What would you do if your 11-year- old daughter had long hair growing from her armpits and dark hair on her legs? Would you encourage her to shave? That’s the dilemma facing a mother on UK website Mumsnet.
She says her daughter has had pubic hair since she was nine, and now has an increasing amount of hair on her legs and under her arms.
“I have never suggested it’s anything other than natural and nothing she needs to worry about,” the mother, calling herself Tobleronemonster, explains.
The mother says her daughter hasn’t asked to shave, but now, she’s becoming worried that her daughter will be targeted by bullies.
“I don’t want people to be mean to her, but I don’t want her to feel ashamed of her body, in any way.”
For a lot of people who responded, the question brought up painful childhood memories.
“I wasn’t allowed to shave until about 16,” one remembered.
“It was awful. I was bullied so much and it made me hate PE lessons. I don’t have a daughter (yet) but if we do have one I’ll be allowing her to shave when she feels ready.”
“I was a promising swimmer as a child,” said another. “I dropped it when I was 11 as my mum wouldn’t let me shave my armpits. I stayed hot in long sleeves in the summer. I dry shaved with my dad’s Bic and gave myself terribly painful rashes.”
Several women explained that they already happily helped their daughters with hair removal.
We discuss the best way to talk to young girls about body hair, on our podcast for imperfect parents. Post continues after audio.
“My seven-year-old had hairs under her arms,” said one. “I told her that if and when she was unhappy with them or worried about them to come and talk to me. At eight she said she wanted to get rid of them and didn’t want to be teased so I shaved them