Friday, July 15, 2011

SHAVING LEGS...What's The Appropriate Age For Little Girls To Start?

We were riding in the car this morning and I noticed, my rear view mirror that my youngest daughter (who is 5) was looking at her legs.  Next thing I know, she's crying!  I, of course, have no clue what it's about.  She tells me, "Mommy...*sniff*sniff*, my legs have hair on them!"  BLOWN AWAY by this...I tell her, "honey, you're suppose to have hair on your legs sweetie!  You're a little girl!"  Then my oldest son announces, "girls are suppose to shave their legs.  Hair on girl's legs is gross!"  

Oh my goodness...that put my youngest daughter is in complete distraught and worry...cause her legs are covered in peach fuzz. 
My question for you...
What's the right age to let little girls shave their legs for the first time?

To be honest with you...I was a very late bloomer...and I have protective parents who were not ready to let their little girl grow up.  It was the summer of my freshman year of high school before I was allowed to shave, and it was quite a production.  In my bathing suit, in my parents master bathroom, with video cameras rolling...I shaved for the first time.  Yes...I shaved and in the process, I sliced a HUGE (ENORMOUS) section of skin off my leg with the razor and proceeded bleeding all over the inside of the tub.  My parents thought this was absolutely hilarious (cracking up and laughing about it...because I had been telling them for months that I was ready and now I hurt myself) and I was embarrassed &physically hurt & bleeding.  Not to mention that I had been looking forward to doing this (as a right of passage for age) for a long time.  I was probably the last little girl my age (in my school) that had peach fuzzy legs still.

I know that my 5 year old and 7 year old are not old enough to shave their legs.  For heaven sakes, I barely let them make their own CHOCOLATE MILK.  But how does a parent know when a little girls should start?  Is there rules? 
How old were you?
Does that have a bearing on when you'll let your daughter?
My girls will grow up, mature and become women...and I can't stop that from happening, but I also want to encourage them to embrace their youth as long as possible.


Amanda said...

I was 12. I think around middle school age is a good time or maybe around the time they start their menstrual cycle, depending on when that is. I want to keep my little girl young forever, and hope I can hold of the shaving until about 13. You could always explain, it's okay for girls to have hairy legs, but when you become a lady, you need to shave your legs. I use lady as away to explain menstrual cycle..Maybe that is not the right word;) ..Although some children do get it, at 9, I do think that is more of a rare occurrence than a norm.

Mrs.Smitty said...

When you are old enough to deal with menses, you're old enough to shave. That's how my parents decided to handle my first shaving experience and it worked well for me as a preteen.

I plan on doing the same timeline for my daughters. It could be anywhere from 9-12 years of age, if my family's and my husband's family's experience is an indication. If either of our girls haven't had a period by 12, they can start shaving then.

It may be a bit early for us to think about things like this, but we as parents like to discuss and decide early so we're on the same page when the subject arises. I know it's a huge 'rite of passage' but I don't want my baby girls to grow up! Maybe I'll be more prepared for it in 8 years lol.

Stephanie said...

My parents let me use an electric razor at 8 and a regular at about 11 or 12. I was self conscious about it and they knew that. Electric will prevent the cuts but gets the job done well enough for a younger girl!

Kay said...

I guess the question is why do we as women shave our legs ? My opinion it is 'to sexualize our bodies'. Our children are already over sexualized thanks to media and peers.

My daughter is 8 and does NOT wear bikinis or sexualized clothin. It is one of the reasons I pulled my kids from public school and into a uniformed private school.

She won't be shaving her legs until she is 13 whether she's started her monthly period of not.

Frugal Tumbleweed Acres said...

I believe 13 is young enough to begin shaving their legs.

Anonymous said...

My mother is Polish and would not let her half Italian daughter shave her legs until I wa 16! And I needed to shave them, so I was sneaking around for literally years because I was so embarrassed. Her (and my fahter) had this ideaology the earlier you start the darker it will grow, sceince and the medical community has proven this wrong. 13 is the perfect age unless you can prevent it longer.

ewffan said...

When my daughter was nearing the end of her elementary school years, it wasn't her legs she wanted to shave but her arms (not underarms)! She got teased cause she did have long hair on her arms. It wasn't until she got into junior high (age 12/13) that I let her shave her legs and we removed her arm hair also.

rbailey1958 said...

Age would vary on this due to how hairy a tween is: Our granddaughter is 10 1/2, she has become quite hairy. Her mom is going to buy her a cordless shaver 2 start shaving. She goes back 2 school Mon., & will B in the 5th grade. Your peers can become quite cruel at this age, & from here on. They will start making fun & nitpicking on kids for their grooming habits which is quite important 2 start shaving when tweens are as hairy as my granddaughter.I would say when a parent believes there daughter is old enough to start shaving is up to them.

pkbailey at charter dot net

Anonymous said...

Reading these comments have made me feel less alone in making the right decision for my 10 1/2 year old daughter. She will be starting the 5th gr soon and has become so self-conscious about wearing skirts/shorts. I need to make her feel more self- confident so she can focus on her studies.