif  I don't want my support of shaving when desired to be seen as contradictory to the advice to talk about peer pressure in general.  But I'd like to add that, for me, the hard part wasn't knowing myself and what I believed, what has been more difficult is learning to fit in.  I think it's a matter of personal experience which way you lean more heavily towards with regard to what you want to teach your children. 

 

Having the background knowledge brought about by talks of history, ethics, feminism, peer pressure etc. is great.  I also like the idea of being able to make a conscious decision on what to do with that information.  Crafting an image for yourself is a skill that I think is important.  For me, high school was a good place to experiment with that, and I would have liked more guidance in it so that I would have been able to experiment with standard social conventions as well as more alternative ones.

post #24 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by salr View Post
 I would have liked more guidance in it so that I would have been able to experiment with standard social conventions as well as more alternative ones.

Me too.  Any guidance at all would have been helpful.  

post #25 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Silverring View Post
So most of my preparations for this would be based on discussions about peer pressure, expectations and working out what she wants compared to what other people expect of her.  Sure, that means letting her have the stuff for if she wants it, and showing her how to use it safely, but that is only a small part of what's really going on here.

by the time this discussion came up in our family we were already knee deep in peer pressure talks. in a kinda indirect way. and so when dd wanted the razor - i wanted to respect her wishes - whether they were peer pressure lead or not. in this case it may have been peer pressure lead, however she has stood her ground on many other bigger issues in school and therefore i did not want to go on and on about peer pressure. she knows the options - not because i talk about them, but mainly coz i live them. she has learnt to stand up and discovered that when she did it wasnt as bad as she thought it would be.

post #26 of 37

I find myself in the opposite place of most of you.  My daughter is 14 and has noticeably hairy legs.  She has no interest in shaving them.  It is her choice and I respect that she can buck social convention with confidence.  However, in the quiet of my own mind, I worry about the response from peers.  It would be easier to just fit in.  There is a cost to treading your own path.  She is handling it well and has friends who don't seem to hassle her too much about it.   She won't wear makeup, fusses minimally with her hair and clothes, and just doesn't care in the slightest about fitting in to current social conventions.  Sigh, I love that she is so strong and independent in her thinking.  Then I worry about the social cost.  LOL  

post #27 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by mom2ponygirl View Post

I find myself in the opposite place of most of you.  My daughter is 14 and has noticeably hairy legs.  She has no interest in shaving them.  It is her choice and I respect that she can buck social convention with confidence.  However, in the quiet of my own mind, I worry about the response from peers.  It would be easier to just fit in.  There is a cost to treading your own path.  She is handling it well and has friends who don't seem to hassle her too much about it.   She won't wear makeup, fusses minimally with her hair and clothes, and just doesn't care in the slightest about fitting in to current social conventions.  Sigh, I love that she is so strong and independent in her thinking.  Then I worry about the social cost.  LOL  

 

I preface by saying this isn't about your DD. I'm speaking generally here.

 

One can be controlled by social norms without participating in them. Not shaving your legs just because that's the social norm is not any different from shaving them because it is. Whether you shave or not should be a personal choice... because you like it, or dislike it. I love the feel and look of my legs shaved. I'm just too lazy to do it regularly lol.

 

I went to college in a very liberal area, very girl power. Peer-pressure goes both ways. I was regularly amazed at these women who went all-natural everything and harassed women who didn't claiming they were being controlled by "the man." Being controlled by "the women" who tell you what you should and shouldn't do isn't much different in my book. Basically, an act of rebellion isn't always about independence and free-thinking. Sometimes it's just conforming to a different peer group.

 

My eldest is one that bucks popular conventions.... sometimes because it's what she wants but sometimes it's because she doesn't know how to reconcile wanting some popular things and not wanting to be a pop queen.

post #28 of 37

Whatsnextmom - yes I know exactly what you are talking about.  I had friends in high school and college who were very counter culture as a statement.  My dd just doesn't care to bother. LOL  All of her friends wear makeup and shave, and she is fine with that.  She just has things she would rather do.  She'd rather work on her art, get school stuff done so she can work on her art, or hang out with friends and work on art together.  At least she likes to go outside and do things as well, otherwise I think she would just draw or write 12 hours a day. :-)  She has about a 15 minute attention span for shopping, and getting ready for the day gets 2 minutes tops.  She does shower without reminding, and get her clothes on right side out now.  In fact she has actually thought about clothes as outfits, to some extent, on occasion.  smile.gif

post #29 of 37

I think there are some good points here.

 

I really tried to convey to my dd that this is just hair. I told her some females in our culture remove leg and underarm hair and others do not. She can do what feels right and good for her. I will help her and support her choice. She doesn't have to think deeply about making a statement either way.

I shave because I prefer the feel of it. So far dd chooses not to and it just doesn't phase her at all.

