Bikini Waxes for 11-Year-Olds Are Just So Wrong

spaThere are parenting trends that make us smirk, and parenting trends that make us sick. I just read about one that is definitely (for me, at least) of the latter variety: bikini waxes for 11-year-olds.

“I feel it's part of hygiene," one mother who says she takes her pre-teen daughter for regular bikini waxes explained during an appearance last week on Good Morning America. "When it’s appropriate and they need to, they’ll be doing it.”

Ugh. Appropriate? Need? Hygiene? What are we teaching our young daughters about their bodies? That they are dirty, inappropriate, and in need of constant tending and adjustment?

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Oh, fellow moms, fellow moms. I know the onset of puberty is complicated and often comes earlier than expected. I also understand that bonding time with our daughters for "girl stuff" can be fun. I'm not above enjoying a spa moment with my daughter: After initial resistance, I finally broke down one day last summer and took my 6-year-old for a mother-daughter mani-pedi at a local nail salon. (Condemn me if you wish. I would totally understand, but ... it was free! I won a gift certificate in the school-fair raffle, and even then I resisted taking my little girl -- she was so young, and no bottled polish is as pretty as her natural hue. You can't improve on perfection!) Despite my misgivings, I have to admit, my daughter and I had a great time.

But this bikini wax thing? This is different. Not only because the area being waxed is sexually charged and we're talking about children. (Which, yes, is a concern.) It's different, too, because there is a level of shame attached to female body hair that I wish we didn't have to pass down to our children. Why do we American women feel so compelled to rid ourselves of every bit last wayward strand? Listen, for better or for worse, I'm no conscientious objector when it comes to hair removal. I shave and tweeze and wax to meet acceptable cultural norms. (Sigh.) But among the many things I'd like to give my daughter is the feeling that she's perfect as she is. For as long as possible, I'd like her to feel that every bit of her, every last hair and follicle and blip and mark, is gorgeous and wonderful and worth celebrating. Not something to go have someone slather hot wax over and rip out by the roots.

What do you think of the idea of bikini waxes for 11-year-old girls?

 

Image via Unique Hotels Group/Flickr

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