Body hair = bad is the beauty standard many women feel compelled to live by.
And it is a mantra that seems to be filtering down to children too.
But how young is too young to remove your natural body hair?
One mum has turned to the Internet for advice after her six-year-old daughter developed a complex about her leg hair and asked her to help her remove it.
Taking to parenting site Mumsnet the mum explained about her hair-removing conundrum.
“I could really use some advice/experiences on this please,” she wrote.
“A big part of me knows this is ridiculous but there’s another part that wants DD [Dear Daughter] to make her own choices.”
She went on to explain that her daughter has just turned six and has always had very hairy legs and a hairy lower back.
“I presumed it was baby down and would go away in time but it hasn’t and it’s gone darker as she’s gotten older.”
The mum said that she has Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) a hormone condition that can cause excess hair growth, so she suspects her daughter could suffer from something similar.
“In the summer she became aware of it and that the other girls at school didn’t have the same,” she continued.
“She asked me if there was a way to get rid of the hair, we talked about it and everyone’s bodies being different and that coupled with the sun lightening the hair pacified her for a while.”
After going back to school, the young girl has mentioned it a few times more.
But though the mum stressed that nobody else has mentioned it and the little girl isn’t being picked on about it, her daughter is very upset about the leg hair.
“She’s now getting upset about swimming and not wanting to go because she says when her legs get wet it looks worse,” the mum explained.
“The hairs quite long so when it gets wet and lays flat she is right in what she’s saying.”
Though the mum says there is no way she would use hair removal cream on her skin and wouldn’t let her daughter attempt anything herself, she is wondering if she should help her to remove the hair.
“I do realise she’s very young but just want to do my best to help her,” she finished her post.
And other parents were quick to offer their advice on the tricky topic with many having experienced similar issues themselves growing up.
“For whatever reason your DD is self conscious about this,” one user wrote. “It must be so hard when she is so young but I would be tempted to let her and help her remove it. Probably with an electric razor.
“It is her body and we aren’t talking about permanent changes to her body. I was always self conscious of my body hair as a child and my mums refusal to let me get rid of it had me missing lunches at school so I could pay for a razor!”
“I’d let her remove it,” another agreed. “It’s horrible feeling self conscious about something and not being able to change it.”
“I was the hairy kid and was forbidden from using any kind of hair removal. It did have a big impact on my self esteem and I’ve sworn that as soon as DD wants to remove hers, we’ll find a way,” another mum offered.
But others were of the opinion that removing the hair might not be necessary.
“Some people are just hairy, it’s not unusual and is not really something to go to the doctor about unless there are other concerns,” one user commented.
A further group of parents debated whether we should be teaching young girls to embrace their bodies, hair and all.
“There’s always the argument about learning to be happy with who you are, but no one ever comes along to add their experience of being hairy, not doing anything and being proud,” one woman wrote.
“I had thick black hair covering everything from waist down, on chalk white skin. It stood out a mile and kids used to say it was like fur. It shattered any confidence I had and by the time I was let shave, the damage was done. I never lived it down and still remember it. I know we should accept who we are but I’d save my daughter from what I went through.”
“This is so sad. If a six-year-old boy said the same would so many encourage him to be hair free?” another parent posed.
“My dc2 [Dear Child 2] is just as hairy, as am I. We don’t care what other people say. She is genuinely stunning. Surely if you start hair removal at 6 you will instill [sic] low self esteem about looks?”
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