If she feels embarrased and wants to shave to fit in that is also up to her. I won't feel any different about her for choosing that path.

post #30 of 37

So far this is a non-issue for us, but I don't anticipate it being a big issue for us down the road, either. We live in a crunchy granola type town where there are a lot of hairy men and hairy women, so while the norm is non-hairy, there's enough hair around that I don't think either of my girls will feel like they HAVE to shave to fit in. There are plenty of role models for not shaving if they don't want to. I'm happy for them to do it when they have some body hair to shave and they want to, but neither one of them is there yet.

post #31 of 37
My DD 15 started pestering us around 11, the summer before middle school. She is also blonde/blue and didn't need to shave, but felt weird about her armpits mostly. So, we taught her how to do that at 11. Well, when 12 started to roll around, the legs became an issue because "everyone else was doing it". So we side, fine, you can shave your legs when you research the history of leg shaving in Western cultures and write a 1 page essay on it. It was a good essay and proved that she understood that widespread shaving came about post WWII and it wasn't a "natural" thing people had been doing for centuries, and she had some good points about why most women do it to be more attractive to men. DD 12 also started at 11 and hasn't started with the legs yet so no essay from her yet, but if she decides to, I'm sure it will be pretty good since she's been a feminist since she was like 3, lol. Anyway, at the end of the day, it is her body, and the most important lesson a parent can teach their daughter is that no one should tell them what to do with their bodies.
post #32 of 37

OP, if part of your concern is that she doesn't realize what a burden it will be, why not just tell her to go for it? I imagine it'll quickly lose its appeal. I understand the concern about peer pressure, but this is the little league. It's not permanent, like the tattoos and piercings her peers will be getting in a few years. Her hair will grow back just the same as before if she ever decides that shaving isn't for her.

 

The best thing anyone can teach their DDs (and DSs) about this is that it's not all or nothing. Most women I know (crunchy and mainstream alike) stop shaving in the winter. Others go through periods of shaving/not shaving. 

 

Most of all, doing things to fit in during the pre-teen/teen years doesn't mean that she's destined to be like that forever. Those years are so tough, and few people want to stand out in a way they perceive as negative. That will quickly change, because high school and college are the years where everyone goes out of their way to be individuals. Be patient hug2.gif

post #33 of 37

Reading posts above I wondered if the issue is really to shave or not to shave or is it "Do we let our girls allow social preassure to dictate their actions?". As much as I like to see my daughter as a free thinker and stand for what she believes... she is 12! she will make mistakes, she might decide to do something she might not really want to. She needs to experience control, starting with her body. If she wants to shave, decide her hairstyle, her clothes, well my approach is "if it is not permanent you can do it" (and appropriate of course) how are they going to learn how to decide by themselves if as mothers we keep on telling them "you dont need to do what is socially expected, just do what I say".  I must admit I am the first breaking my rule, (it is so hard sometimes!) but I try to give my kids ways to control minor decisions...and keep the big ones for me to deicide. Good luck!

post #34 of 37

my dd was 11. she wanted me to teach her, so I did. I don't know if she's still shaving! It's been about 6 months. I think she thought it was more trouble than it was worth.

post #35 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by coyacha View Post

Reading posts above I wondered if the issue is really to shave or not to shave or is it "Do we let our girls allow social preassure to dictate their actions?". As much as I like to see my daughter as a free thinker and stand for what she believes... she is 12! she will make mistakes, she might decide to do something she might not really want to. She needs to experience control, starting with her body. If she wants to shave, decide her hairstyle, her clothes, well my approach is "if it is not permanent you can do it" (and appropriate of course) how are they going to learn how to decide by themselves if as mothers we keep on telling them "you dont need to do what is socially expected, just do what I say".  I must admit I am the first breaking my rule, (it is so hard sometimes!) but I try to give my kids ways to control minor decisions...and keep the big ones for me to deicide. Good luck!

I'm surprised at how many people let their children make so many of their own decisions regarding these issues at such an early age. I am a firm believer in promoting critical thinking, letting them make decisions and learning from their mistakes. I am a college professor, and believe me, there are too many young adults who have no idea how to make a decision! But I don't think body hair hygiene is an area where 9 and 10 year olds have the ability to make sound decisions (I also question the safety issue here too, I'm 39 and still cut myself at times!)

I guess my real issue is that our society is so obsessed with the "girlification" of our youth. It starts at 3 when we insist on bringing them for manicures and pedicures. Everyone thinks its soooo cute. I think it's nauseating. And the Disney princess thing. And the fake make-up, plastic high heel shoes. Oh yeah, and the 2 year olds wearing $100+ Ugg boots. These kids aren't asking for all of this, without being exposed to it first. By 10, girls want to get their eyebrows waxed. I was probably about 25 before I had my first wax. We need to stop perpetuating this belief that if you are not skinny with long hair and no body hair, that you are not attractive. Yes, it's nice to get dressed up now and then. And I believe it is important to look clean and neat. And I do understand that self-consciousness is important with adolescents. But why are they self conscious? Because the Kardashians, snooki and the girls on nick and disney define beauty for them.

Edited to add: I have a 13 yr old daughter. She has shaved her legs maybe once or twice (light colored on the legs). Needs to be reminded to shave under her arms. Yet, wanted to know when she should start shaving "down there" (her words). Wants to look good, but can't be bothered putting in the effort. Kind of marches to her own beat. I honestly wish she gave her appearance more effort, but am happy she's not obsessed over it.
post #36 of 37

I also have a thirteen year old but she has not asked I planned on waiting until she asks and then teach her It would be awful if they tried without being shown first I think its time Good Luck  It feels like they are really grown up when this starts!!

post #37 of 37

My oldest started shaving last year my second oldest just turned 11 and just started shaving her legs.

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